Living and Learning in Florence

The Experience: Living and Learning in Florence as a Florentine

Study, live, experience. Build your life-changing experience in the birthplace of the Renaissance. This unique city has always inspired the thoughts and creations of artists and travelers: Galileo, Leonardo, Machiavelli, Brunelleschi, Dante, Donatello are just some of the geniuses that have walked the streets that our students stroll through today, surrounded by the widespread beauty that becomes daily nourishment for their learning path. It is in this way that every single formative opportunity becomes part of a global cultural experience, from the lessons in Art History to those of cooking. Everything connects and acquires meaning. Florence is therefore the place where experiential learning becomes real and where students are truly immersed in the cultural and social context.
While having at their disposal the most extraordinary of the classroom, AEF students also learn at Palazzo Niccolini, a historical building that dates back to the 15th century and that was home to a famous Italian Thespian. The learning experience is therefore a combination of lectures in the beautiful frescoed rooms of the school, onsite-classes around the city and in Tuscany, endless activities and authentic cultural immersion. Florence becomes their home; AEF students live in typical apartments within a walking distance from the school, so that they can experience Florentine everyday-life just as real Italians. Our students are not tourists, but citizens of Florence, even if only temporarily.


We are proud and very fortunate to have the whole city as a single, great classroom available to us and to our students. An open-air museum, a three-dimensional encyclopedia of art, a miracle of beauty and harmony; in reality, Florence is much more: it is a living and breathing place, in which the word culture acquires a wider meaning, merging with the life style and with the very idea of humanism. For all these reasons, which are deeply rooted in our identity as Italians and educators, we have developed a method that combines classroom lessons and on-site lessons, workshops, cultural and voluntary activities, as well as an intense program of performances and exhibitions in the most prestigious sights in the city. So that the Study Abroad experience may be a real moment of personal and intellectual growth for the young travelers of the contemporary Grand Tour.


Dimensions are important: Florence is a medium-sized city, perfect for walking. The entire city center can easily be walked on foot and the location of our school is strategic: Palazzo Niccolini, home of AEF, is located in Via Cavour, 37, in the heart of the historic center, between Piazza del Duomo and Piazza San Marco. The Palace was built in the 16th century, when Via Cavour was still called Via Larga and had been chosen by the Medici family as an axis of economic and financial development of the city. In the 19th century, the palace became the home of Giovan Battista Niccolini, an important Florentine tragedian, to whom the Teatro located in Via Ricasoli is also named, and where he died in 1861. Recently restored and equipped with the most modern technologies, Palazzo Niccolini is today the ideal environment for students, artists and musicians from all over the world. A Palace of the Arts in the City of the Arts.