Health & Safety

Safety in Florence
Safety is an important issue concerning everyone, especially when it comes to travelling or studying in unfamiliar territory. Florence, with a population of just over 500,000, is a safe city in the sense that there are very few “big city” problems like violent crime. This does not mean that one should be careless, but many potential problems can be avoided by simply using common sense.

Safety at school
The school is located in the very heart of the city, 10 minutes walking fromPiazza del Duomo (the Cathedral Square). The classrooms are on the second floor of the historical Palazzo Borgia Guicciardini Salviati. Only students, faculty and staff are allowed on the school premises. Regardless, students should not be careless with leaving their belongings in the classrooms during breaks.

Personal Safety
One of the principle “dangers” that foreigners face, is the loss of personal belonging (wallets, passports, camera equipment, etc.) to pick-pockets and petty thieves who see a trouble-free opportunity such as easily accessible or carelessly unattended backpacks/handbags in crowded areas (buses, tourist attractions, restaurants, bars). These unpleasant episodes can be avoided or at least lessened by taking simple precautions:

  • Be aware of your surroundings and keep a watchful eye on your belongings, especially in crowded situations.
  • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash, keep most of your money in traveller’s checks or use your credit card or bank card which, if lost, can be immediately cancelled and re-issued.
  • Always travel with a copy or two of your passport, if the original is lost or stolen, with the copy, the Consulate can replace it right away.
  • For the safety of your belongings and those of your roommates, do not give out your addresses, nor invite strangers to your apartments. Remember as well to lock doors and close windows when you leave the apartment.

The telephone number in Italy for emergencies is 113, this number can be dialed from any private, public or mobile phone in case of emergency or neighborhood disturbance, and a patrol car will be dispatched.

Italy has several different police divisions:
Vigili Urbani – traffic police, Polizia Municipale – city police, Polizia dello Stato – state police/highway patrol, and the Carabinieri – military police.

In Florence, you will see all of these types of policeman regularly patrolling the downtown areas and stationed at the main squares and monuments both day and night. There is even a type of “tourist police” who give directions and information to those in need.

The main police station for foreigners is located about 10 minutes walking from the school in via Pietrapiana 24/r (refer to the above map). In the case of stolen property, foreigners should report to this police station where there are English speaking officers, who will assist you in filing a police report.


United States Embassy in Rome 
via Vittorio Veneto 121 – 00187 Roma
Tel: 06-46741
for travel advisories/ public announcements,
visit the website

United States Consulate General in Florence
Open M-F, 9:00am-12:30pm
38 Lungarno Vespucci, 50123 Florence
Tel: 055-266951

British Embassy in Rome
via XX Settembre 80/A – 00187 Roma
tel: 06 42200001

British Consulate in Florence
Open M-F, 9:00am-1:00pm, 2:00-5:00pm
2 Lungarno Corsini, 50123 Florence
Tel: 055-284133

Canadian Embassy in Rome
Via Zara, 30 – 00198 Roma
. Tel: 06-85444.3937 sito web:

Australian Embassy in Rome
Via Antonio Bosio, 5 00161 – Roma  
Tel. 06 8527 21


EU students

Students who are citizens of the European Union should obtain an E 111 form from their  National Health Service in order to be eligible for free medical service in Italy.

Students from outside the European Union

Foreign students residing in Italy for more than 90 days, who are not citizens of the EU, are required to purchase Emergency medical coverage from INA Assitalia.  A 6 month policy costs approximately 40 euros (12 months, approx. 80 euro), and covers 100% of any emergency hospital medical care and recovery (accident-related and non, for example appendicitis).  The INA insurance does not cover medical visits to private doctors/dentists, or non emergency-related illnesses.  Staff members at the school will instruct students on how to purchase this insurance.

For shorter stays in Italy, students should make sure they are covered by their own or their parents insurance while overseas, or they should purchase some sort of International medical coverage.


The emergency number to call an ambulance is 118.

The main hospital the center of Florence is Santa Maria Nuova and is just 10 minutes walking from the Institute in Via Sant’Egidio. Students can be treated there for any type of emergency.

English speaking doctors:

Dr. Stephan Kerr MB.BS  British General Practitioner. Clinic visits and house calls- 24 hrs
His office is in Piazza del Mercato Nuovo 1 (near the Porcellino).  Afternoon walk-in clinic from 3-5pm Mon-Fri, or by appointment– cell phone: 335- 8361682    clinic: 055-288055
Website:      email:

Dott. Giorgio Scappini (Board Certified in International Medicine in BostonTel: +39 360 889 014
 / +39 338 889 3435.
He consults in: 
Via Orsini, 26 
(in front of the drugstore); Via B. Lupi (corner of Via San Gallo)  Tel. 055-48.33.63  M, T & Th: 
5:30pm- 6:30pm
and in Via Guasti, 2 (corner of Piazza Muratori – Take bus #4 from Piazza dell’Unità) Tel. 360-889014
 M & W:  3:00-5:00 pm, Fri. from 3:00-4:00pm It is not necessary to make an appointment — The medical visit is about € 20 (in the studio) –  House calls dial 339-7568174

Tourist Medical Service:  Vicolo degli Adimari, 1  Tel – 055- 21.22.21

Walk-in clinic hours are Mon.– Fri. 2pm-6pm.  A medical visit costs about €20. English speaking doctors

Tourist Medical Center : 24 hr. Medical service — Lorenzo il Magnifico, 59  tel. 055-475411

English and French speaking practitioners, House calls are available if needed. By Payment Only.