Almost all of the accommodation chosen by the ABC school is maximum 20/30 minutes away from the school by foot.
They can be very different depending on the type of family: there are young and old people, families with or without children and couples as well as singles. The hosts can have different lifestyles or interests. Students are guests in their home but also part of the family and are expected to leave communal areas clean and in order.
Florence is a very old city. It is not rare to live in a historic building, perhaps dating from the 15th or 16th century. This is a fascinating aspect however please keep in mind that at the time lifts were not invented yet and there is not always space to put one in, nor is it always allowed to install them. The bathrooms are often also quite small and very simple compared to modern houses.
Room with use of a kitchen
If you choose a room with use of a kitchen, you will have space to keep your food. Because the kitchen is shared with a family or with other students it has to be left clean and tidy.
Room with breakfast or half-board
If you would prefer to have a room including breakfast or half-board (breakfast and dinner) you cannot use the kitchen.
Italian breakfast normally consists of coffee, milk or tea, biscuits, yoghurt and fruit.
Normally students do not go home for lunch. There are many restaurants, bars and pizzerias close to the school.
Those who choose the half-board option will have dinner with the family. Dinner in Italy is normally around 20:00 but we would recommend that you ask what time you have to be home. A typical Italian dinner consists of a first and second course with vegetables and fruit. Please let your family know if you do not think that you will be home for dinner (there will not be any refunds) or if you will be late. It is possible that from time to the time the family may not be at home for dinner but in any case something will be arranged for you.
It is possible to let them know if you have any allergies or food intolerances.
For those who would like to be more independent can request a private apartment. Normally they are either one or two bedrooms for one or two people with the bedroom(s), an equipped kitchen and a bathroom.
Please contact us for availability and prices.
Our advice is to book accommodation at least 4 weeks before starting your course. The accommodation office does everything possible to meet the needs of our students based on the available accommodation at the time. However please take into consideration the limited number of rooms available for students (Florence is primarily a tourist city), without forgetting the relatively low asking price for students.
From the Amerigo Vespucci airport in Florence (FLR) it is possible to take a taxi (around 25/30 €) or the shuttle bus named “Vola in bus” which takes you to the Santa Maria Novella station for 6 €. For more information or the timetable please visit www.fsbusitalia.it
The Santa Maria Novella station is around 10 minutes walking from the piazza duomo.
If you are arriving in Florence by train it is possible to take a taxi, a bus (www.ataf.net) or simply walk to your apartment.
Please note: students have to directly contact the owner of their accommodation at least a week before they leave for Italy to let them know their arrival time in Florence.
Organised transfer by the school
If you would like a transfer with the school, a trusted person will be at the Amerigo Vespucci airport (FLR) in Florence or at the Santa Maria Novella station (SMN). We please ask that you let the school know all of your travel details (day and time of arrival time, number and train/plane origin) at least a week before you leave to Italy.
The cost is 60 € (one way).
Arrivals and departures
Accommodation starts on the Sunday before the start date of your course and ends on the Saturday after your course finishes. An extra night either or arrival or departure is possible.
It is very important to contact your host to confirm your arrival time at least one week beforehand (however if you have organised a transfer with the school please let the school know instead). If you forget to do this you could arrive at your accommodation and there may not be anyone waiting at home for you.
On the day of your departure, you have to check out before 11am.
The owner of the house will give you the keys of the apartment. It is very important to make sure that you do not lose them or you could be asked to pay to change the locks of the house as well as pay for new keys.
On the day of your departure the keys need to be left on the table before you close the door.
Bed sheets and towels
Bed sheets and towels are provided by the family and are changed one time per week.
The bedroom is cleaned before the student’s arrival, however you are responsible to clean the room as well as the communal areas during your stay.
It is not allowed to move furniture or to hang up posters, photos or paintings on the walls.
It is not guaranteed that you will have a place to wash your clothes. In some accommodation it is possible to wash your clothes at an added cost of 5 €.
Gas and electricity
The gas, water and electricity bills are included in the price of accommodation, however these are very expensive in Italy so we please ask that you use them sparingly - switch off lights when you leave the room for example.
Standard voltage in Italy is 220v. If you want to make sure that your electric appliances (telephone, computer etc.) work, make sure to bring an adapter.
Heating and air conditioning
Generally Italian houses are heated only at certain times during the day and only during winter (from the first of November to March). Normally heating is switched off at night. You should not expect the heating to be on if you are studying at night or if you are at home the whole day. The average temperature in apartments in winter is around 20°C.
Air conditioning in Italian houses is rare. The thick and high ceilings in the centre of Florence mean that rooms are kept fresh in summer, as long as you do not leave the windows open during the day. The outside temperature is definitely hotter and you need to make sure that hot air does not enter.
Normally it is not possible to use the home phone, unless you have asked your host. It could be useful to buy an international phone card in a tobacco shop. It can be used with a mobile or home phone (with the agreement of your host).
Internet connection is not guaranteed in all accommodation. In some apartments it is possible to have a connection for an added cost. If there is not a connection it is possible to buy an internet dongle in the telephone company shops in the city (around 15/20 €).
Friends and visitors
You are not allowed to bring friends home, nor is it possible to invite them to stay the night (at least not if you have not asked your host and the school).
If you are going to stay out one night please let your host know so that they are not worrying unnecessarily.
In the case that anything is broken or damaged, please let your host family know as soon as possible. You may be asked to pay for the repair or replacement of the object.
If you need to see a doctor it is possible to speak to us or to your host family. Students from some countries will have to pay for the service provided by the national institute of health care. We would highly recommend all students to buy medical insurance, especially for those who come from countries which are not in the European community.
If you have any problems it would first be good to speak to your host to see if they can help. If not, or if there are communication problems, it is better to talk to us at school. If there are problems with your accommodation it is important to speak to reception in the first few days or as soon as the problem occurs so that we are able to resolve it as soon as possible.
The school cannot be held responsible in any way for the relationship between the student and the landlord or landlady.
Cancelling your accommodation
Accommodation cancellation should be sent to the school by registered letter, fax or email. If the cancellation is made one week before the beginning of the course, the school will retain one week’s accommodation fees (regardless of the booking duration). If the cancellation is made within two weeks before the beginning of the course, the school will retain 50% of one week’s accommodation fee. If the cancellation is made more than 15 days before the beginning of the course, no penalty shall be paid.