Villa La Pietra, built more than 550 years ago at the beginning of the Italian Renaissance, is home to NYU Florence. Studying in this very special place allows you to be part of the vibrant local and international communities that call Florence their home. Life may not be what you make of it but it is surely what you make of the opportunities that life presents you with; NYU Florence offers students endless opportunities………..are you ready to make the most of them?

Through talks, workshops and discussion groups the Terra Firma Firenze and Museum Meetings programs aim to facilitate a deeper appreciation of the place you have chosen to study, to more fully enjoy it and to use it as a mirror reflecting wider issues in the world related to environmental sustainability, the arts, conservation, the food we eat and general human wellbeing.

Reflections by NYU Students

Flynn Murtaugh
NYU Gallatin – Concentration in Haute Couture Curatorial Studies
NYU Florence Fall 2023

Studying abroad at NYU Florence has genuinely heightened my academic and personal global comprehension, cross-cultural focus and interdisciplinary thinking. While the beautiful campus, thoughtful professors and staff, and opportunity to be in the historically and artistically important city of Florence all contributed to my having an extraordinary semester, the Villa La Pietra Museum was truly my high point at NYU Florence. As an art history student, having a museum on campus with collections accessible to students is not only personally thrilling but is enriched by an immersive in-person experience as well. In addition, Villa La Pietra’s identity as a house museum provides the artwork it houses with spatial and familiar context, an aid to artistic comprehension that many museums lack.

When I first arrived at NYU Florence I was unaware of Villa La Pietra and the opportunities available to students. Upon learning about their graduate-level conservation program with NYU’s Institute of Fine Arts, Professional Development Opportunities for undergraduate students and student-driven exhibitions, I was eager to contribute to the museum’s mission in a meaningful way. Working with the museum’s curator, Francesca Baldry, and lead conservator, Claudia Beyer, I designed a volunteer schedule for myself that allowed me to assist and learn in the textile department of the museum’s collection. As a student striving to connect my academic experiences with hands-on learning, this mentorship opportunity with industry professionals, and to gain experience working in a museum environment made this opportunity at Villa La Pietra invaluable to me. It is an experience that I will carry forward every day of my academic and professional careerr.

Museum Meetings

Museum Meetings Museum Meetings consist of a series of conversations dedicated to various aspects of art and museums, including art history, photography, anthropology, collecting, curation, techniques and media, conservation, and the role of museums and archives in society today. It originates in the Acton Collection at Villa La Pietra and expands to other art spaces in Florence and Italy. It is designed to attract a multidisciplinary group of students, not just those studying art or art history. All the meetings are conceived as discussions and envisage an active participation. Francesca Baldry, Collection Manager at Villa La Pietra, organizes the meetings and welcomes suggestions from students.

Visit Museum Meetings full program Web page

Terra Firma Firenze

NYU Florence is different from any other Study Abroad site. Its campus is made up of Villa La Pietra’s world-famous gardens and the bucolic agricultural landscape that surrounds them. As a small, but perfect, 37 acre Tuscany Villa Estate it does produce food but its main purpose for more than 550 years has been the wellbeing of the community it serves. Today, that community is the students and staff that form the NYU Florence family.

Pliny wrote “I always feel energetic and fit at my Tuscan villa, both mentally and physically.” [Epistles, V. vi.45].

Broadly, the estate may be divided in two parts: the formal gardens where students may participate in outdoor classes, revise for upcoming exams or simply relax, take the sun and enjoy a homemade picnic in beautiful surroundings; the olive groves and the walled garden, the Pomario, form NYU Florence’s Community Farm which acts as a Green Laboratory of learning opportunities for a range of courses and extracurricular activities. From this semester the Farm will also start to supply the on-site cafeteria with fresh, zero-miles, produce in a way that is also good for our environment.

Visit the Terra Firma Florence full program Web page