Calder Classics

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Tuscany: July 30-August 8, 2020

A unique summer experience in a Tuscan villa for advanced students of Greek and/or Latin. Designed for high school and college scholars to heighten their expertise in reading classical texts in-depth. Here, in a place where Greek and Roman culture fuse, we make the Classics come alive through an interplay of comparative literature, art, archaeology and travel.

Journeys to the Underworld: Aeneid 6 and Odyssey 11

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This course is designed for dedicated intermediate to advanced students in either Greek or Latin (rising high school juniors and seniors, recent grads/gap year students). Housed in a stunning villa in Tuscany, and surrounded by the Etruscan countryside where Greek and Roman remnants abound, we will read ancient texts that explore underworld narratives and prophecies: Latin students read Aeneid 6 — Aeneas’ famous meeting with the Sybil of Cumae and his journey to the underworld; Greek students read Odyssey 11, Odysseus’ νέκυια to hear the prophecy of Tiresias. Additional related texts are read in each group. The primary goal of this course is to advance students’ reading speed and comprehension of Latin or Greek vocabulary and syntax as well as to engage in discussions of the parallel texts. We will investigate how Vergil appropriates Homer’s underworld, and how we understand Homer’s underworld, mediated through Vergil’s text. In order to facilitate further discussion and understanding of the ancient world, students of Latin read Odyssey 11 in English and students of Greek read Aeneid 6 in English.

The starting date of this course is coordinated to permit students to join after the advanced Reading Latin + Art History session in Florence or the Reading Latin + Ancient History course in Rome, both of which end on July 30.

Dive into “The Tuscan Classroom”


Our study of prophecies and the underworld are beautifully visualized in the “canvas” of Tuscany where we have the opportunity to see local treasures such as the Duomo at Siena with its carvings of the Sibylline prophets, along with Etruscan sites in Arezzo, Cortona and Chiusi that exhibit art featuring the same stories and characters that appear in the underworld narratives we are reading. Through our visits to see ancient archaeological sites as well as the magnificent artwork of local Renaissance masters, students enjoy the opportunity to fuse their readings with visual representations.

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, Deerfield, 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!


Jeff Ulrich

Jeff Ulrich

Cindy Calder

Cindy Calder

Sonnet Carter

Sonnet Carter



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We have use of a spectacular hilltop villa in the heart of the Tuscan countryside. The villa has Roman origins, and has been refurbished by keeping its beautiful “pietra serena” façades untouched.  Located just 800 meters away from the village of Palazzuolo, it overlooks its own Chianti vineyard, and is surrounded by a lovely garden and ancient forest. The villa accommodates up to 14 people and offers an outdoor swimming pool, a gym, spa facilities, air conditioning, and satellite TV.

Dates & Fees


July 30 - August 8,  2020

The $4000 tuition includes accommodations, transportation within Italy, museum entries, instruction and course materials (certain additional books may need to be purchased). Breakfast and dinner and most lunches are included. Depending on our daily schedules, students are on their own for some lunch breaks.  Students are responsible for the cost of their 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 ONLY for those students who choose to travel with our chaperones. Students traveling on their own must make their own connections to the villa.

Calder Classics Testimonials

"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

"The Calder Classics ancient Greek summer program created the perfect balance of academic studies and cultural activities for our daughter this summer. The teachers are experts in their field and their passion for Ancient Greek studies has inspired our daughter to continue her Classical education in college. This is her second summer with Calder Classics and each program has fostered her passion to learn. Thank you Cindy for creating a program that teaches the students to look at the world a little differently."  parent, Latin and Greek student

"I had taken one year of Greek, so for me the purpose of this trip was really to reinforce the existing foundations in grammar. But unexpectedly, with all due credit to our professors, Calder Classics has given me so much more: it has given me the tools to be able to read Greek fluently. So thanks, teachers. You will both prove to be influential in my progress as a student and a classicist, and my words do no justice to the gratitude welling from the bottom of my heart. I love this program, and will definitely come back someday!"   Andre C., student

"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 … 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 … 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 also enjoyed her travel companions; she came home with lots of stories and many pictures! She left … with a greater appreciation of the history and culture of what she studies when she reads Latin." - Kristin V., parent

"Calder Classics provides a first class opportunity for…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

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