Art history semester course, Britain, France & Italy

Art, power, politics, modernism, cookery & culture!


12 weeks


From £21,000


London, Paris, Venice, Florence, Rome

In brief

Starting college in the spring or taking a Gap Year? Why not kick start your time doing something worthwhile with this amazing leap into European culture.

This is our most expansive course and influential programme. For the first six weeks students travel in the UK, France exploring art, architecture, food, culture and much more and then Tuscany, to Montepulciano, a lovely hill top town  where they will follow a 2 week intensive italian course.

For the second six weeks they join other students who are studying on the Autumn Gap Year Course. Travelling across the whole of Italy, You will visit Venice,Castelfranco  Bologna, Florence, Siena and Roma with day trips to San Gimignano, Verona, Naples, Pompei


The aim is to give students the greatest experience of Italy and a better understanding the ‘art world’. It is an ambitious programme with interests that spread from the ancient world in Rome and Naples to the Renaissance in Florence and contemporary art in Venice.

You will learn about Leonardo, appreciate Titian and understand why we should all know about Michelangelo. There are dozens of artists you will come to know as well as reading great poets, ancient and modern, understanding rhetoric (Cicero) and appreciating architecture…

For those interested in the ‘art world’ or international affairs, or history, this programme is a wonderful and unique opportunity. The range of experiences greatly enhances cultural capital and, coming at the beginning of a gap year, is often considered a good first step to independent travelling.


The aim of our stay in London is to absorb the great collections of art as well as to lay down the groundwork for the rest of European history. Our programme of visits will focus on the levers of the state: Monarchy, Republicanism, Law and the Church. Equally, we will focus on art and architecture and the literary renaissance of the English language – Shakespeare. We will visit many of the greatest monuments in London with a weekend visit to Oxford. The British Museum and the other great institutions will be on the tour, as well as lesser-known sites and private collections. In the evenings, there will be options to go to the theatre, embark on a short history of film and perhaps even go to the football.


Set in the wonderful Warwickshire countryside, with acres of parkland and woodland to enjoy, and teepees and yurts to sleep in, this is designed as a break from the hurly burly of city life before plunging into Paris.  We have time to explore on foot and by bike.  We then spend a day celebrating Shakespeare and visiting Stratford-upon-Avon where he was born and brought up.


Having established the foundations of Europe in London we will enjoy the flair and sheer beauty of Paris. Naturally, we will take in those great collections built of art from elsewhere, such as the Louvre, but the main thrust of Paris will be to appreciate the birth of modern painting from the Impressionists, through Post Impressionism, to Picasso and Modernism. This is the kernel of Paris and what makes it a unique cultural centre. While in Paris, we will learn much about food, to be sure.


After a week in Paris we head by train to the south of France where the group will be based in Nice with day trips to the surrounding area.  This area has lured actors, composers and artists for more than a century who found themselves lifted to higher planes of creativity.  We will have a chance to study works by Matisse, Picasso, Chagall, Cocteau, Léger, Miró, Giacometti and Renoir.


After a heady month of intense culture, we feel it would be appropriate to relax in the Italian sun for two weeks. While staying in Montepulciano, students will be able to take up courses in Italian language, drawing and cookery. The idea is to use our time well and explore new skills.

The course is carefully constructed but, at the same time, we are interested in everything; drawings, contemporary art, conservation, gardens, music as well as painting, architecture and sculpture.


Only AHA offers a course where the work of art and the student come joint first.
The tutor is there to impart knowledge, frame information and foster discussion.

Interested? Then make an enquiry.

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