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, 89% 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.







Why Choose NABA?

To study in Milan, recognized as the world's capital of fashion, art and design

To collaborate with over 1.000 companies, working on real-world projects, experiencing unique intership opportunities

To obtain a multidisciplinary and multi-cultural learning experience, with a focus on direct experimentation

To learn from an outstanding faculty of inspiring industry professionals and mentors

To attend italian and english programs to give you an internationally recognized degree

To study at an award-winning academy considered as one of the world's top schools for art and design




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 Montù, 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. From 2009 to 2017 NABA was part of the Laureate International Universities network. Since 2018 NABA is part of Galileo Global Education, a post-secondary education group focused on providing students with access to higher education in the fields of applied arts, design, communication and management in selected countries around the world.

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.