Semester in Florence

Semester in Florence

  •  The compact city center puts the history, art and architecture of the Renaissance right at your doorstep.
  • Be a part of the community, not just a tourist, living in your own Florentine apartment or in a homestay and enjoying restaurants and cafes throughout the city with your RICHMOND meal vouchers.
  • Experience the culinary side of Italian culture with wine tasting and cooking classes. Explore Italy’s artistic heritage with visits to museums, art galleries and monuments.
  • Located in the Palazzo Michelozzi, a 16th century palace between the Arno River and the Pitti Palace, the Richmond Study Center is a few minutes walk from the Ponte Vecchio, Piazza della Signoria, the Uffizi Gallery, the Duomo and many of the great Florentine museums. Via Maggio is a famous street for antique shops in the historic center of town. The center occupies the ground floor and the piano nobile or first floor above ground level. With its elegant, gracious rooms, the center serves as a convenient, attractive, welcoming environment for students and teachers.
  • The Richmond Study Center has a reading room with a selected library containing texts relevant to research paper topics. Students may also use the extensive collections available to them in Florence. Students have special membership access to The British Institute Library, which has more than 60,000 volumes—the largest English language library in continental Europe. Its comfortable reading room overlooks the Arno River.

Application Deadlines

One-week orientation in Pietrasanta (Fall Semester)

Spending a week in small, charming town on the beautiful Tuscan coast gives students the unique opportunity to become familiar with the Italian lifestyle, culture and language. Richmond runs a comprehensive orientation in this beach town which covers academic expectations, policies and procedures, living arrangements, behavior expectations and disciplinary policies and health and safety information.

Marina di Pietrasanta is located on the Versilia Riviera, well known for its 30 miles of sandy beaches. Its perfect location in Northern Tuscany, beautiful promenade along the seashore with outdoors cafés, restaurants, shops and natural setting of the Apuan Alps make it the ideal place to explore the local nature, art and culture. In addition to orientation meetings and activities, the Richmond program organizes several trips to nearby towns to help students discover this region like. Pisa, with its famous leaning tower and Lucca, a well preserved medieval town enclosed in 16th century walls. Students visit the Apuan Alps, a range of high mountains with steep, rocky peaks, which are also known as “marble mountains” where Michelangelo got his “white marble” and the town of Pietrasanta, known for its numerous studios where several artists, especially sculptors, live and work.

Students will also visit the Cinque Terre, known for its five miles of rocky coast, vineyards and charming villages.

The path that winds along the coast and connects all the villages is the most famous and spectacular one and is called the “blue path” (sentiero azzurro). Students can walk part of the path during their visit.


Students enjoy a wide variety of cultural and social activities in addition to swimming in the Mediterranean Sea and walking along the sandy beaches. Activities and sports with Italians are organized to help students meet locals and practice the language.


Students will be housed and have breakfast and dinner in a comfortable hotel across the street from the beach. The hotel has a nice garden and students will have access to a private beach.

One-week orientation in Rome (Spring Semester)

Included in program fee for non EU students.

During the morning students must attend mandatory orientation sessions on safety, academics, volunteer program, housing and health. In the afternoon local guides will introduces students to Rome’s history. Students will visit the main museums and places of interest, including the Vatican Museums and St. Peter’s Basilica, the Colosseum and Fori Imperiali.

It includes bed and breakfast in a hotel, entrance fees. Group dinners are organized every night.


In Italy, RICHMOND offers trips to historic Rome and enchanting Venice, plus semester students will spend 1 week in Marina di Pietrasanta (fall) or Rome (spring) for orientation.

Field Trip to Rome (Fall Semester– 3 Days)

Included in program fee for non EU students.

During the excursion a local guide will introduce you to Rome’s history. You will visit the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, the Campidoglio and more of Rome’s most famous sites such as the Spanish steps, the Pantheon, and the Trevi Fountain. The tour also includes visits to Piazza Navona, Campo dei Fiori, Piazza Farnese and Palazzo Spada.

You will also have the opportunity to visit the Vatican museums, admire Michelangelo’s stunning frescoes inside the Sistine Chapel, the magnificent Raphael rooms and St. Peter’s Basilica.

Sunday morning free. If the Pope is in Rome you will be able to go to St. Peter’s Square to attend the mass.

Includes bed and breakfast, travel, entrance fees and sightseeing as indicated. Lunch and dinner are not included.

Field trip to Venice (2 Days)

In Venice students will be guided by a local guide and visit the main museums and places of interest including St. Mark’s Square, St. Mark’s Cathedral and Doges Palace, the Accademia and the Guggenheim Museums.  Enjoy a free time for individual activities.

Includes bed and breakfast, travel, entrance fees and sightseeing as indicated. Lunch and dinner are not included.

Siena (Day visit)

One of the loveliest cities in Italy, Siena is surrounded by red clay hills from which the color sienna is named. The city welcomes you with its motto, Cor magis tibi Sena pandit (Siena opens its heart to you) inscribed on the Camollia Gate. See the Campo, the main square, where the famous Palio horse race is staged twice a year. Explore the narrow cobblestone streets lined with palace and patrician mansions before returning to Florence.