NYU Florence offers a strong and aligned humanities curriculum of art history, history, cinema and literature, alongside a newly focused concentration in Social Research, Public Policy and Law; Each of these two separate but not unrelated parts takes advantage not only of the extraordinary cultural resources provided by the city of Florence and Italy in general, but also of a unique array of co-curricular lectures and activities that make the Florence campus a dynamic center for scholarly activity and global policy discussions. Both parts of this identity arise out of our current strengths in faculty and relate organically to the academic, social and political context in which the site is located.
Study abroad in Florence has long meant: an encounter for students with the city of Dante, Petrarch and Boccaccio, the study of art history in the "birthplace" of the Renaissance; and other cornerstones of Italian Studies curricula, such as Italian history and cinema courses. NYU Florence has a distinguished and distinctive academic profile that provides excellent opportunities for the study of those traditional humanities offerings, but also features other, equally important programs for the study of contemporary social issues.
Students at NYU Florence benefit from the opportunity to participate directly in the high-level political, social and cultural policy dialogues organized throughout the year on our campus. During the previous academic year, for example, interested students had the opportunity to meet the first female U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and the former prime ministers of Italy and Great Britain, Romano Prodi and Gordon Brown. Selected students had the opportunity to have breakfast or lunch with these global policy makers, with prominent political correspondents for The New York Times and The Economist and with Nobel Prize winning economists. Through the volunteer program of La Pietra Dialogues, interested students also have the opportunity to participate directly in the organization of the events that bring these outstanding figures to NYU Florence.
NYU Florence is also the opportunity to enjoy the atmosphere of a small college campus while studying abroad. An extremely low student to faculty ratio (approximately 6 to 1), ensures small class size; many of the courses are therefore organized partly or entirely as seminars. Our 57-acre estate, comprised of olive groves and gardens, contains five villas that provide a home to NYU Florence. Of these, Villa La Pietra is an outstanding example of a house museum and contains the extraordinary collection of art assembled by its early twentieth-century owners, Arthur and Hortense Mitchell Acton. Students enjoy the opportunity to "live" Villa La Pietra during: visits to the collection; poetry readings, concerts, performances and lectures that take place inside the villa; and during class, since the artworks, historic costumes, photographs, and monumental gardens, are used integrally by many courses offered throughout the academic year.
LPD convenes some of the world’s foremost scholars, policy makers, practitioners, business leaders, public intellectuals and artists whose ideas and work have made a significant cultural or intellectual contribution to global society and the revival of the spirit of humanism for which Florence is known. They gather at Villa la Pietra, New York University's exceptional site in Florence, to confront some of the most intractable issues of contemporary society through the creative interplay of ideas and perspectives.
LPD fosters the creation of partnerships across disciplines, cultures and institutions, as an established center in the heart of Europe attached to an American university with branches throughout the world, and contributes to the emerging global civic discourse that is at the heart of NYU’s mission as a global network university.
Academic Calendar: Fall/Spring/Full Year
Credits: 12 to 18 NYU credits
Faculty: 60 instructors
350 fall semester
375 spring semester
(includes 100 freshman)
Course Language: English & Italian
University of Florence
Housing: On-campus villas, Off-campus residences, Homestays
Meals: On-campus cafeteria option
Staff: 25 admin staff
Population of Florence: 400,000
Official Language: Italian
Villa La Pietra is the jewel in the crown of New York University's global program. Bequeathed to NYU in 1994 by Sir Harold Acton, the Florentine study abroad campus consists of 5 historic villas and 57 acres of gardens and olive groves. Villa La Pietra, the Acton Collection, and the Garden are maintained as they were by the Acton family and serve as an inspiration to all who live and study on the campus.