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ITALY Florence & Milan
My study abroad in Italy was the best experience. I studied at the top design school and lived in the fashion center of Europe. I was surrounded by people from different countries who were serious about fashion and design. I would recommend this program for sure!

Emma Trindel
SUNY Oneonta

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Florence

Florence (Firenze) is a World Heritage Site that is characterized by culture, Renaissance art, architecture and monuments from the medieval and byzantine eras. The presence of history and high end craftsmanship is all around the streets dated to the middle ages.

The unique aspect of Florence as one of the top 5 fashion capitals, is it's visible fashion and design system. Salvatore Ferragamo, Gucci, Roberto Cavalli and Emilio Pucci are some of the many houses headquartered in Florence. Pitti Uomo, Pitti Donna and Pitti Bimbo set the scene for a tangible approach to fashion that you can feel and touch, while you encounter professionals and buyers. The visibility of fashion in Florence is seen at Scandicci, the manufacturing epicenter for many labels, including Dolce & Gabbana.

Florence is where designer pieces are made to appear on the Milan runway. Fashionistas make a pilgrimage here to shop at the Mall, a luxury outlet in the Tuscan countryside, just a train ride away from the city center.

Milan

Milan (Milano) is the fashion center of Europe. Armani, Versace, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, Pucci, Gucci and many others started on Milan's runways. Fashionistas make a pilgrimage here to shop at the designers' flagship stores in the Quadrilatero d'Oro (Golden Quad).

Milan's design culture goes far beyond fashion. Furniture, automobile, graphic and architectural design are an integral part of the city's creative atmosphere. Publishing, advertising and intellectual property have also evolved to support the design economy.

The city's focus on and infatuation with creativity is imbedded in its artistic history. Leonardo da Vinci's The Last Supper, Duomo di Milano (cathedral), La Scala opera house and Castello Sforzesco are just a few examples of Milan's creative past.

Milan is Italy's economic engine and home to the stock exchange. As a major transportation hub, Milan connects Italy to Europe and the rest of the world by train and air.

Italy

Although we are accustomed to thinking of Italy as a place with a very long history, the Republic of Italy is actually quite young. Unified in 1861 by Giovanni Garibaldi from a variety of warring kingdoms, city-state and republics, Italy took its present-day shape.

The Renaissance is said to have begun in 14th-century Italy and spread throughout Europe and the rest of the Western world. Nearly every artistic movement since then has had an impact on Italy.

Today, Italy has the 7th-largest economy in the world, although the economic health of the country varies greatly from region to region. Tourism, fashion and automotive industries remain the pillars of the Italian economy.

Quick facts
  • Population of Italy: 59.3 billion
  • Official Language: Italian
  • Currency: Euro
  • Local time in Italy: GMT+2
  • Population of Florence: 380,000
  • High temp in Florence: July: 88 F
  • High temp in Florence: January: 50 F
  • Population of Milan: 1.3 million
  • High temp in Milan: July: 83 F
  • High temp in Milan: January: 44 F