About Us

Founded in 1980, NABA is the largest private art academy in Italy. It offers bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in Italian and English that are accredited by the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research (MIUR).

NABA, Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti, is an internationally renowned art and design academy located at the center of Milan’s world-famous design scene. Founded in 1980, NABA is the largest private art academy in Italy. It offers bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in Italian and in English that are accredited by the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research (MIUR).

As a student at NABA, you’ll develop your craft while preparing for the world of work. NABA has spent decades cultivating relationships with prestigious design companies and studios, and you’ll have the chance to work on real-world project briefs given by these companies. This emphasis on hands-on practice, balanced with lectures about art and design theory, is what makes NABA’s academic methodology so successful and unique. Within one year of graduation, 80% of our alumni find jobs.

Set in the beautiful and historic Navigli area of Milan, NABA’s campus comprises of 13 modern buildings spread over 17,000 sq. m. Our design laboratories, cutting-edge tools, and classrooms are constantly updated so that your work can be as fresh and relevant as possible.

With 3000 students from 70 countries on our campus, NABA is a truly multicultural environment. You’ll have a chance to collaborate with and learn new approaches from your international peers.

NABA is a member of Laureate International Universities, a network of more than 80 accredited campus-based and online universities in 28 countries throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Through this network, NABA students can take advantage of amazing study abroad opportunities at Laureate art and design schools worldwide.

Laureate universities share a mission to make outstanding higher education accessible and affordable so that more students can pursue their dreams. At NABA, you'll gain a global, multidisciplinary knowledge of your craft that will prepare you to launch an exciting career in art and design.





Why Choose NABA?

Over 35 Years of Excellence

For more than 35 years, NABA has been recognized as one of Italy’s leading arts academies.


NABA has been accredited by the Italian Ministry of Education, Universities and Research (MIUR) since 1981. All of NABA’s bachelor’s and master’s degree programs are accredited by MIUR.


NABA is ranked as one of the world’s best design schools, according to opinion leaders like Domus magazine and Frame Publishers.

Real-World Projects

Thanks to NABA’s emphasis on practical experience and our close ties to the design industry, you’ll have the chance to work on actual project briefs given by Italian and international companies.

Multidisciplinary Curricula

NABA offers programs across a wide range of art and design fields. Each program balances theory with practice, encourages multidisciplinary innovation, and prepares students for future careers.

World-Class Facilities

Our facilities include a Design Lab, where design students use high-tech tools like 3D printers to create models. Fashion students work in NABA’s Tailoring, Textile, and Knitting labs to make prototypes.

Academic Excellence

Our lecturers are working designers and artists who are also highly skilled educators. They come from leading design and architecture studios, fashion companies, advertising agencies, and art institutions.

A Student-Centered Attitude

Students are our first priority at NABA. Small project classes size give students the chance for direct mentorship and an open dialogue with faculty members.


With 3000 students from more than 70 different nationalities on our campus, NABA is a truly multicultural environment. You’ll have the chance to share ideas and perspectives with classmates from all over the world.


What better place to study than in Milan, the world’s capital of fashion and design? In this thriving, creative city, you’ll have the chance to participate in international design events, visit top galleries and flagship stores and travel across Europe.

Job Placement After Graduation

Thanks to its close relationships with major companies, NABA offers an internship to each student. 80% of our alumni are employed within a year of graduation (data certified by Demoskopea).

An International Network

Because NABA is a member of the Laureate network and has a number of connections with other universities, our students have the opportunity to study in many other countries across the world.




Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti was founded in Milan in 1980 by prominent arts educator Ausonio Zappa, artist Guido Ballo, and architect/scenographer Tito Varisco. Ballo suggested “Nuova” in the name to emphasize the academy’s innovative spirit. The trio modeled the school on a new Bauhaus, wanting to leave rigid academic traditions behind and introduce new visions and languages based on contemporary artistic and professional practice. In 1981, NABA was accredited by the Italy’s Ministry of Education, Universities and Research (MIUR).

THE ’80S

During the 1980s, the school grew into its status as a leading arts academy, attracting to its faculty a core group of internationally renowned artists, including Kengiro Azuma, Emilio Isgrò, Carlo Mo, Emilio Tadini, Lucio Del Pezzo, Franco Grignani, Mario Carrieri, Umberto Mariani, Roberto Menghi, Aldo MontĂą, Walter Valentini, Gino Negri, and Hidetoshi Nagasawa. Another famous name to join the faculty was kinetic artist Gianni Colombo, who served as NABA’s director from 1985 to 1993. Colombo was profoundly influential in shaping NABA’s educational philosophy of experimentation and hands-on design, an ethos that is very much alive at NABA today.

THE ’90S

In the nineties, NABA began to expand its international reach joining the European League of Institutes of the Arts (ELIA) and launching degree programs in English to attract more international students. 

In 1995 the academy received a Certificate of Civic Merit from the mayor of Milan, who awarded NABA this prestigious award with the accolade: “NABA has grown in prestige and fame and has become the Italian reference point for fine arts academies in Europe and internationally.”


During 2003 and 2004, NABA moved to its current home, an impressive campus with 13 buildings and open space on via Darwin 20, Milan. 

Between 2006 and 2011, NABA added eight degree programs to its ever-growing list of course offering. In 2009, NABA joined Laureate International Universities, a network of more than 80 accredited institutions in 28 countries.

Study in Milan

Bring your talent to this unique city and see where it takes you.

If you are passionate about design and the arts, if you want to develop your passion into a fulfilling career, come to the city where design and the arts are part of a rich historical past, a vibrant present, and a thrilling future.

For decades, Milan has been a magnet for top designers, a place where brilliant and creative minds come to make their fortunes in fashion and design. What better place to learn the craft? In Milan, you’ll enjoy a rare level of access and immersion in design. You’ll be exposed to Italy’s finest artisan resources, production, and fabrication facilities. You can attend and even participate in world-famous design shows and exhibitions, including Milan’s Salone del Mobile and Fashion Weeks. You’ll be among the first to know about the latest trendsetting work, and you’ll have the chance to make valuable career connections.



Artistic expression has been a fundamental, vital element of Italian culture for centuries. You see it in the ancient ruins, the classic architecture, the timeless paintings and sculpture. You see it in each newly launched fashion label and product brand, and in exhibitions that feature some the most innovative designs being conceived and produced anywhere in the world.

Milan is a full immersion in all forms of art. You’ll find yourself surrounded by a thriving contemporary art scene; a bold avant-garde theatre community; world-class galleries, museums, design studios, and showrooms; and cutting-edge interaction design and media production companies.

Milan is ideally located in Europe for maximum travel opportunities and fun. You can explore the spectacular alpine and lakeside beauty of northern Italy, take a train to Venice, and Tuscany, Umbria, Rome... Or hop a plane to spend the weekend in France, Germany, or even the UK or Spain! The possibilities really are endless. Italy is a country with extraordinarily beautiful landscapes and dynamic urban scenes. You’ll understand why Italy has nurtured the passions of artists and designers for centuries. NABA’s campus has good public transportation connections to major airports and train stations.