Writers in Florence - May 27 - June 23, 2018

Photo: Window at Villa La Pietra Florence

Program Summary

In this literary retreat, students work intensively to generate new writing in the enchanting, historically rich setting where so many writers—from Dante to E. M. Forster—have found literary inspiration. Students participate in daily workshops and craft seminars and attend a lively series of readings, lectures, and special events. Writing and reading assignments are designed to encourage serious study as well as immersion in the local landscape—for example, students might visit the Galleria degli Uffizi and write ekphrastic poems, conduct literary research in Villa la Pietra's library, or take an afternoon trip to Fiesole, a memorable locale in E.M. Forster's "Room with a View," for a lesson on fictional settings. On weekends, students have the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of their literary predecessors: they might walk along the Arno River, view the sunset from Piazzale Michelangelo, or stroll through the Boboli gardens.

Student reading against tree on grounds of Vlilla La Pietra

“What an opportunity to live as a writer where many other famous writers have lived and produced great works!”

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Application Deadlines

December 1 - Application Launch
February 1 - Priority Deadline
March 1 - General Deadline
April 15 - Final Deadline
April 30 - Final Confirmation

Contact Info

NYU Global Programs


t: (212) 998-4433

f: (212) 995-4103

Program Director

Mark Bibbins

Tuition and Fees

The College of Arts and Science discounts CAS Summer Abroad tuition 33% to offset additional costs of study abroad. This discount is already calculated in the below rates. Fees, Housing and International Insurance are required, and these rates are set by NYU.

2018 Program Costs  
Undergraduate Tuition - 8 points $7,576
Undergraduate Registration Fees - 8 points $948
Program & Activities Fee $500

GeoBlue International Health Insurance

for 4 week program



Single Room (with meal plan)

Double Room (with meal plan)

Triple Room (with meal plan)

Quad Room (with meal plan)






PLEASE NOTE: Students are responsible for purchase of transportation to/from program location. All students participating in the program are required to live in NYU-provided housing.

Students are encouraged to budget for summer abroad programs based on individual needs. Additional resources for planning are available by clicking below.

Alleyway at nighttime filled with people and orange glow of lights

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Writers in Florence students focus on either poetry or fiction. Coursework consists of alternating afternoons of craft seminars and writing workshops, as well as daily literary colloquia events, including readings, lectures and tours. The schedule includes time for writing, reading, and exploring Florence, and the program culminates in a celebratory reading showcasing student work.

Students have the opportunity to work closely with two accomplished faculty members—one in the context of the writing workshop, and another in the context of the craft seminar.

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All courses are taught in English. All students must register for 8 points of undergraduate credit.

Students register for one of the following courses:

CRWRI-UA 9828 - Writers in Florence: Fiction - 8 Points

CRWRI-UA 9829 - Writers in Florence: Poetry - 8 Points

Workshops provide students with guidance on the art of revision, as well as with experience giving and receiving feedback. Each student submits a final portfolio of writing at the end of the program. In the craft seminars—literature courses taught by writers for writers—students study great works of literature in order to learn how to create their own. Emphasis is on close reading and the basic elements of craft. A special colloquia of literary readings, lectures and events complements students' work in the classroom.

Academic Schedule
Tuesdays - Fridays
3:00pm - 5:30pm: Alternating days of workshops and craft seminars.
Morning and/or evenings TBD: Literary colloquia events.

Sample Syllabi - Writers in Florence Fiction

Sample Fiction Workshop Syllabus
Sample Fiction Craft Seminar Syllabus

Sample Syllabi - Writers in Florence: Poetry

Sample Poetry Workshop Syllabus
Sample Poetry Craft Seminar Syllabus

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The grounds of La Villa Pietra

Housing & Meals

La Pietra is NYU's academic center for study abroad in Florence. Donated to the University by Sir Harold Acton, this 15th-century, 57-acre estate is graced by five villas, formal gardens, olive groves, and a priceless art collection. The estate is situated just outside the city center of Florence, a 20-minute walk or a 10-minute bus ride away.

All students participating in the program are required to live in NYU-provided housing. Students reside on the estate grounds in Villa Natalia which is air-conditioned and includes a cafeteria, a computer lab, a student lounge, a small gym, and a laundry facility. The greater La Pietra facilities include multimedia-equipped classrooms, a screening room, two computer labs, a reference library, and a second cafeteria with terrace.

Housing rates are inclusive of breakfast and dinner daily in the Villa Natalia cafeteria. Students are responsible for their own lunches, snacks, and other non-program meal expenditures. Lunches are available for purchase on-campus at the Villa Natalia cafeteria.

Please see a slideshow of Villa La Pietra gardens and estate here.

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MARK BIBBINS (Director; Poetry) is the author of three books of poems: Sky Lounge (Graywolf Press), which received a 2004 Lambda Literary Award, The Dance of No Hard Feelings (Copper Canyon Press), and They Don’t Kill You Because They’re Hungry, They Kill You Because They’re Full (Copper Canyon), which was named one of the best poetry books of 2014 by Publishers Weekly magazine and a standout book by The Academy of American Poets. He has taught in the graduate writing programs of The New School, where he co-founded LIT magazine, and Columbia University, and at Purchase College and the 92nd Street Y. A recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship, Bibbins edits the poetry section of The Awl. His poems have appeared in such venues as The New Yorker, Poetry, The Paris Review, and four editions of The Best American Poetry. He lives in New York City.


CATHERINE BARNETT (Poetry) is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Whiting Writers Award, the Glasgow Prize for Emerging Writers, and a Pushcart. Her first book, Into Perfect Spheres Such Holes Are Pierced (Alice James Books, 2004), won the 2003 Beatrice Hawley Award, and she received the 2012 James Laughlin Award for her second book, The Game of Boxes (Graywolf Press, 2012). Barnett has taught at Barnard, the New School, and NYU, where she was honored with an Outstanding Service Award.


ALEXANDER CHEE (Fiction) is the author of the novels Edinburgh and, most recently, The Queen of the Night. He is a contributing editor at The New Republic, and an editor at large at VQR. His essays and stories have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, Tin House, Slate, Guernica, NPR and Out, among others. He is the winner of a 2003 Whiting Award, a 2004 NEA Fellowship in prose and a 2010 MCCA Fellowship, and residency fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the VCCA, Civitella Ranieri and Amtrak. He has taught writing at Wesleyan University, Amherst College, the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, Columbia University, Sarah Lawrence College and the University of Texas-Austin. He lives in New York City, where he curates the Dear Reader series at Ace Hotel New York.


MAAZA MENGISTE (Fiction) is a novelist, essayist, and photographer. Her debut novel, Beneath the Lion's Gaze, was selected by the Guardian as one of the 10 best contemporary African books and named one of the best books of 2010 by Christian Science Monitor, Boston Globe and other publications. Her fiction and nonfiction can be found in The New Yorker, Granta, the Guardian, The New York Times, BBC Radio, and Lettre International, among other places. She was the 2014 Puterbaugh Fellow and a Runner-up for the 2011 Dayton Literary Peace Prize. Maaza's fiction and nonfiction examines the individual lives at stake during migration, war, and exile, and considers the intersections of photography and violence. She was a writer on the social-activist documentary film, GIRL RISING, which features the voices of actors such as Meryl Streep, Liam Neeson, and Cate Blanchet, and is at work on another, Belgian-based, documentary. Her second novel, The Shadow King, is forthcoming.

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Photo Gallery

Couple holding hands in valley at sunset along line of parked mopeds

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