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Looking for GAP year inspiration?

Although there is still quite a bit of confusion and lack of knowledge, if your child is planning to take a GAP Year, John Hall Venice are fully intending to run their programme next year. 

We speak to Charlie Hall to find out more about this amazing programme and how this will work taking in the Covid restrictions

My father, John Hall, launched the programme in 1965 as a response to students wanting to engage with European culture and civilisation rather than heading off to India or South America in the time that they had between school and university. The idea was, and still is, to introduce students to an array of fascinating subjects without them feeling obliged to study for exams or write essays, an in-depth immersion into subjects as diverse as art history, literature, cinema, philosophy, politics and much more.

We take between thirty and forty gap year students each year, the course runs from the last week in January and the last week in March.  The experience is wonderful. As well as being fantastic culturally and educationally, it is also terrific fun. We begin with a week in London, then we fly to spend six weeks in Venice, followed by a week in Florence and culminating with a week in Rome.

We are delighted to announce that we are back to taking bookings for the 2021 Course. Our lecturers are confirmed, hotels provisionally booked and everything in place. I would imagine that some aspects of the itinerary will have to change but the central core of our programme will be as it has always been, a combination of lectures and presentations by world experts and on-site visits to museums, churches and galleries. In a way it is like sitting in a series of TED talks.

The students come to all of the events. You may start the course swearing that you have no interest in, say, Opera or Evolutionary Science, but our experts are taken on by us as much for their charisma, their ability to engage with students who may have absolutely no previous experience of the subjects, as for their qualifications.

For those wishing to study Italian, our classes are given by the excellent Istituto Veneziano, in a palazzo no more than five minutes walk from our study centre. You can sign up for beginners or advanced classes and there are usually two 75 minute classes per week.

A couple of years ago one of our students made this film that really gives an idea of what the student experience is (but there’s masses more!)

“I really cannot thank you enough for creating the opportunity of this course, I have learnt so much academically and personally and will be making sure that my brother and my friends are lucky enough to share this amazing experience.” (past student)

“It was with some trepidation we waved our daughter off at the airport. She seemed so young to be flying across the ocean to join a programme so far away with a group of people she had never met before. We took solace from the knowledge she is a well-travelled, resourceful person and you are well experienced, with an excellent reputation, in guiding people very much like her. We must thank you for the Facebook and Instagram photographs. Her lovely smiling face spoke volumes, melting our worries over possible loneliness and isolation.” (past parent)

Dates & Fees 2021 (London & Venice)

MONDAY 25 January to FRIDAY 29 January (London) AND
SUNDAY 31st January to SATURDAY 13 March (Venice)


Fees include accommodation in shared rooms in Venice, breakfast, dinner, the full programme of lectures and on-site visits, life drawing, portraiture and photography, some art materials, one month free pass on Venetian water buses, entrance fees for visits to galleries, churches and museums included on the programme, excursions to see works of Giotto, Mantegna and Donatello in Padua, to the mosaics at Ravenna and to Palladian Villas in the Veneto, private visits to the Peggy Guggenheim Collection and the basilica of S. Marco at night.

Accommodation and meals during the introductory five days in London are not included but we can assist students seeking accommodation by putting them in touch with families who have had our students as paying guests in former years. Worth noting is that the fees cover a month’s free travel on public transport in Venice, (usual price per ticket £4 – average use 3 times a day, £84 a week), breakfast and a three course dinner each day and entrance fees for all museum and gallery visits included on the programme.  These are small details which add up and are often not included in fees quoted on other courses.


Saturday 13 to Saturday 20 MARCH                   £2,140

Saturday 20 to Friday 26 MARCH                       £2,270

(Please note, after the London/Venice programme, students may participate in the Florence only extension or Florence and Rome extensions but not the Rome only extension.)

ITALIAN CLASSES                                                  £310


(Cookery consists of a course of 3 sessions of about 4 hours each. Each class takes place in the kitchen of the Contessa Rocca’s palace and ends with a convivial dinner, eating the delicious food that has been cooked with accompanying wines, as well as including a trip to the Rialto market to source the food. Gourmet Magazine rated Enrica Rocca’s “eponymous cookery school as one of the top ten schools in the world.” Students will be accepted for the cookery classes in order of application as a maximum of 20 only can be accepted with 10 per class.)


For further enquiries please visit https://www.johnhallvenice.com/programme/enquiriesbooking/

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