Calder Classics


Summer in Florence: July 2-16 and July 16-30, 2019

A unique summer learning experience in Florence, Italy designed for high school students to advance their expertise in reading Latin. Here, in the birthplace of the Renaissance, we make the Classics come alive through an interplay of literature, art history and travel.

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 2019. 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.

One free day is scheduled per week for students who 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 the Calder Classics Reading Latin + Ancient History course in Rome from July 18-30.

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 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 our resident 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…

ARIZONA: Veritas Prep  CONNECTICUT: Canterbury, Choate, Greenwich Academy, Hotchkiss, Milton, Taft  CALIFORNIA: The Harker School, Sage Hill School CHINA: High School of RenMin University of China, Second High School Attached to Beijing Normal ILLINOIS: Saint Ignatius College Prep  MARYLAND: Mt Hebron, Oldfields, Saint James School  MASSACHUSETTS: Berkshire School, Clark School, Concord Academy, The Dexter School, The Faye School, Groton, Middlesex, Milton Academy, Newton North, Philips Andover, Tabor Academy, Winchester High MISSOURI: Liberty High School  NEW HAMPSHIRE:  Phillips Exeter, Saint Paul's  NEW JERSEY: Dwight Englewood, Lawrenceville, Northern Valley Regional, Peddie School, Pingry, Princeton High, Stuart Country Day  NEVADA:  Sage Ridge School  NEW YORK: Brearley, Chapin, Collegiate, Columbia Prep, Dalton, Hackley, Holy Child, Manhattan Friends, Marymount, Nichols School, Packer Collegiate, The Park School, Riverdale, Rye Country Day, Saint Ann's, St. Joseph, St. Joseph-by-the-Sea, Stuyvesant, Spence, Trinity  NORTH CAROLINA:  Charlotte Country Day, Ravenscroft  PENNSYLVANIA:  Emmaus, Germantown Friends, Westtown Friends  RHODE ISLAND:  Portsmouth Abbey, Providence Country Day  SOUTH CAROLINA:  Ashley Hall TEXAS:  Saint Mark's  VIRGINIA: Woodberry Forest  WASHINGTON D.C.:  Saint Alban's, Sidwell Friends, Woodrow Wilson...Add your school to the list!!


  Cindy Calder

Cindy Calder

  Billy Calder

Billy Calder

  Meg Shore

Meg Shore

  Rebecca Strimaitis

Rebecca Strimaitis




Session 1: July 2-16, 2019

We have exclusive use of a spectacular family-owned villa in the residential Oltrarno district of Florence, known for its little maze of streets, gardens, basilicas and artisan shops. We have full access to the villa's kitchen and living areas, allowing us to cook, study and relax together in an intimate and comfortable environment. 

 All rooms are doubles or triples and feature air conditioning  and internet service.

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Session 2: July 16-30, 2019

We stay in a palazzo situated directly on the banks of the Arno River in the heart of the residential Oltrarno district of Florence . Living in the heart of this culturally-rich neighborhood provides us with 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, our residence 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: July 2-16, 2019

Session 2: July 16-30, 2019

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 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. 


“A wonderful introduction to Florence. My daughter loved Latin but had never enjoyed museums until her trip with Calder Classics.” C. Macy, parent

"Our daughter is indeed lucky to be participating in such varied and valuable experiences.” A.S., parent  

"I want to thank you for teaching me so much Latin and offering exposure to more difficult texts. I now feel more prepared for next year all thanks to this program." Erin, student

"Thank you for the great experience in Florence and this wonderful opportunity Calder Classics have provided me. It is an honor to be a part of this community, and to learn a brand new language that I found so much interest in". Gago, student

"I feel that I’ve learned a lot and I feel really motivated to practice on my own for the rest of the summer and hopefully see myself improve. Thank you so much." Humu , student

"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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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 , 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, 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., student

"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 , parents

Photos from Previous Trips

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Copyright © 2015 Calder Classics LLC | All illustrations by Meredith Hamilton