Calder Classics


Summer in Florence : June 21 - July 2, 2017

Join us for this unique summer learning experience in Florence, Italy, designed for high school students with a desire to learn Latin and read great Latin literature.

Introduction to Reading Latin in Italy


Calder Classics invites high school students interested in learning to read Latin to join us in Florence in the summer of 2017. Over the course of a 12-day program, the Classics come alive through the study of the Latin language in a beautiful Italian setting surrounded by ancient and Renaissance art. 

We spend the time together in a stunning villa in the Oltrarno district of Florence. Immersed in an atmosphere shaped by classical history, our days consist of learning Latin grammar and vocabulary in preparation for reading the great authors of Latin literature. While in Florence students explore the historical treasures of Florence, visiting local monuments and churches. Evenings feature Italy’s many cultural, leisure and culinary offerings. We also travel to Rome for an exciting day to visit the ancient sites, observing the intersection between antiquity and modernity. 

Master Latin


Each day, beginning to intermediate level Latin students dedicate a morning and an afternoon session to learning the basics of the Latin language—including noun, adjective and participle declensions, verbs forms and other parts of speech, as well as the basics of Latin syntax. We use Learn to Read Latin, a textbook and workbook designed to help students acquire an ability to read and appreciate the great works of Latin literature as quickly as possible.

This course offers beginning to intermediate students of Latin an opportunity to advance their skills quickly through intensive personal attention, one-on-one help sessions and a high student/teacher ratio. Students complete the first six days with a foundation in the language sufficient enough to begin reading poets such as Catullus, Vergil and Ovid. The next six days are dedicated to reading excerpts from these great Latin writers, while continuing to work on grammar and vocabulary. Each day, students are led through some of the visual delights of Florence with their newfound Latin learning, which is guaranteed to enhance their experience and deepen their appreciation of the beautiful ancient and Renaissance art in this wondrous city. There will be some homework each evening, although we will also make time to enjoy Italy’s cultural, leisure and culinary offerings at the end of the day.  There will be two sections of Latin learners depending on a placement assessment. Students with little or no Latin experience will be placed in Beginning Latin, students with at least one year of Elementary Latin will be placed in Intermediate Latin.

The curriculum and end date of this course is coordinated to allow students to optionally continue with the more advanced Reading Latin + Art History course that immediately follows in Florence.  

Dive into Italy’s Art, Culture and History

Throughout the course, we engage with local Italian culture that is related thematically to, or directly inspired by, the literature that students read in their Latin or Italian classes back at school. We explore the treasures of Florence, a myriad of museums, monuments, churches, palazzos and piazzas, and view such Italian treasures as the Duomo of Florence, Santa Croce Basilica, the Fra Angelico frescoes at the Convent of San Marco and a selection of Last Supper paintings. We also take a day trip to Rome or other nearby places of interest.


Calder Classics Students Have Joined Us From…

Andover, Berkshire School, Brearley, Chapin, Charlotte Country Day School, Choate Rosemary Hall, Clark School, Collegiate, Columbia Prep, Dalton, The Dexter School, Dwight Englewood School, Exeter, Groton, Hackley, The Harker School, High School of RenMin University of China, Hotchkiss, Lawrenceville, Liberty High School, Manhattan Friends, Marymount, Middlesex, Milton Academy, Packer, Portsmouth Abbey, Princeton High School,  Riverdale, Sage Hill, Sage Ridge, Saint Ann's, Saint Ignatius College Prep, Second High School Attached to Beijing Normal University, Spence, St. Joseph, Stuyvesant, Taft, Trinity, Veritas Preparatory Academy and Woodrow Wilson... Add your school to the list!


Cindy Calder

Cindy Calder

Becky Goodman

Becky Goodman



We have use of a spectacular villa in the heart of the residential Oltrarno district of Florence. The little maze of streets, known for its gardens, basilicas and artisans, provides an intimate view of the creative talents that carry on centuries' worth of Florentine traditions from bookbinders and sculptors to metalworkers and gold-gilders. Flooded with light and color, the villa is accessible from via Santo Spirito, one of the chicest streets in the district. Inside, we have our own dedicated floor and classroom/library where we hold classes, study or just relax, along with a common kitchen and lounge. All rooms are doubles or triples. There is air conditioning and Internet service.

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Dates & Fees


Session 1: June 21 to July 2, 2017

The $5,000 fee includes accommodations, transportation within Italy, museum entries, instruction and course materials (The textbook and workbook Learn to Read Latin must be purchased by the student). Breakfast, plus either lunch or dinner, are also included. Depending on our daily schedules, students will be on their own for either a midday lunch break or an evening dinner break. Students are responsible for the cost of their own activities outside of the group. Airfare is not included.



Students may travel with our chaperone on both legs of the journey, from New York City to Florence and from Florence to New York City. Calder Classics will arrange transportation between the airport and the villa for those students who choose to travel with the chaperones. 


"My son had a great time studying Latin in Florence last summer with Calder Classics. He made great new friends, embraced the local culture and improved his Latin literacy immensely. Cindy and her team love teaching and imparting their passion for learning.  His high school Latin teacher was impressed with his growth and genuine enjoyment of the language."   Stephanie I.,  parent

"As a parent you have my eternal gratitude for a life changing experience for Mwicigi. … you took the time to call me beforehand, I trusted you and you have exceeded my expectations. Mwicigi called me frequently from Florence because he was so excited about the sights and sounds of Florence! He is most proud of his fresco! He is a very active child, and loved playing soccer with the kids, and all the afternoon excursions. He has traveled quite a bit, but this trip certainly made an impression. A week into the program, he asked me if he could, 'please come back!'. While I gasped at the humongous textbooks, (which, I learned later from the booksellers, are used at some very rigorous colleges), Mwicigi was not overwhelmed. The main reason I sent him to Calder Classics was for the academic component. Mwicigi said that you made Latin come alive for him! He is so much more confident about his grasp of Latin, and his ability to be a Latin scholar. See you next year!" Lucy W., parent

"Calder Classics provided both my daughter and son with an amazing learning experience in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. My daughter, having just finished Latin I during her sophomore year in high school, was well on her way to completing Latin II after her 10 day class in Florence. She is now beginning her junior year and is thrilled to be placed in Advanced Latin III. My son, having studied Latin back in the 5th and 6th grades, rediscovered his love of Latin. He is currently entering his freshman year in high school and has taken the initiative to create a Latin Independent Study. Thank you Cindy and Calder Classics for not only providing a summer experience of a lifetime, but for also inspiring my children to continue their studies in the Classics. " - Bonnie M., parent

"Thank you, Calder Classics, for providing our daughter with a memorable summer experience of three interrelated components: language, culture and fun.  She returned with newfound confidence in her Latin skills and has begun a new semester reading from prose and verse authors with ease.  The engaging activities and friendships she established from this unique learning and personal growth adventure will not soon be forgotten." - Darlene J., parent

"Thank you so much for all your help. I’m so happy to be taking [9th grade] Latin [with my peers] and I couldn’t have done it without your help this summer.” - Madelyn M., student

"Calder Classics is the best choice I have ever made. Before attending this program, I was on the fence about whether majoring in the Classics would be a good path for me to tread in college. But, after I came home, I knew I wouldn't want to major in anything else. Cindy's love for Latin is contagious and inspiring. She taught me to appreciate every word of the texts we translated, and for that I am forever grateful." - Sarah M., student

"Calder Classics was an incredible experience that improved my Latin reading abilities, as well as my appreciation for art. Studying Latin in Florence was amazing because we got to see the enormous influence the texts we read had on painters during the Renaissance." - Sophie R., student

Photos from Previous "Learning to Read Latin" Trips

Reservation Form

Once you submit this Reservation Form, you will receive an email with a link to our full Application Form. After we receive a completed Application Form, a Calder Classics representative may be in touch with the applicant if further information is required to determine whether the program is suitable for the student’s level and experience. Students will be notified about their acceptance status upon assessment of the Application Form and the receipt of a required teacher recommendation. Reserved spots may be held for 10 days prior to receipt of the completed Application Form. 

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