If you're in desperate need of a cultural fix after a long summer at the beach, try visiting one of Rome's many foreign academies, which offer a wide range of concerts, conferences and exhibitions that attract artists and scholars from all over the world.

Currently showing at the Istituto Italo-Latino Americano is "La Luce e il Colore", a show of contemporary art by Alicia Cittadini and Eduardo Lucio Contissa organised in collaboration with the Argentinian embassy. Cittadina lives and works in both Italy and Argentina, where she was born, and combines her experience of social and political troubles in her homeland with her knowledge of Italian culture to produce art that speaks of universal suffering. Contissa lived for many years in Argentina before returning to his birthplace at Cianciano, near Agrigento in Sicily. Inspired by the composition and decomposition of light as it passes through a prism, he tries to capture the process in his work.

Elsewhere, German Neo-Expressionist Georg Baselitz goes head to head with Italian artist Enzo Cucchi, a central figure of the Transavanguardia, in an exhibition entitled "Soltanto un quadro al massimo: Cucchi-Baselitz" at the German Academy at Villa Massimo.

Monsignor Philippe Barbarin, the archbishop of Lyon, is holding a conference at the Saint-Louis de France Cultural Centre on "Le Pre de Lubac et sa Mditation sur l'glise" on 18 Sept. Also at the French cultural centre, a season of film screenings dedicated to Alexandre Dumas, author of historical novels including "The Three Musketeers" and "The Count of Monte Cristo", begins on 13 Oct with "Le Trois Mousquetaires", directed by Andr Hunebelle in 1953. This will be followed by Philippe Chreau's 1994 film "La Reine Margot" on 20 Oct and Marcel L'Herbier's 1946 work "L'Affaire du Collier de la Reine" on 27 Oct.

The British School at Rome's "Fine Arts" exhibition features work by Anne Harry inspired by the underground geography of Rome, and by Michael Kruger, a photographer interested in the limitations of his medium in communicating certain aspects of experience. Geoff Uglow is a painter inspired by Piranesi's 18th-century views of the Eternal City, while Dunhill and O'Brien have produced sculptures, installations and videos, including footage of the queues outside the Vatican waiting to be admitted to the museums. Emma Turnbull is interested in the human body, the conscience and their relationship with domestic life, and Denis Masi has shot a "street photography" chronicle of his time in Rome.

"Why Mendelssohn and Rome?" is the title of a lecture to be given at the German Historical Institute on 22 Sept by Albrecht Riethmller of the Freie Universitt Berlin. The talk will focus on the music in the 1930 film "Lge dor" by Luis Buuel and Salvador Dal, and a summary in Italian will be available.

German sculptor Johann Gottfried Schadow (1764-1850), who designed the team of four horses that adorns the famous Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, is the subject of an exhibition at the Casa di Goethe. Schadow lived and worked in Rome for two years and was never without his sketchbook; he described himself later as being "like a bee, seeking to take honey from all the flowers at my disposal". The sketches he produced during those years, of paintings, ancient sculptures and daily life in the city, were later acquired by the Royal Academy of Art in Berlin, and are to be shown in public for the first time.

Part of the exhibition will be dedicated to the relationship between Schadow and his compatriot Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, the poet, novelist, playwright and philosopher. Goethe lived in Rome during the same period as Schadow, and although the two men never met in the city, they subsequently worked and travelled together and Schadow was to produce a famous portrait of his friend.

Picture: A painting by Alicia Cittadini, on show in "La Luce e il Colore" at the Istituto Italo-Latino Americano 11 Sept-5 Oct.

La Luce e il Colore. 11 Sept-5 Oct. Istituto Italo-Latino Americano, Galleria dell'IILA, Scuderie di Palazzo Santacroce, Vicolo de' Catinari 3, tel. 06684921, www.iila.org. 11.00-19.00. Sun closed.

Soltanto un quadro al massimo: Cucchi-Baselitz. 17 Sept-25 Oct. German Academy, Villa Massimo, Largo di Villa Massimo 1-2, tel. 064425931. Mon-Thurs 09.00-17.00, Fri 09.00-13.00.

Le Pre de Lubac et sa Mditation sur l'glise (18.00). 18 Sept. Saint-Louis de France Cultural Centre, Largo Toniolo 20-22, tel. 066802626, www.saintlouisdefrance.it.

Una Stagione Dumas (screenings at 17.00 and 21.00). 13, 20 and 27 Oct. Saint-Louis de France Cultural Centre, Largo Toniolo 20-22, tel. 066802626, www.saintlouisdefrance.it.

Fine Arts. 17-20 Sept. The British School at Rome, Via Gramsci 61, tel. 063264939, www.bsr.ac.uk. 16.30-19.00 and by appointment.

Why Mendelssohn and Rome? (18.00). 22 Sept. German Historical Institute, Via Aurelia Antica 391, tel. 066604921.

Disegni di Johann Gottfried Schadow degli anni 1785-1787. 24 Sept-23 Nov. Casa di Goethe, Via del Corso 18, tel. 0632650412, www.casadigoethe.it. 10.00-18.00. Mon closed.