Program Highlight: Study Abroad in Viterbo, Italy

Nestled in central Italy, Viterbo is rich in historical, artistic, and monumental legacies. This university town is a medieval city with an active art scene. Viterbo residents have retained the charm and leisurely quality of life of days gone by. They still retain, for the most part, the tradition of closing from 1 pm to 4 pm in order to enjoy a relaxing lunch at home with the family. Each Saturday, there is an outdoor market in the main piazza where people browse and shop for clothes and houseware items. Fresh produce from local farms is also sold every morning in outdoor markets around town. Viterbo has kept a fascinating historical record of its past better than almost any place in Italy. Protected by a medieval wall, Viterbo’s fountains, palaces, quarters, and churches all exemplify its glorious and eventful heritage of art and culture.

Academic Focus
Intensive Italian Language, History, Mediterranean Studies, the Arts, Journalism

Host University
Università degli Studi della Tuscia

USAC classes are held on campus with a combination of American and Italian professors. You will have access to campus libraries, computer labs, a sports center, cafeterias (meals are available at two dining commons for about $2.50 each), and many student associations. With over 10,000 local and international students, the university enjoys a close association with Viterbo, giving it a vibrant atmosphere often associated with university towns. The combination of American and Italian professors provides a valuable dual perspective on Italy and its culture. You will have the opportunity to interact with many Italian students in classes and in the university’s unique learning environment.

Interesting fact about the city
Though almost 70 percent of the town was destroyed in World War II, it was one of the first towns in Italy to complete postwar reconstruction. Viterbo’s medieval quarter, enclosed by 11th- to 13th-century walls and towers, remains practically unchanged. 

Best weekend travel destinations
Studying in Viterbo, you’ll find yourself a quick train ride away from some of Italy’s most talked about destinations. Hop on a train and head to Amalfi in the southern coast, a beautiful Italian town set below steep cliffs. You can also head North to one of the most famous travel destinations, Cinque Terra, known for its colorful houses, and rolling hill villages set alongside the Italian Riviera coastline. Even Florence and Pisa are a quick train ride away for a nice weekend getaway with friends. If you’re looking to venture outside of Italy, Rome is roughly two hours away via train where you can catch a flight to anywhere in Europe. Before you make your weekend plans, be sure to check the USAC field trips being offered as we will take you to several popular and less-known destinations around Italy. The field trips are listed below.

Field trips (vary by term)
Explore the capital of—and the largest city in—Italy, with its Roman ruins, imperial temples, medieval towers, Renaissance palaces, and baroque basilicas. Its artistic treasures are highlighted throughout the city in museums and monuments. There will also be plenty of time to eat and relax in the many cafés Rome has to offer.

Capalbio and the Tuscan Coastline
Visit a beautiful medieval hill town in southern Tuscany and, weather permitting, enjoy a swim in the Mediterranean Sea. Explore a fantastical sculpture garden based on the Tarot cards, designed by Niki de St. Phalle in the spirit of Gaudi.

Visit this beautiful region of castles, fortresses, and watchtowers interspersed with hill towns, monasteries, and host to Italy’s largest non-alpine lake, Lake Trasimeno. We’ll stop in Assisi, home of St. Francis, and Perugia, site of the world famous Umbria Jazz Festival and the Chocolate Festival.

Siena is a charming hillside town one hour from Florence. Here we will see the beautiful, shell-shaped, Siena-red Piazza del Campo where the famous Palio horserace is held twice a year.

Assisi and Perugia
Visit this beautiful region of castles, fortresses, and watchtowers interspersed with hill towns, monasteries and host to Italy’s largest non-alpine lake, Lake Trasimeno. We’ll stop in Assisi, home of St. Francis, and Perugia, site of the world famous Umbria Jazz Festival and the Chocolate Festival.

Spoleto and Marmore Waterfalls
Visit this picturesque medieval town of Spoleto, site of the world famous Festival dei 2Mondi, with its beautiful views over the Umbria hills, charming piazzas and amazing cathedral; hike atop the Marmore Waterfalls, biggest waterfalls in Europe, enjoy a breathtaking view.

What students have to say
“Attending USAC Viterbo for my junior year of college was by far the best decision of my college experience. The on-site staff is incredible–knowledgeable, helpful, caring, and always ready to go out of their way to help make this the best experience possible. The housing is lovely, the field trips are enriching and well planned, and Viterbo will feel like home sooner than you ever thought possible. I made friends here that I will have for the rest of my life and I have never felt safer than I did walking through these medieval walls. You will never regret attending this program and all of the incredible memories made here.” Kayla Pennington, University of Nevada, Reno.

“Viterbo might be a small city with few clubs, but it is full of delicious restaurants, friendly locals, and great shops. It is close to Rome and therefore easy to travel to and from, so you can cost-effectively see all of Europe. The USAC staff was very friendly and helpful, but let us have a huge amount of independence. I made the friends of a lifetime in Viterbo and I would go back in a heartbeat.” Savannah, Viterbo University.

Addition articles about Viterbo

Falling in Love with Viterbo, Italy
The Pros and Cons of Failure
A Day in the Life of a Study Abroad Student



Learn more about Viterbo, Italy