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. 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 will develop your craft while preparing for the world of work. NABA has spent decades cultivating relationships with prestigious design companies and studios, and you  will 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.

The Milan campus, set in the beautiful and historic Navigli area, comprises of 13 modern buildings spread over 17,000 square metres. Our design laboratories, cutting-edge tools, and classrooms are constantly updated so that your work can be as fresh and relevant as possible. With 4000 students from 70 countries on our campus, NABA is a truly multicultural environment. You will have a chance to collaborate with and learn new approaches from your international peers.

To offer students the opportunity of developing their design skills in the city that originated and shaped Western art and culture, NABA is opening a new location in Rome in 2019. Set in a central area and well connected to Rome’s world-famous archaeological sites, art museums and lively neighbourhoods, the new school occupies 2 historical buildings and features cutting-edge laboratories as well as student spaces, lounge rooms and a library.






Why Choose NABA?

To study in Milan and Rome, world capitals of Fashion, Culture, 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 the post-secondary education group Galileo Global Education. In 2018 NABA is opening a new location in Rome, world capital of art and architecture, home of Italian cinema and high fashion.

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.

Study in Rome

Begin your educational journey at the roots of modern culture.

If you have creative talent and you want to express it in your future profession, come to the city where Western civilization has its origin, where classic and Renaissance art meet contemporary architecture and the great Italian cultural tradition is renewed every day through internationally renowned projects and events.

Many of history’s greatest artists and thinkers spent part of their education in Rome, the first capital of Western civilization, the Eternal City whose artistic and architectonic history shaped the development of world culture. Considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Rome is an UNESCO World Heritage Site and presents itself as an open air museum.

Rome’s extraordinary artistic heritage is constantly enhanced by great architectonic projects created by contemporary masters. Besides living and breathing classic and Renaissance art, our students have the opportunity to discover new masterpieces such as the MACRO (Contemporary Art Museum), the MAXXI (National Museum of 21st Century Arts) designed by Zaha Hadid, Nuvola and Lanterna by Massimiliano Fuksas, and the Auditorium Parco della Musica by Renzo Piano.

A living, vibrant city, Rome offers students innumerable opportunities for cultural enrichment, including exhibitions, plays, concerts, conventions, trade shows and events such as the Roma Jazz Festival. Among these are the most important cinematographic events in Italy, such as the David di Donatello awards and the Rome Film Fest, confirming Rome’s position as capital city of Italian cinema, home to the glorious Cinecittà studios, breath-taking open air film set leveraged by great film-makers from all over the world.

Milan may be the modern capital of world fashion, but the unforgettable Dolce Vita style, favoured by Hollywood stars and still exemplified by high fashion catwalks, finds its home in the Eternal City. This is where brands that are synonyms for elegance such as Bulgari, Capucci, Fendi, Gattinoni and Valentino have their roots; this is where high fashion showcases its best creations every year within the Altaroma fashion week. The famous shopping streets of the city centre such as Via dei Condotti and Via del Babuino host the boutiques of the most prestigious Italian and international luxury brands.

Positioned exactly in the centre of Italy and ideally placed to allow students to visit every region of the Italian peninsula, Rome is also one of the most international cities in the country. Besides being the site of the Italian Parliament and government, Rome also hosts international organizations such as UN, FAO and European Commission.