The pull to travel is strong for Italy anytime of the year, but in summer, the seas sparkle in azure and emerald hues, and the towns perched on the hilltops flourish to life with street-side cafes filled with Italians and tourist alike.
Spending a summer in Italy is completely different than a summer in the USA. From the picture-perfect fishing villages along the coast, to the historic cities filled with Renaissance art and famous architecture, Italy for the summer is guaranteed to be an adventure you can write home about.
Summer abroad in Italy is best for students who are interested in learning Italian, architecture, history, food, art.
There are many programs available for a summer study abroad experience, but they usually fall somewhere in or between these two categories:
- University Program
- Travel Tour
You may enjoy studying abroad at a university if you want to live in a student dormitory or potentially homestay, make friends with local students, and get to know one area well over the summer. You'll be taking one or two courses at an accredited university of your choice with time for weekend excursions and after school activities.
On the other hand, if you're itching to see as much as possible, try looking into a travel tour that will take you to more than one area -- and sometimes even more than one country! You'll cover the most ground with this type of program, though this also means you won't be able to see as much of a single area. Usually, these tours focus on a single overarching theme that you'll learn about throughout your travels, like architecture or history. Students attending travel tours generally stay in hotels or homestays, depending on the location.
Planning Your Trip
Besides being famous for its food and history, Italy is a great place to be in the summer months. The museums are air conditioned, the beaches are beckoning, and the lifestyle is all about being happy and carefree. Summertime in Italy, especially during August, is tourist high season, so be aware of the long lines at popular destinations. Here are some more tips to prepare you for your journey:
Good news -- visas are generally not required for stays up to 90 days, so you won't need to apply for them before your trip.
Summers generally peak at about 85-90 degrees F and can cool down to around 65 degrees, so pack accordingly.
- Lightweight, breathable clothing
- Cover ups for shoulder-baring articles (if planning to enter a church)
- Comfortable walking shoes
- Insect spray
- A 230V/50hz power and voltage adaptor
Special Italian Summer Holidays
There are many festivals throughout the summer including the Palio, a famous horse race in Siena, and the Calcio Storico in Florence, a sport that’s a mix of rugby and soccer.
June 2nd: It’s Italy’s independence day and it is the same as the US, just with a little green red and white instead of blue! During the Festa Della Repubblica, there will be festivals in the piazzas, fireworks at night, and parades snaking through the streets. If that's what you'd like to see, schedule your trip around this time to experience the celebration.
August 15th: During the public holiday Ferragosto, the cities clear out and the beaches become crowded as families and friends alike flock to enjoy their summer holidays. This would be a great time to plan a trip to a different area to avoid the crowds.
Contributed by Lisa Harvey
Costs & Funding
For a 4-week program that includes housing, food, and possibly excursions, you can expect to pay around $6,500 USD for the summer, not including airfare. Students be placed in hotels, student dormitories, or homestays throughout the program. If you sign up with a provider, the program may be more costly, but the provider will typically assist you with various preparations and take you on activities, among other benefits of the package.
Plan to budget around $30-50 a day on personal expenses, souvenirs, transportation, and food (if necessary). This, of course, will vary based on your personal lifestyle and program.
There are plenty of scholarships available to help fund your summer abroad in Italy. Chances are there will be some kind of financial aid for participants whether you book with a study abroad company or a university directly. However, if you book with a provider to attend a university, you may not qualify for the university's study abroad-specific scholarships. Check with your provider and your university of choice before applying.