Study Abroad in Viterbo, central Italy

July 4th , 2016 Tagged with:

Villa Lante, a perfect place for sketching class


Besides traditional tourism,  thermal tourism  and the booming  trend of pilgrims  walking  the Via Francigena,  the central Italian  province  of Viterbo, stretching from Tuscany  to Rome, has been discovered by another type of foreign visitor: those wishing  to study in central Italy.

For the past 15 years the area has been targeted  by scholars and educators of all types and levels from   children and  teens  to specialized  courses in art, book conservation and archeology, all adding  new resources to the area.


San Pellegrino, Viterbo

The first international  school program  to set up in Viterbo was the SYA School Year Abroad in 2001.  Headmasters Jeff Bradley and Patrick Scanlon and  a core of locally based  instructors  are joined by a rotating staff of teachers  from the associated American schools. The  classrooms are located in a prestigious  frescoed building in the  historic center. Students   choose  SYA in Viterbo  for  the opportunity to study   Italian, Latin, history of art and ancient history  on site in Italy.   Approximately   800   16-18 year olds  arriving from all 50 states, have enjoyed a year abroad in Viterbo, living  with local families   in order to improve their language skills.


tuscania ainsley view

S. Ainsley, view of Tuscania, then known as Toscanella

The Lorenzo de Medici  Institute with main headquarters in Florence, has been operating In the town of Tuscania since 2005 . The program runs  year round with about 80 American students annually who  follow courses of Italian language , history, cooking and archeology, often digging along with Italian  students. New courses  include organic agriculture to learn about the  products  of Tuscia such as extra virgin olive oil and wines (Wines of Italy, pairing wine and food) .

USAC group 2005

USAC students in Viterbo, 2005

Since 2006  USAC – University Study Abroad Consortium- has been working together  with  the Università della Tuscia to offer courses to numerous  students coming from about 70 American colleges. The courses run year round and  include Italian language, historic studies, creative writing  and photography. USAC has  programs also in Turin, Reggio Emilia and Verona.

meeting old friends

USAC students return to Viterbo

Beginning in 2010 St. Thomas International School has offered bilingual education to primary school children living in Northern Lazio.  Children from nursery school to 5th elementary  flock to the  school, set up  in a former seminary next to the S. Trinità church in Viterbo,  from as far away as Orvieto.

Each July  for the last decade  the historic center of Viterbo  hosts  young artists from Montserrat School of Art. They  use the medieval quarter and  the historic center   as their outdoor classrooms.

Northwest Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies in Italy  (NIAUSI)  exists for promoting excellence in design through education and cultural exchange   between the United States and Italy.  The headquarters  of the program are in  tiny Civita di Bagnoregio and the fame of the “dying city “ lures  mature  artists who love Italy. Each year artists such as Stephanie Bower of Seattle bring small groups to live and work “under the Tuscia Sun “.

Similar programs for artists  are installed in Civita Castellana, thanks to Maddine Insalaco and Joe Vinson of New York and Israelian artist , Israel Herschberg. They organize workshops  for painting en plein air,  in spring  and  summer , following in the footsteps of Corot and other Grand Tour artists who immortalized the landscapes of Monte Soratte, the Tiber valley and the Via Flaminia.

The specialized school  Ecole Francaise de Rome, has  organized archeological digs  in July  for many years,  The most recent  campaign of excavations  is at  the Etruscan site known as Grotta Scalina  between Viterbo and Tuscania. Here young French archeologists  learn  how  to  excavate while bringing  to the light the  ancient history of the area.

The library of the Barbarigo Seminary in Montefiascone has a renewed life  thanks to Cheryl Porter who each summer brings students from all over the world  to learn about book conservation and  patrimony. Montefiascone Conservation Project organizes  four weeks of seminars for librarians, conservators and persons interested in the history and conservation of antique books.

27 dec 2014 010

Books used by several study abroad programs


For more information about study abroad programs, click on the direct links.

Back to the top