Calder Classics


Summer in Florence: July 2-16 and July 16-30, 2017

Join us for this unique summer learning experience in Florence, Italy, designed for high school students with a passion for Latin literature and an interest in art history.

Reading Latin & Discovering Art History in Italy

Calder Classics invites students entering 9th  through 12th grades to join us in Florence in the summer of 2017. Over the course of a two-week program, the Classics come alive through the study of Latin, exploration of ancient and modern sites and immersion in daily Italian life. 

We spend the weeks together in a stunning villa in the Oltrarno district of Florence. Language, art and scholarship merge fluently in an atmosphere of intellectual freedom and interdisciplinary exchange. Our days consist of reviewing Latin grammar and reading the great authors of Latin literature, exploring the historical treasures of Florence, and taking trips to the churches and monuments of Siena or other nearby places of interest. The evenings feature Italy’s many cultural, leisure and culinary offerings.

There is one free day scheduled per week when students may choose to experience Florence on their own (with advance parental permission), or rest at the villa.

The end date of the July 2-16 session of this course is coordinated to allow students to optionally continue with Reading Latin + Ancient History course in Rome from July 18-30.

The end date of the July 16-30 session of this course is coordinated to permit students to optionally continue with Ancient Roman History in the Bay of Naples, or these courses in Thessaloniki:  Introduction to Ancient GreekReading Ancient GreekCreative WritingExploration of Ancient Greek Mythology. 

Master Latin


Each day, students and their mentors read, translate and discuss Latin literature in a residential “salon” style environment. Our Latin readings include such influential authors as Lucretius, Livy, Vergil, Ovid and Petronius. We cover material likely to be found on the Latin AP and SAT II. Given that participants join us from a variety of schools, we begin with a brief review of Latin grammar. We then analyze the texts from both a grammatical and literary perspective, engaging in such topics as the significance of rhetorical devices, meter and intertextuality. At least one year of reading original (or slightly adapted) Latin texts is required.

Dive into Italy’s Art, Culture and History

Throughout the course, we engage with art that is related thematically to, or directly inspired by, the literature we have read. Guided by an art historian, we explore the treasures of Florence, a myriad of museums, monuments, churches, palazzos and piazzas, and view such works as Botticelli’s Primavera and Birth of Venus, Michelangelo’s David, the Duomo of Florence, the Fra Angelico frescoes at the Convent of San Marco and a selection of Last Supper paintings. Our discussions will focus on the historical context and broader themes of the art as well as its connection to the curriculum.

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, 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

Meg Shore

Meg Shore

Becky Goodman

Becky Goodman

Matthew Hayashi

Matthew Hayashi



We have exclusive use of a spectacular, architect-owned villa in 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 surrounded by the silence of a beautiful Tuscan garden (where we can study or just relax before dinner) and a view of Galileo's observatory. All rooms are doubles or triples. There is air conditioning, TV and Internet service.


Click to view

Dates & Fees


Session 1: July 2-16, 2017

Session 2: July 16-30, 2017

The $5,000 tuition includes accommodations, transportation within Italy, museum entries, instruction and course materials (certain additional books need to be purchased). 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 Pisa and from Pisa to New York City. Calder Classics will arrange transportation between Pisa and Florence for those students who choose to travel with the chaperones. 


"I really learned a lot on this trip- not just on the educational side of it, but I also learned to really appreciate and understand Latin and Renaissance art and its influences on so many other things. I'm definitely recommending this trip to all my friends!” Angela S., student

"I am a firm believer that happy kids love to learn, especially when they are in an environment surrounded by great educators and other enthusiastic students. My daughter loved your program. The photos and updates you sent home were priceless and she enjoyed the small intimate group. These kids will be friends for a long time." - Jojo H, parent

"Calder Classics is an amazing experience that greatly improved my translation skills and added to the wonder of the city of Florence. Exploring the city and seeing some of the most beautiful art that exists was the highlight of my summer, especially because it was with such a great group of people. Cindy is fantastic, and I would recommend the program to all." - Anson J., student

"I had an amazing time in Florence this summer with Calder Classics.  The program was a great mix of academic Latin and cultural immersion.  I made so many great friends from across the country and saw buildings and statues that we had read about in my Latin class at school.  I loved the experience of reading Latin in the morning and then seeing either, artwork that the texts inspired, or the geological areas by which it was inspired, in the afternoon." - Davis H, student

"It wasn’t until the Calder Classics Latin Program in Florence that I realized that Classics is the best way for an artist to ground his interests in academics. Art, culture, and the origin of the Romance languages come together in one program that is by far the only summer course I would consider returning to again. I recommend Calder Classics for those who want to challenge their intellect and immerse themselves in new experiences." - Matthew H., student

"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

"Sarah's trip to Florence with Calder Classics was the highlight of her summer. The class time reading Latin was challenging and interesting and always led to something that the group could then experience or see in a new way in the city- she loved that. She also enjoyed her travel companions; she came home with lots of stories and many pictures! She left with a sense of having really lived in Florence and with a greater appreciation of the history and culture of what she studies when she reads Latin." - Kristin V., parent

"I had an absolutely incredible time in Florence! All the people on the program were amazing and Mrs. Calder was a wonderful Latin teacher. I really feel that going on this program helped me gain confidence in my translating abilities and important translation experience. Meg, who was our Art/Art History aficionado/teacher, had a staggering amount of knowledge to impart upon us each day about the sights we were visiting. I loved this program, so I would love to come back someday!" - Alexia H., student

“Calder Classics was an amazing experience. The Latin and Art History teaching was fantastic, and I loved making new friends and exploring Italy." - Alexis B., 11th Grader

"Calder Classics provides a first class opportunity for high school students to learn Latin and Art History from exceptional teachers. The program does a particularly wonderful job incorporating the treasures of Florence and Tuscany into the curriculum." - Debbie and Richard B., parents

Photos from Previous 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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