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Art History Gap Year Course in Italy

Bay of Naples with Mount Vesuvius in the background

Whilst planning my gap year, I toyed with the idea of travelling alone around Italy for copious amounts of time. My main purpose being to visit the art I had learned about and loved whilst studying A Level Art History.

When hearing about Art History Abroad, I was absolutely fascinated with what they had to offer - from a private candlelit tour of St. Marks in Venice, to Climbing Mount Vesuvius in Naples. Having spoken to a handful of the tutors, each as enthusiastic as the other, I decided to sign all forms and enrol in the course. Having experienced those six weeks now, I still cannot begin to emphasise how much the trip exceeded all expectations.

I joined the course not knowing anybody, but from day one I was fully immersed with the 19 other like- minded students and the fantastic tutors. Starting in Rome and ending in Venice, passing places including Naples, Siena, Florence and Verona, we were able to skip queues of the Academia, eat where only locals would eat and continuously develop such an enthusiasm and appreciation for the profuse amount of art that Italy has to offer.

The difference between going alone and with Art History Abroad is that, due to the company's vast The course was full of funexperience with the trip, they know what works. They know how much time should be allowed to admire Giotto's frescoes in the Musei Civici Eremitani in Padua, or which little café does the best cappuccinos in Florence. Each day is filled with something new and exciting, with all the teaching located on site. The tutors are of an exceptional standard whilst being accessible and fun, with a passion for the arts that is inevitably contagious.

The beauty of the trip is that you don't need any previous knowledge of Art, and you are guaranteed to experience something that you have never experienced before. The variety that you experienced stretches far further than Renaissance paintings, with sessions observing the work of Jackson Pollock in the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, to visiting the Jewish Ghetto of Venice.

Italy holds all in thrall after a course with Art History AbroadI could not stress more how much I recommend Art History Abroad as a course. Whatever age, whatever you are studying, if you have an interest in Art, this course will open your eyes to so much more than what you read in books. It helped me enormously with the time I spent afterwards in Florence, as an intern at Palazzo Strozzi, as I felt almost at home in the Italian lifestyle. It's also a very satisfying feeling studying History of Art at university, looking at slides and thinking, "I've been there!"

Marie Naffah's art history course in Italy was run by Art History Abroad

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