Living in Florence
Life in Florence
Florence and the surrounding area offers rich resources for your art, and SACI provides the cultural guidance and support you need to make your study abroad adventure a success. Our two Renaissance palazzi and most of our student residences are located in the historic center of the city, and fully-furnished housing, just steps from SACI, allows you to live independently and explore the local area on your own terms.
Travel and Transportation
The capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany, Florence has approximately 380,000 inhabitants and is a relatively small city. Most of the activities that constitute the Florentine lifestyle take place in the city's historical center. Florence attracts visitors from all over the world and is home to a large expat community, making the city a diverse cosmopolitan municipality. Florence is safe city, with an energetic and community-based lifestyle.
There are a variety of transportation services available in Florence, making it easy to move around and explore. Walking and biking are common modes of transportation, as well as buses, trains, and trams. Because it is centrally located on the Italian peninsula, Florence is also an excellent base from which to travel around Italy, and it is easy to catch a train to Rome, Milan, Venice, or Naples. As part of the curriculum, many SACI courses travel outside Florence for on-site learning at museums, monuments, and artists’ studios and workshops.
Arts and Culture
The city center of Florence, with its Roman, Gothic and Renaissance influences, is a Unesco World Heritage site that attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. Art, literature, music, and film are all important to the city’s culture and identity, and countless museums, churches, and other architectural marvels await you at every turn.
When you live in Florence, you will be just minutes away from famous monuments, museums, and churches such as the Duomo, the Uffizi Gallery, the Galleria dell’Accademia, and Boboli Gardens. In addition to breathtaking creations by famous artists and architects such Michelangelo, Da Vinci, Botticelli and Brunelleschi. While support for local artisans remains strong, the contemporary art scene also continues to grow. Art exhibitions, festivals, concerts, screenings, markets, and other events take place throughout the year and SACI students regularly participate in these community events and Italian holiday celebrations. MFA students at SACI also have the opportunity to exhibit their work in local galleries throughout Florence.
English is widely spoken in Florence due to the large expat community, but learning the Italian language will help you gain more from your experience in the city. SACI offers Italian language courses that will help you better understand and appreciate Italian literature, artwork, music, and even daily life. For those students who do not wish to enroll in an Italian language course, SACI offers in the Fall and Spring an extracurricular evening course entitled “Survival Italian.” During the first three weeks of the term, students meet twice a week to learn words and phrases to help them deal with everyday life in Italy.
While studying at SACI, you’ll have the opportunity to learn about traditions and customs that are vital to the Italian way of life. From food and coffee to music and fashion, you’ll get to know the customs and discover the community-based lifestyle that embodies the city. You can explore antique markets and small shops that line the street, browse for fresh produce at the market, or enjoy an afternoon espresso coffee or passeggiata (a stroll around the city).
Learn more about living in Florence with these helpful tips from SACI alumni.