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The course is unique. The heart of the experience is living as a resident, from late January to late March, engaging in the life of an Italian city out of the tourist season – a huge cultural mind-opener. The core of the programme is six weeks spent living in Venice with 30-40 like-minded individuals, attending lectures and presentations given by some of the world’s leading experts, on a massive variety of subjects, ranging from art and art history, cinema, music, philosophy, poetry, conservation, climate science, evolution, astrophysics and much more. It has been described as sitting in a series of inspiring TED talks. Optional classes in cookery, photography, life-drawing and Italian language add to the vibrant social experience where life-long friendships are formed. The group stays in a hotel in the centre of the city, ten minutes walk from our lecture centre. No previous knowledge or experience is needed, there are no academic requirements and no tests or coursework. All we require is curiosity and enthusiasm for some subjects which will be completely new to some of you!  


Since 1965 over 3000 students have taken part in the course. Our alumni work in the arts sector, at museums, newspapers, galleries and auction houses but also in every other area, from the judiciary, politics, education, science and every other field. We organise reunions each year which have proved to be very popular, whether in Venice or London. Our alumni page lists every student plus a description of the lectures and topics. We hope that our alumni will stay in touch with us and update us with changes to contact details by writing to us at


It is impossible to do what we do on the cheap. We bring in experts and arrange incredible private visits to St Mark’s Basilica at night in Venice, the Sistine Chapel in Rome, making an inspirational experience that you won’t find anywhere else. It is not something that any university could offer. It is a super team of intellectual and artistic giants who have been selected for their charisma as much as for their expertise. Flights, hotel accommodation (and two meals a day), internal travel and museums entrances are all included



During the course we keep a diary/blog and update it with photos and text to describe the day-to-day experiences for students and lecturers. In a way this is the best way to see what we do. Click through and scroll to have a look.

Whenever we have any updates, announcements and find something worth sharing we’ll put it up on our News page. Click through to see if we have anything to say.





The John Hall Venice Course is unique. The heart of the experience is living as a resident, engaging in the life of an Italian city – a huge cultural mind-opener.
What an impact the glorious weeks in Venice had on us all. It was a carefree, fascinating and incredibly happy time for us all, having  left the rigours of endless exams for so long at school, and before the demanding rigours of university life.

3 month experience

1 week in London

6 weeks in Venice,

Florence & Rome optional

Once a year, from late January

to late March

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