Last Updated on November 9, 2023 by AIFS Abroad
Of course, there’s no bad time to go to Italy. People have been flocking to this hotspot on the Mediterranean… probably since leisurely travel was first invented. No matter what you love to travel for — cuisine, culture, history — Italy’s is world-renowned. But there’s something special about summer in Italy that makes the country come alive, especially if you study abroad.
Here are a few of the many reasons why doing a study abroad program in summer in Italy will have you constantly saying, “Mamma mia!”
1. Best Time for Beaches
No matter how beautiful the city you’re staying in is (AIFS Abroad offers summer programs in Florence, Milan and Rome), at some point you’re going to want a break from the city heat and crowds and hit the beach. Luckily, train travel is extremely affordable in Italy, and you can have sand between your toes in no time! We recommend you do some sightseeing at the rocky shores of Scala dei Turchi, Sicily, endlessly wade into the crystal-clear waters of La Pelosa, Sardinia, or venture to the Tuscan beach town of Viareggio (just a quick trip from Florence!)!
2. Outdoor Opulence
Not much of a beach goer? The Italian summer offers so many more outdoor adventures. Up north, the ski towns of the Alps turn into a hiker’s heaven. Trentino — just 2.5 hours from Milan by car — boasts some of Italy’s best ski resorts, but in summer you have access to its extensive network of trails, with marvelous views at any turn. Be it the Alps themselves or the Alpine lakes, you’ll be beckoned to take a cool dip in during a hot hike. Cinque Terre to the west — also 2.5 hours by car, but this time from Florence — is a collection of towns overlooking the Ligurian Sea on the Italian Riviera, each one more delightful than the last. The towns each feature colorful, coastal buildings and vistas and are connected by gorgeous hiking trails based off an old mule path. When you study abroad in Italy during the summer, the options will be endless!
3. Perfect Time for Passeggiata
Do you ever take a little walk just to take a break and get outside? In Italy, that’s pretty much the custom every evening. The ritual of passeggiata is popular in most Italian piazzas and is basically just a relaxing stroll through the city center. Italian summer nights are the ideal time for passeggiata, when the sun goes down and the streets cool. It’s a popular time for dates, and young Italians are seen laughing and flirting up and down the street. Though it’s pretty informal in practice, people tend to dress up for the occasion, showing off new duds to fellow locals, particularly if they harbor a crush on someone sweet. Taking a passeggiata as a study abroad student during the summer is a great way to get involved in the local culture.
4. Summer Menu Selections
Food and Italy go hand-in-hand. During summer, Italians change the menu up a bit for lighter fare to pair with the heat. Summer is when some of the country’s vegetables are at their tastiest, especially zucchini, which tends to show up in a lot of dishes from pizza to focaccia. Cuisine in Italy tends to be regional, so you’ll find seafood is also especially popular this time of year along the country’s extensive coastline, particularly calamari and spaghetti alle vongole (spaghetti with clams). For a light snack there’s prosciutto and melon. And for dessert? A bit of gelato, of course.
5. Unique Holidays
Summer is also when a lot of essential Italian holidays occur. Festa della Repubblica (Republic Day) is held every year on June 2 in Rome and celebrates the 1946 Italian institutional referendum, which established the country a republic over a monarchy. A laurel wreath is presented to the Italian Unknown Soldier at the Altare della Patria by the Italian president, while the Italian Armed Forces march in a parade. There’s also Ferragosto, which is celebrated everywhere in the country and commemorates Emperor Augustus. Many locals flock to the beach on this day, making it a great time to explore your host city’s quieter streets while they’re gone!
For such a small peninsula, Italy is packed with fun and flavor, and a summer study abroad program will allow you to experience it between semesters!
If you’re considering a summer study abroad program in Italy, you’ve come to the right place. Here at AIFS Abroad, we offer incredible program options in Rome, Florence, and Milan. With inclusions such as tuition, housing, insurance, excursions and activities, on-site staff, and emergency support, you’ll have a stress-free global education experience. Don’t miss the opportunity to immerse yourself in Italian life and world-renowned cuisine while earning college credits in between spring and fall semester. Are you ready?