Summer language programmes

The SIE Summer School in Italian language and culture is aimed at creating a true Venetian experience, by offering courses in Italian language combined with specific culture modules such as art history, Italian design, contemporary Venice, Italian literature and culture, as well as activities that put students in direct contact with life in Venice.

Students can take programmes in beginner, elementary and intermediate Italian (held from Monday to Friday) which are taught by qualified native language experts in classrooms with full multimedia access and air conditioning. Culture modules are taught in English.

Programme dates

    • Beginners (2 weeks / 40 hours Italian + 10 hr culture module)
    • June 19-30; July 3-14
    • Elementary (2 weeks / 40 hours Italian + 10 hr culture module)
    • July 3-14; July 17-28
    • Intermediate (3 weeks / 50 hours Italian + 10 hr culture module)
    • July 17-August 4

    Programmes will be activated for each level based on a minimum number of participants.

    Please note that attendance is obligatory for a final transcript to be issued.

    Culture modules

    Venice and the Renaissance

    The course will focus on the main factors which contribute to give rise to the splendour of Venice during the Renaissance. We will consider the major works of art of painters like Vittore Carpaccio, Gentile and Giovanni Bellini, Giorgione, Tiziano, Tintoretto, Veronese and architects like the Lombardo brothers, Andrea Palladio and Baldassare Longhena. In the course of our lessons and through possible visits to the city’s main sites, we will focus on the historical and stylistic analysis of Venice’s most meaningful works of art and gain a better understanding of what has come to constitute the myth of this enchanted city.

    Venice: history, culture and traditions

    This lecture will look at the pivotal historical developments of Venice and its role in the larger Venetian Republic, the Serenissima, as well as the development of its unique culture and traditions.

    Italian design

    Italy is renowned for being a global leader in design, producing luxury goods and setting trends all over the world. From interior design to industrial design, from architecture to fashion, "Made in Italy" has become a label that is synonymous with high-quality, innovative creativity and immaculate execution. This course will provide an overview of Italian design in all its forms, and will investigate how its fundamentals can be seen in Venetian artistic production, including a visit to Murano, a small island in the Venetian lagoon that is widely acknowledged as being the center for glass-making and home to the world's most prominent glass factories.

    Venetian gardens

    The course explores the development of the garden as a cultural artifact in Venice and her territories on the mainland.  From smallholdings used for growing food, the lagoon garden became gradually imbued with metaphorical, religious and spiritual significance, so that by around 1500, Venice boasted a dazzling diversity of garden types: monastery and physic gardens, botanical gardens, philosophical gardens and gardens for theatrical and musical entertainment. The history of the garden provides a valuable and fascinating perspective on the political and cultural history of the Venetian Republic.

    Italian cuisine: the fundamentals

    Pasta and pizza, mozzarella and olive oil, these are some of the most commonly cited foods when talking about Italian cuisine, but there is so much more! This course will cover the fundamentals of Italian cooking:  essential flavours and ingredients, traditional combinations and regional variation, how a meal is structured, and the role and place of Italian cooking within Italian culture. Please note that this module is not intended to be a cooking class.


    Accommodation in Venice's city centre is included (shared double or triple room). For specific needs or requests please let us know well in advance; requests may incur additional costs.

    Italian language courses for partner Universities

    Upon request, the School can organise Italian language programmes for partner Universities which aim to create a true experience of life in Venice. The programmes can be combined with courses on Venetian and Italian culture, and can include numerous activities such as guided visits of the city and its museums, excursions in the lagoon and its surroundings, cultural events organised by Ca’ Foscari (theatre, music, cinema, writers conferences....), and cultural workshops, among many others.

    Contact us to find out how!

    The School organises a variety of activities which aim to give students the opportunity to "live" Venice, to learn about its rich culture, past and present, and to get to know each other at the same time.

    Students can participate in these activities through the application form; once applications close we will let you know whether the activity will take place (they will be activated based on a minimum number of participants).

    In 2017 the School is offering the following activities:

    • International Art Exhibition: Biennale d'Arte - a 3 day pass with a guided visit of the main exhibition space (€34)
    • Tour of the city centre - an insider’s guide to San Marco (€30)
    • Dragonboating through the canals - experience Venice from the water (€40)
    • Visit to Murano Island (€30)
    • Museum pass + guided visit (€57)
      The museum pass can be used for one entry to the following:

      • St Mark’s Square Museums: Doge’s Palace, Monumental Rooms of the Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, Archaeological Museum, Correr Museum and current exhibition
      • Venice Civic Museums:Museum of Natural History, Ca’ Rezzonico, Carlo Goldoni’s House, Museum of Palazzo Mocenigo, Glass Museum of Murano, Ca’ Pesaro, and Lace Museum of Burano

    Public Transport in Venice

    Students are highly recommended to purchase a "Venezia Unica City Pass" for use on the public transport system in Venice (vaporetti). The cards can be requested at the main ACTV offices at Piazzale Roma, Tronchetto and Rialto. The card costs €50 and can then be loaded with either a monthly pass (€37) or a "carnet" of 10 tickets (€14).*

    For more information please see the ACTV website.

    *Current prices as of January, 2017

    Fees 2017

    • 2 weeks / 40 hours Italian (Beginners or Elementary)
      + 1 culture module
    • + accommodation 13 nights: €1,250
    • 3 weeks / 50 hours Italian (Intermediate)
      + 1 culture module
    • + accommodation 20 nights: €1,650
    • Extra culture module: €170

    Course costs cover all instruction (additional tutorial hours can be scheduled if requested), student administration (including the issue of a final transcript) and orientation. All students will have access to the University Wifi network in all University buildings (including the libraries and the cafeterias).

    Students who do not require accommodation pay €760 for 2-week programmes, and €890 for 3-week programmes.

    Students at Ca' Foscari

    Students enrolled at Ca' Foscari, or who are visiting for a period of time (exchange students, joint/double degree students, visiting students), will receive a 20% discount on the programme cost (not including accommodation).