My daughter had a fantastic time with the Abbey Road high school summer study program in Florence. She did the three-week option with a focus on Italian Language and an Art History elective.
Her favorite thing about the academic side of the program was the experiential nature of the classes--learning spoken Italian by ordering in cafes and art history by seeing the art and architecture in person. This was her first exposure to Italian language, and she is now taking an Italian course for high school credit to continue the learning process.
Outside of class, she particularly enjoyed exploring the city independently (students are required to have a friend with them in order to do this), and having the freedom to wander through shops (Santa Maria Novella, the world's oldest pharmacy, was a favorite) and take in the gorgeous scenes of Florence at her leisure. She is now eager to pursue study abroad in Florence during college. She also loved the excursions, which took them to locations like Cinque Terra, Lucca, Siena, and San Gimignano.
The other kids in the program seemed great. My daughter was also fond of almost all the staff members, and my communication with them regarding her lost luggage and alternate departure flight was very friendly, easy, and accessible. The apartments the students stayed in were centrally located and spacious. At one point, the AC in my daughter's apartment failed, but Abbey Road staff worked hard to ensure it was repaired and allowed her to stay in another apartment in the meantime.
I think this type of program is a great experience for a teenager in terms of giving them practice exercising independence and self-sufficiency before they venture out into the world. In addition, while it is a learning experience, it is also fun-filled and relaxed, so for my daughter it actually served as a bit of a respite from the pressures of everyday high school life. Would absolutely recommend.