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Living and Learning in Florence: Independent Stay and Language Study

Program No. 21743RJ
Live in an apartment in this iconic city, learn to speak Italian during daily language classes and get to know Florence like a Florentine on this independent living adventure.

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We want your Road Scholar learning adventure to be something to look forward to—not worry about. Learn more

Protecting the Environment

We offset a portion of the emissions created by your travel. Learn more

Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
Select your type of room
Price will update based on selection
Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.


1 Bed Apartment 2 Bed Apartment
Filling Fast!
Apr 19 - Jun 2, 2024
1 Bed Apartment 9,799
2 Bed Apartment 10,299
Sep 27 - Nov 10, 2024
1 Bed Apartment 9,799
2 Bed Apartment 10,299


1 Bed Apartment
Apr 19 - Jun 2, 2024
1 Bed Apartment 12,899
Sep 27 - Nov 10, 2024
1 Bed Apartment 12,899

At a Glance

Inspired by Florence’s timeless beauty and youthful energy, become a Renaissance man or woman on this immersive six-week adventure. Live in an apartment in this fashionable city, learn to speak Italian through daily language classes and get to know Florence like a Florentine. While you experience living in a new country independently, you’ll be supported by a Road Scholar Group Leader who’s always on call to help.
Activity Level
Let's Go!
Florence is a walking city; the best, and sometimes only, way to get around is on foot. You must be able to walk at least 2.5 miles per day as you will need to walk to school, get grocery, to go anywhere. Uneven terrain, cobblestone streets, and many unavoidable stairs. On field trips, walking up to two miles.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 13 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Live like a Florentine as you move into your own well-located city apartment and discover nearby cafés, shops and more.
  • Up your Italian at a renowned language school whether you're a beginner or speak "un po'."
  • Join your Group Leader and fellow participants for weekly field trips and a weekend excursion to Tuscan hill towns.

General Notes

Our “Living and Learning” programs give you the experience of living in a foreign country independently. Included: an apartment; a local, full-time Group Leader to support you; a few meals; choice of language classes; a weekly expert-led field trip; a weekly café social; one weekend-long excursion to Tuscany, including hotel; and a city handbook. Due to the special nature of this program, we regret that we are unable to match solo participants with roommates. Because of the special nature of this program, we request that you call us to enroll. Please call toll free at (800) 454-5768, Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 9 p.m. ET
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
8 1/2
by Federico Fellini (Director)
Widely believed to be his finest work, Federico Fellini's semi-autobiographical look at a director who's lost his inspiration is a gorgeous and surrealistic masterpiece that dreamily blurs the line between reality and fantasy. Blu-ray edition.
The Food Lover's Guide to Florence, With Culinary Excursions in Tuscany
by Emily Wise Miller
Miller polled neighbors, friends, cooks and ordinary folk for this delectable guide to 125 eateries, organized by neighborhood.
The House of Medici, Its Rise and Fall
by Christopher Hibbert
A well-written, entertaining history of the Medicis in Renaissance Florence. Great to read before going to Florence, where the influence of the Medicis and the artists they supported is still very much in evidence.
La Bella Lingua
by Dianne Hales
Inebriated with the sounds of Italian, lovesick for its phrases and enamored of its earthy idioms, Hales, "a sensible woman of sturdy Polish stock," dives into the Italian of the piazza, literature, movies and streets in this charming memoir.
La Bella Figura, A Field Guide to the Italian Mind
by Beppe Severgnini
Italians themselves love this guide to the Italian character, which addresses their never-ending passion for beauty, disorder and high emotion. The book opens with a snapshot of Malpensa Airport, then moves on to Tuscany, Rome, Naples and Sardinia.
La Dolce Vita
by Marcello Mastroianni
As his distraught girlfriend commits suicide and he becomes enamored with a film star (played by the beautiful Anita Ekberg), columnist-playboy Marcello searches for meaning. An enduring classic, set in Rome. Originally released in 1960.
The Birth of Venus, A Novel
by Sarah Dunant
A rich novel of art, passion and patronage, memorably set in late 15th-century Florence and prominently featuring the famously pious reformer Savonarola.
D.H. Lawrence and Italy
by D.H. Lawrence
This omnibus Penguin Classics edition includes Lawrence's three travel tales, each very different in tone and all wonderful: Sea and Sardinia is a nostalgic look at traditional ways of life; Twilight in Italy, an evocation of Lawrence's memorable stay on Lake Garda; and Etruscan Places, his musings on ancient sites, including the painted tombs of Tarquinia.
The Great Beauty
by Toni Servillo
After his 65th birthday, witty and arrogant novelist Jep Gambardella is blindsided by an ex-lover’s secret. He begins re-examining his lavish lifestyle (nightclubs, parties and cafes) and looking for a different side of Rome. Originally released in 2013.
Florence Map
by Berndtson & Berndtson
A detailed, plastic-covered city map of Florence at a scale of 1:7,000.
The Art of the Renaissance
by Peter Murray
A classic, illustrated survey of the world of the Renaissance and its art. With chapters on Florence and its artists, the Netherlands, early illustrated books and many individual artists.
Brunelleschi's Dome
by Ross King
The story of the design and construction of the dome in the cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, a tale rife with politics, cut-throat competition and mighty inspiration.
The Agony and the Ecstasy, A Biographical Novel of Michelangelo
by Irving Stone
An overheated, page-turning fictionalized account of the life of master painter and sculptor Michelangelo -- and a good introduction to Renaissance Florence and Rome.
The Art of Travel
by Alain de Botton
A digressive riff on desire, happiness and how best to experience travel by the Proust scholar and philosopher Alain de Botton who asks: "What is the point of traveling?"
Eyewitness Guide Florence & Tuscany
by Eyewitness Guides
Superbly illustrated, this compact guide shows the neighborhoods, museums, shops and sites of Florence and surroundings in full color.
The Italians
by John Hooper
Italy correspondent for The Economist Hooper explores Italy -- its baffling contradictions, unique character and contemporary culture -- in this illuminating portrait.
Architecture of the Renaissance, From Brunelleschi to Palladio
by Bertrand Jestaz
Originating in Florence, the flowering of architecture in 15th-century Italy revolutionized the look of European cities and the mindsets of their citizens. This lavishly illustrated pocket book presents the people, the time and its monuments in hundreds of color photographs and engravings.
Compact Oxford Italian Dictionary
by Loredana Riu (Editor), Francesca Logi (Editor), Pat Bulhosen (Editor)
This hefty companion covers more than 90,000 words and phrases with helpful sections on grammar and culture to better prepare the traveler for a visit to Italy.
The Renaissance, A Short History
by Paul Johnson
The history, background, literature, sculpture, paintings and architecture of the Renaissance in just over 200 lively, thought-provoking pages.
Tea With Mussolini
by Franco Zeffirelli (Director)
Zeffirelli's enchanting autobiographical film about a boy in Florence in the years before World War II, with a cast of great English and American actresses.
Saving Italy, The Race to Rescue a Nation's Treasures from the Nazis
by Robert M. Edsel
In this intense history, Edsel brings readers into WWII-era Milan, the Vatican and beyond, discussing the near destruction of The Last Supper and other timeless works at the hands of the fascists.
Survival Kit for Overseas Living
by L. Robert Kohls
With chapters on cultural baggage, stereotypes and common complaints of American expats, this intercultural classic is perfect for study abroad.
Bicycle Thieves
by Vittorio De Sica
When Antonio Ricci is unable to find work and his bicycle is stolen, the man becomes desperate to support himself and his son. Set in Rome. Winner of the Oscar for Best Foreign Film.
Toscanelli's Ray
by Wallis Wilde-Menozzi
Wilde-Menozzi’s critically acclaimed novel explores traditional themes of expatriation, immigration and evil within the microcosm of late-20th century Florence and within the span of 15 hours.
The City of Florence, Historical Vistas and Personal Sightings
by R.W.B. Lewis
A vivid tour of the city and its riches by the fine biographer of Edith Wharton and Henry James. Lewis has written what he calls "a partial biography of Florence," beautifully interweaving the personal and the historical.
In Other Words
by Jhumpa Lahiri
In this complex memoir, award-winning author Jhumpa Lahiri moves to Rome and immerses herself in Italian. Her dual-language book chronicles her courtship with the language, the Italian culture and the difficulties of linguistic exile.
Fodor's Florence's 25 Best
by Fodor's
This shirt-pocket guide includes an excellent map and essential information on the city's highlights, including sightseeing, restaurants and shopping.

Important registration tip:
If you want to attend the live lecture, please do not wait until the last minute to enroll.
If you enroll after a lecture is complete, we’ll send you a recording of the event.