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Life in Tuscany


In Tuscany, student lodging is in Le Puscine, a former poderina (small farm) near Montelaterone. It consists of several buildings including a large, recently refurbished, stone main building with multiple apartments. The apartments have from one to three very generous bedrooms. Students sleep two to three to a room. Each apartment has a small kitchenette and private bathroom. Students also have access to a common room, a laundry room, and a swimming pool. There is a certified lifeguard on site while the pool is open. Pre-College students and chaperons are the sole guests of Le Puscine during the program.


Dinners are at l'Olivastra, a local restaurant specializing in regional cuisine. The program provides breakfast and dinner daily. A lunch is provided at Le Puscine. On select field trips, students are required to purchase lunch. Students should inform MICA of any special food needs or restrictions. Vegan diets cannot be accommodated, however, there are plenty of vegetarian options.

Drawing and Painting the Tuscan Landscape

The Pre-College Studio Residency curriculum in Tuscany is an intensive course, centered in Drawing and Painting the Tuscan landscape. Students gain a stronger understanding of both the landscape and their own creative vision through this college level experience with other talented students from around the U.S.

Taking advantage of the region's spectacular geography, focus is on the landscape. The course is individualized based on each student's experience. Students may work with a variety of materials, but emphasis is on acrylic painting and drawing. Instruction focuses on a student's personal voice, with painting styles ranging from traditional naturalism to abstraction. Students are also immersed in the culture of the region through several off site excursions including:

  • Siena, one of Italy's best-preserved towns. It is filled with outstanding examples of Gothic architecture. Siena is also famous for its markets and the Palio--a colorful, traditional horse race between neighborhoods
  • Il Giardino dei Tarocchi, to visit the Tarot Garden of famed sculptor Niki de Saint Phalle
  • The Mediterranean Sea, for painting and swimming
  • The thermal baths at Saturnia
  • Roselle, the ancient Etruscan and Roman town and amphitheater
  • Florence, once capital of the Kingdom of Italy and the place considered the birthplace of the Renaissance. It is the home of Michelangelo's David (housed in the Galleria dell'Accademia, with other works by Renaissance luminaries like Bronzini, Ghirlandaio, and Botticelli) and the Uffizi (where students can see masterpieces by Giotto, Piero della Francesca, Titian, Michelangelo, Caravaggio, and Botticelli). Students may also visit the Palazzo Pitti, where they can see Renaissance paintings by Raphael, Titian, Correggio, Rubens, and Pietro da Cortona. The Palazzo Pitti also has collections of 19th and 20th century Italian painting, as well as porcelain, carriages, theatrical costumes, and treasures from the Medici family collection. Other Florence sites include the Palazzo Strozzi, Boboli Gardens, La Fortezza, and San Marco.