LA DOLCE VITA

Art History Abroad and at Home

During my gap year I was encouraged by my parents and by my own love of art history to attend a six week art course with Art History Abroad in Italy. Our weeks were split up in different locations, having longer stays in the main cities of Venice, Florence and Rome, shorter stays in Siena, Verona and Naples, and day outings to places such as Padua, Pisa and Herculaneum.

The young tutors who accompanied us inspired us with their enthusiasm and taught us what seems like the entire history of architecture, sculpture and fine art in Italy. They managed to capture our imaginations and maintain the concentration of a group of eighteen-year-olds. As well as learning about art history, we were encouraged to draw what we saw and were even given a few lessons in Italian to help us get by. The tutors knew all the best hidden restaurants and bars and places to go out dancing in the evenings. Not only did I gain a wealth of cultural knowledge, but I also made some great friends along the way. We were treated to la dolce vita.

We returned home and made our parents jealous raving about our sensational private tours of the entire Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel in Rome. We were spoiled by having a private viewing of San Marco Cathedral in Venice, wandering freely under the golden domes to admire the exquisite golden mosaics which flickered in the candlelight, enhancing the experience.

Art History Abroad has now launched educational tours for the jealous parents who wanted to see, hear and taste for themselves what their children had been raving about. Six week courses can be divided into blocks of two weeks, as most parents don’t have a continuous six weeks at hand. These blocks of two weeks can be tailored to suit your needs, as can the location.

London Courses, Walks and Lectures are also available to those who wish to get to know their home city better. Rose Balston, my most memorable tutor because of her infectious passion, takes small groups on a ‘London Walk.’ She brings to life the art and culture of the city as she explains how to appreciate the rich culture of our very own London, which we often take for granted.

— Rose Featherby 

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  • Art history