Arts in Venice Summer School 
The shape of water

Arts in Venice Summer School: The shape of water, is the first example of an inter-university summer school in Venice.

Conceived within Study in Venice, a project that brings together the four main higher education institutions in Venice - the Venice Academy of Fine Arts, the Benedetto Marcello Music Conservatory, Ca' Foscari University and Iuav University of Venice - the summer school students from the Humanities who want to better understand a unique and fragile city like Venice, and with an interest in Arts, meant in a broad sense, from Music to Contemporary Art, from Architecture to Geo-Anthropological History. The topic of the 2024 edition of the Summer School will be water, the key element to decipher the city built on the lagoon.

Programme overview

Venice is a gauge whereby to measure the problems involved when building a global future capable of combining liveability and beauty and the relevant solutions, which is why Study in Venice has chosen to offer a Summer School which focuses on the lagoon city. As a candidate for World Capital of Sustainability, Venice boasts a unique artistic, musical and urban heritage and a major international role as a center for the promotion and dissemination of contemporary art and culture. Its dimension as a globally interconnected microcosm, the complexity of the lagoon ecosystem – which is threatened by climate change –, the socio-economic problems linked to tourist flows and their impact on urban liveability, and above all it liquid nature as a city founded on and influenced by water, make the city of Venice a fascinating case study that offers those who live there and study it the measure of the paradoxes and contemporary difficulties inherent in the search for cultural, ecological and social models.

The project: multidisciplinarity, workshops and international atmosphere

THE SHAPE OF WATER is an experimental, multidisciplinary training project that aims at welcoming diverse students from all over the world who wish to experience Venice together in order to draw inspiration from it and build an original narrative vision of the lagoon city. Students will be guided by professors from the four partner institutions on a journey combining the hands-on exploration of the city with guided tours and university lectures on Archaeology, Architecture, Art and Music History, Performing Arts and Environmental Science.

All participants will attend workshops to combine the skills acquired during the lectures and field study activities into an artistic performance or artifact. At the end of the Summer School, students are expected to work on a final project according to their academic backgrounds and personal interests, which will let them develop some of the inspirations they got during the two-week program. Masterclasses for musicians will be held also with internationally renowned artists and concert opportunities in Venice will be provided for the most outstanding participating music students.

Teaching Committee

  • Maddalena Bassani (Iuav University of Venice)
  • Cecilia Franchini (Benedetto Marcello Music Conservatory)
  • Stefano Riccioni (Ca' Foscari University of Venice)
  • Giuliano Sergio (Academy of Fine Arts of Venice)

Programme Director: Stefano Riccioni


All lessons and activities take place in the four institutions and around the city.



Fees for the full 2 weeks cost €750


Last update: 21/05/2024