Italy: Viterbo - Intensive Italian Language, History, and the Arts

Video and Photos

San Pellegrino in Fiore at Piazza San lorenzo/Palazzo dei Papi
San Pellegrino in Fiore at Piazza San lorenzo/Palazzo dei Papi
La Macchina di Santa Rosa
La Macchina di Santa Rosa
Fontana di Palazzo dei Priori
Fontana di Palazzo dei Priori
Joanna and roomies in Italy!
Joanna and roomies in Italy!
Piazza del Sacrario - The town center
Piazza Delle Erbe or as we called it "The Lion Fountain"
Porta Romana, one of the city's 2 main gates

About

USAC and Tuscia University in Viterbo, Italy have partnered up, offering an exciting study abroad program for students interested in History, Art, Music, Environmental and Italian Studies. Classes vary slightly depending on the specific term, with all of the specifics easily found on the USAC website.

Viterbo is an ideal destination to study and practice the Italian language and to experience the rich Italian culture away from English-speaking tourist areas. Check out all of the details today by viewing the video below or visiting the USAC website!

Highlights
  • Study history, environmental sciences, art, and journalism while living an authentic Italian experience in a stunning historic, medieval location
  • Enjoy this affordable university town and its picturesque fountains, palaces, narrow streets, and medieval churches living and learning in direct contact with the local community, their traditions, food, and folklore
  • Join the many unique field trips to lakes, waterfalls, medieval hill towns as well as the optional field study in Southern Italy and take advantage of the access to beaches, mountains, sailing, horseback
  • Take advantage of Viterbo’s location: centrally situated between Rome and Florence-with the Mediterranean Sea only an hour away—with access to the international airports in Rome where many low cost airlines make it easy to travel!

New Program: Comparative Studies: Uruguay and Cuba Summer Session

Study abroad Summer 2020 for eight weeks, beginning in Montevideo, Uruguay and continuing to La Habana, Cuba, for a comparative Latin studies program ideal for any student and of particular interest to health, gender and Spanish language students.

Scholarships

USAC Scholarships
USAC Scholarships and Financial Aid

USAC awards over $2 million in scholarships and discounts each year to assist students with their study abroad expenses.

Value
$500 - $1,000

Questions & Answers

Reviews

97%
based on 30 reviews
  • Academics 8
  • Support 9.5
  • Fun 9.2
  • Housing 9
  • Safety 9.8
Showing 16 - 30 of 30
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Kayla
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Home Away from Home

Attending USAC Viterbo for my junior year of college was by far the best decision of my college experience. The on-site staff are incredible--knowledgeable, helpful, caring, and always ready to go out of their way to help make this the best experience possible. The housing is lovely, the field trips are enriching and well planned, and Viterbo will feel like home sooner than you ever thought possible. I made friends here that I will have for the rest of my life and I have never felt more safe than I did walking through these medieval walls. You will never regret attending this program and all of the incredible memories made here.

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Zoe
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Nothing short of amazing

Italy is perhaps my favorite country right now. The country, language, and culture are just so beautiful. This program did not offer any courses in my major but I chose Viterbo becuase I love history. Due to it's location, this is a great place to study abroad if you like history and learning about more of the lesser known facts about Italy.
The staff was great and USAC really cares about you as a student and making sure you have a safe enjoyable experience.

Joanna LaFrancesca
Joanna
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Grazie Mille Viterbo!

I studied in Viterbo for a semester in college, and wish I had stayed for the whole year. The USAC program director Stefano was incredible and ran a very strong program. The courses were interesting and relevant, and there were special arrangements made to take additional courses at a neighboring university, if you were motivated to do so. When I first started the semester, I was living in a dorm but really wanted to live with Italian students. I made some Italian friends who needed a roommate, and Stefano and the USAC team were very supportive in helping me change my accommodations. In my opinion, they went above and beyond (could have very easily told me no) to make sure I was happy with my living situation. This ended up defining my study abroad experience in an extremely positive way. My roomies welcomed me into their lives, introduced me to their friends, and included me in nightly family dinners -- which were to die for! My Italian improved quickly and I learned so much about Italian culture from that immersion. The town itself was very safe and charming. Each evening the town would do a passeggiata, where everyone would walk the central street in their best clothes “to see and been seen” on the town. The locals were very friendly, and since it was a smaller town they didn’t speak English- forcing study abroad students to implement their language skills out of the classroom. The friends that I made (both the Italians and Americans) are still very much a part of my life today, and I am forever grateful for the time spent in Viterbo and the role Stefano + the team played in inspiring that experience!

Grazie mille ragazzi :)

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Marissa
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Just Go!

I loved Viterbo! It is such a cool city and it's nice to see the medieval history along with the modern twist. It was such a fun nightlife and the locals are great. Stefano and his staff are so helpful and I miss them like crazy. Just go, you will definitely not regret it!

What would you improve about this program?
I wish I lived inside the city walls or closer to the other students.
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Rachel
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Chaotic Crazy Fun Italy

After an unfortunate event in Napoli for the weekend we had to head back to Viterbo earlier than expected. We decided to take a certain train out, realizing we got back too later to make our connecting train. We decided that, in order to make the right connection we had to get on a different train. We didn't have to right ticket and were taking a gamble. We got off in a town called Orte and realized that there was no train connecting but a bus, that was about to leave in 3 minutes. We sprinted to the stop and realized that we wouldn't make it. Thankfully the bus broke down giving us plenty of time for the new one to arrive. The new bus was about half way to Viterbo when it started spewing black smoke. The driver didn't stop, and kept plucking along, we ended up with a line of angry drivers behind us. At one point the driver stopped and hit some things near the engine and started driving again. We finally made it back at almost 11:00pm. And the 6 of us got pizza and wine to celebrate our crazy, eventful day.

What would you improve about this program?
Italy is chaotic but I think besides that fact things were well organized. It would have been nice to have a list of places I could eat especially with my food allergy but it was an adventure finding things myself. Also a list of markets would have been nice to refernece.
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Abby
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

If you want Italian Culture, go to Viterbo

Italy is charming- it is a slower pace of life, the people are friendly, and the cobble stone streets make perfect Instagram pictures. I expected to travel Europe, but Italy left too much to see in 4 short months- though I left the country a few times, I just wanted to explore Italy. I could tell you about all the famous landmarks in Italy and what they looked like in person- Leaning Tower of Pisa really does lean, and nothing compares to the hillside towns of Cinque Terre.
Though the landmarks are stunning and the history unfathomable, Viterbo is all about culture. The food, the architecture, and the people are unmatched in Viterbo. If you want Italian Culture, go to Viterbo. Also, if you want the best gelato ever, go to Viterbo.

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Savannah
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing Destination

Viterbo might be a small city with few clubs, but it is full of delicious restaurants, friendly locals, and great shops. It is close to Rome and therefore easy to travel to and from, so you can cost effectively see all of Europe. The USAC staff was very friendly and helpful, but let us have a huge amount of independence. I made the friends of a lifetime in Viterbo and I would go back in a heartbeat.

What would you improve about this program?
While I enjoyed planning my own trips to various countries, I would have liked more planned trips to be available for us.
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Ellen
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Just go for it!

This was the best decision I've ever made. First and foremost, Viterbo itself is such a great place. We were close enough to the big cities that it was easy for us to travel, yet we were far enough away that we weren't surrounded by tourists and over-priced coffee. It's a traditional Italian town, with everything you'd expect...family owned cafes and pizza restaurants, little markets where you can buy local breads, cheeses, wines, and meats, piazzas with buzzing crowds, historic and beautiful scenery, and welcoming Italians. Viterbo is an absolutely wonderful place. And, as far as the program itself, it's FIVE stars easily. I can't imagine a better staff than the small and tight-knit team that worked with us. There were about 40 students in our program and we had 4 advisors on site that were so dedicated and worked hard to ensure that we had the best experience possible (not to mention all of our teachers that were there for us too). We became our own little family. Overall, I would DEFINITELY recommend Viterbo to anyone who is interested. I became so close with other students in my program, as well as with the locals around town. It was truly an authentic Italian experience that changed my life.

What would you improve about this program?
I don't think there is much that really needs to be improved on. But, since I have to pick one thing, I'd say that it would have been nice if there would have been a home-stay option, that way we could live with Italian families.
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Jena
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Life changing semester

I studied 4 years ago in Viterbo. The town is beautiful and charming and I always felt incredibly safe. The staff is helpful to find you volunteer opportunities or anything that suits your interests. The optional tours are a must! I felt like I got to see almost everything I wanted. The classes are heavily art or international relations based, but I took the opportunity to get in touch with my artistic side. The food will change your life.

What would you improve about this program?
I wasn't fully immersed with Italians. You really had to seek it out on your own. It would have been great to have a more structured cultural immersion program. I spent a lot of time with fellow American students!
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Hannah
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Viterbo, Italy

Studying abroad in Viterbo was the best decision I could have ever made. If you are someone who is looking for the traditional Italian experience, this is the place for you. Everything about it is so authentically Italian that, at times you think it's cheesy, but then you realize that you are actually in Italy and not some American resort desperately trying to be Italian. Everything about this place like the cobble stone streets, the flower boxes on every window, the fact that hardly anyone speaks English, the outdoor market, the medieval cathedrals around every corner, the incredibly generous and welcoming locals, the USAC staff, the beautiful fountains, the always entertaining nightlife, the wine guy, the food, the hot springs and the bright red poppies that grow like weeds make it the most magical place you could ever dream of calling home for a semester. Yes, Rome and Florence are wonderful, but don't sell yourself short- if you want to live in an authentic Italian city that is relatively untouched by westernization- choose Viterbo.

What would you improve about this program?
Honestly, I cannot think of anything I would improve upon.
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Amy
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Small town= Great Community and Culture

I loved being able to immerse myself in a smaller community and get to know the locals. While studying in Rome or Florence would have been fun I would have been one of many Americans. The best part about Viterbo was that the only Americans in the city were our classmates. No part of the city was Americanized and I felt extremely safe within the comforting walls of the city. If you're looking for an authentic study abroad experience in Italy, go to Viterbo!!!!!!

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Josie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Best summer of my life!

My summer abroad experience in Viterbo italy, summer session 1, 2013 was the most amazing experience of my life. The program was just structured enough to keep us busy but gave us enough free time to experience the Italian culture and travel elsewhere. The classes would challenge our american culture and way of thinking, they would teach us Italian ways, culture and history. The program leaders were so helpful and friendly. They would go out of their way to make sure we feel comfortable. I felt very safe and connected to the usac community.

Viterbo was a perfect pick for me! It gives you a chance to truly emerse yourself into the small town Italy culture and lifestyle, and only a short train ride to Rome. Viterbo is a smaller town and makes you really connect to the people and culture. It's abosolutely beautiful. Viterbo has the perfect amount of disconnect and connectionedness to the rest of the world.

USAC Program brought us on many day trips through the different classes they offered. My personal favorite experience was the south of Italy trip. We stayed in an amazing hotel with a breath taking view of the Mediterranean sea. We had freedom to explore and also have planned tours to enrich our time spent there.

I appreciate everything usac did for me and the experiences I gained through them. I strongly recommend this program!!

What would you improve about this program?
I wish there was a foods or wine class available for my program.
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A
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The Summer of a Lifetime

Viterbo was the most beautiful town. It felt like home by the end of my program and I still feel homesickness for Viterbo. The program staff were the most helpful people in everything from academics, personal problems, and weekend trip planning. If i could go back I would do it in a heartbeat.

What would you improve about this program?
I wish I had had more opportunities to meet Italian students.
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AmberLW
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Dorms

The Dorms that USAC used were outside of the city walls and it was a walk to get back into the city. Though, once you get used to it, it was really enjoyable. I LOVED this city! I'm so glad i got to study there for a semester!

I can't wait to go back with my husband and enjoy the wonderful food and people!! If you want a real taste of Italy, Viterbo is the town!

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Magical_Loon
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Too many choices? Choose Viterbo, every time.

I initially decided to study abroad in Italy for two reasons. The first was to see the homeland, the country where my parents were born and raised, while the second was to improve my fluency of the language. I could not have made a better decision than attending the Università degli Studi della Tuscia and going to Viterbo. If you want to experience a real Italian life, Viterbo is where you want to choose. You can go to the other much larger and more famous cities, but then you'd also be getting an Americanized version of Italy, the one created for tourists. If that's what you want, you might as well visit any Little Italy that you can find in various cities across the U.S. and save yourself the airfare. Viterbo has everything that you could ever want from excellent and personalized education to caring and helpful USAC staff to a true experience of living in a medieval Italian town. I still remember waking up in the morning and getting ready to start the day while listening Italian life happening outside my window. But then the most wonderful thing happened: the moment I stepped outside my door, I became part of that Italian life. I walked the historic streets, visited the same cafés and restaurants, bought fresh and local food from the daily market, interacted with the locals, never missed a town festival, and most importantly, I made friends with some of the most amazing people I have ever met. Our group shared a bond that summer in Viterbo that no one else knows or can attain. You can have the same thing when you decide to go and I can guarantee that you won't regret it. If I could redo my study abroad choice for that summer, I would choose Viterto all over again, every single time.