Staff Spotlight: Luca Garotti – ISA Milan Resident Director

Based in Milan, resident director Luca Garotti has been helping ISA students reach their education abroad goals for almost 10 years. 

Learn more about his experience in this global capital of fashion and design.

Tell us about your background and history with ISA and with being a Resident Director in Milan.

I have been with ISA for almost 10 years. Previously, I studied in Scotland for 6 years, where I graduated with Honors. The job… it’s quite challenging. There are moments where it looks like a century won’t be enough to accomplish all the things assigned to me, but in the end, it’s rewarding to see students, faculties, and colleagues happy of the outcome.

Can you describe why we have the excursions we have in Milan? Which one is your favorite and why?

There are four big excursions students enjoy: Como, Florence, Venice, and Verona.

Como is a city of high quality and luxury. Known for the lake, the city is filled with the wonderful villas along the water and is home to the silk industry.

Florence is art and culture, the David, the Uffizi, and the city of the renaissance.

Venice is probably the most incredible city in the world.  It’s one of the few cities that never saw a car, with canals instead of roads. The city is filled with beautiful buildings and churches and is known for the elegance of the people. It’s probably the most incredible and positive example of what human beings can create without ruining the environment. It’s the handcraft that creates a material poetry.

Verona is not only the city of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, but it’s also the city of the Roman amphitheater that is still in use after 2000 years. Every year, the most incredible opera festival takes place there. Also, all kinds of music concerts take place there, and it’s just in the main square of the city.

As for my favorite, it has to be Venice. With the right weather, Venice is pure poetry. It’s unbeatable and unforgettable.

What’s one of your favorite memories interacting with students? 

I remember some of them crying at the end of the program because they had to leave. It was kind of emotional to see that they felt so well here and that they appreciated to travel around Italy as an ISA group. Not only did they have fun, but they also learned new things.

What is one of the most interesting parts about Milan that not many people would know? 

Milan is not a city to visit in a day or a couple of days. You must live in Milan to truly understand and appreciate the amazing transportation system, variety of art and cultural activities, and different areas to discover, areas where the main characters aren’t the tourists but the people that live in these areas, with restaurants, cafés, art galleries. Another thing that a lot of people don’t know about Milan is that it was awarded with the gold medal to resistance against the Nazis. 50% of the buildings were destroyed by the bombings (during WWII); but, after the war, the Milanese people rebuilt the city quite fast with what they had and managed to become one of the capital cities of fashion and interior design recognized worldwide.

Another thing that people many not know is that the Milanese people are really down to earth. They don’t like to show off what they have achieved, although they have achieved many things. Also, they don’t like arrogance. It’s a gentile city that will seduce you with time and outstanding manners.


See Luca in action during a WorldStrides ISA Custom Program. 

Learn more about ISA programs in Milan


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Author: International Studies Abroad (ISA)

Since 1987, International Studies Abroad (ISA) has provided college students in the United States and Canada the opportunity to explore the world. ISA offers a wide variety of study abroad programs at accredited schools and universities in 73 program locations throughout the world.

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