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About Florence


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  History of Villa Di Loreto and Residenza Tagliaferri

The first Pepperdine International Program in Florence was operated in temporary locations during the summers of 1985 and 1986. In 1987, the program moved to a rented Villa la Macine in the suburb of Il Pogetto. Although students enjoyed the beautiful grounds that surrounded the Villa, part of the building itself was nearly 500 years old and many of the things that most Americans take for granted – like ample hot water for showers – were hard to come by. Parts of the facility were in poor repair and, being a rented facility, it was difficult to keep everything in accordance with Pepperdine standards. To go into the center of Florence, students either had to pay approximately $10 for a taxi or had to walk nearly a quarter of a mile to catch a bus. In 1995 the University purchased two adjacent properties which had the same owner. These are now known as the Villa Di Loreto, which contains the classrooms, library, offices and the apartment for the Visiting Faculty member, and the Residenza Tagliaferri, which contains the dining room, student center and student rooms. The Villa Di Loreto was built in the late nineteenth century by a Russian emigre, the Countess Platoff, and its stained glass windows and other architectural features were brought from Russia. When Pepperdine purchased the property, the owner and his family occupied the main and upper floor, and he operated a small factory that made a line of designer shoes for women in the basement. The Residenza Tagliaferri was operated as the three-star Hotel Astor until April of 1995.


Located at viale Milton 41, the Pepperdine facility is within walking distance of Florence's historic center's many museums, cathedrals, and architectural treasures and the city's main railway station, Santa Maria Novella. The surrounding buildings are primarily residential, although a lively shopping area is located only a block away. Three classrooms are located on the Villa's lower level. A collection of carefully selected class resource materials is available in the library.

  Program Office

The Program Office is situated on the first floor of the Villa.

Office hours are:

  • Monday through Thursday from 9:00am – 1:00pm and 2:00pm – 6:00pm
  • Friday morning from 9:00am – 1:00pm

Office phone: +39 055 47 41 20.


Living in Florence

  Places to Visit

Pepperdine Neighborhood Tour

Below is a list of some places you may choose to visit when staying at the Florence house. The map showing the locations follows the list.

  1. Bus Stop # 13 to Piazzale Michelangelo.
    Remember to buy tickets in advance and validate them when you get on the bus.
  2. Ottanelli (Hardware Store)
    Here you can buy hairdryers and alarms.
    Address: Piazza Vittoria, 4/r
    Tel: 055486073.
  3. Giardino dell'Orticoltura (Park)
    A wonderful park where you can study, read a book or just relax.
  4. Farmacia Ponterosso (Pharmacy)
    Address: Via Bolognese, 1/r
    Tel: 055490714
    Hours: Monday – Friday, 9:00am – 1:00pm, 4:00pm – 8:00pm; Saturday open on turn.
  5. Ponterosso Ferramenta (Hardware Store)
    Address: Via Bolognese, 4/B/R
    Tel: 055489564
    Monday – Friday, 8:30am – 1:00pm, 3:30pm – 7:30pm; Saturday, 8:30am – 1:00pm.
  6. ATM #1 at Banca Toscana, Agenzia 12
    Via Faentina, I/r.
  7. Tailor
    Address: Borgo S. Lorenzo 8
    Tel: 055 212788
    Hours: Tuesday – Friday, 9:00am – 12:30pm, 3:30pm – 7:00pm; Closed Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.
  8. Baldini (Laundry)
    For dry cleaning
    Address: Via Ponte Rosso, 63/r
    Tel: 055472254
    Hours: Monday – Friday, 8:00am – 7:00pm; Saturday, 8:00am – 12:00pm
  9. Cafè Libertà
    Address: P.zza della Libertà
    Tel: 055474978
    Hours: Weekends, 6:00am – 10:30am
  10. "Poste Italiane" (Post Office)
    Address: P.zza Muratori
    Hours: Monday – Friday, 8:15am – 1:30pm; Saturday, 8:15am –12:30pm
  11. Bus Stop # 7 to Fiesole
    A nice place for dinner or a wonderful place to have a coffee.
  12. Photo Booth You need to pay € 5 to get 4 passport pictures.
  13. Esselunga (Supermarket)
    A big grocery store where you can purchase food, toiletries and home supplies.
    Address: Via Masaccio, 274/276
    Tel: 055573348
    Hours: Monday – Friday, 8:00am – 9:00pm; Saturday, 7:30am – 8:30pm.
  14. Medical Service Network of English speaking doctors: 24 hour emergency medical assistance.
    Address: Via L. Il Magnifico, 59
    Tel: 055475411
    Hours: Monday – Friday, 11:00am – 12:00am, 5:00pm – 6:00pm; Saturday, 9:00 am – 12:00pm.
  15. Eliografica Centrale (Copy Center)
    Address: Via Poliziano, 1/r.
    Tel: 0554633153
    Hours: Monday – Friday, 8:30am – 1:00pm, 2:30pm – 7:00pm; Closed on Saturday.
  16. I Raiano (Hairdresser)
    Address: Via Poliziano, 4r-6r
    Tel: 055461565 Hours: Monday, 1:00pm – 7:00pm; Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, 9:00am – 7:00pm; Thursday, 9:00am – 10:00pm; Closed on Sunday
  17. Robiglio Bar
    Here you can purchase stamps and bus tickets.
    Address: Viale Lavagnini, 18/r.
    Tel: 055490886
  18. ATM #2 at bank "Cassa di Risparmio di Parma e Piacenza"
    Address: Viale S. Lavagnini, 38
  19. ATM #3 at bank Banca di Roma
    Address: Viale S. Lavagnini, 20/a
  20. Ateneo (Stationer's Shop)
    This is a perfect place where you can buy note-pads, pens, and CDs.
    Address: Piazza Vittoria, 10/r.
    Tel: 055 495290
  21. ATM #4 at bank Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze
    Via S. Caterina di Alessandria, 14
  22. Best and Fast Change Exchange Office
    Address: Via de' Panzani, 32/r.
    Tel: 055 288958
  23. Master Shop
    Here you can buy long distance calling cards and change your money at a good rate.
    Via Nazionale, 155/r.
    Tel: 055 4625028 or 055 4625006
  24. Cobbler Address: Via Guelfa 29/r. 
    Tel: 055 289373
    Hours: Monday, 3:30pm – 7:00pm; Tuesday – Friday, 9:00am – 1:00pm, 3:30pm – 7:30pm; Saturday, 9:00am – 1:00pm; Sunday Closed
  25. Il Centro Market
    A small grocery store where you can purchase food and home supplies.
    Via delle Ruote 42/44r.
    Tel: 055 480460
  Classroom Facilities

House Security

The main entrance is locked and you will have to use the door code to open the door. Do not give code to anyone else – either another student or a guest. Do not share the door access code with anyone outside of Pepperdine students and staff.


The classrooms may be used for study during non-class periods. No food or drinks are permitted in any of the classrooms. Equipment may not be moved or used by non-faculty or staff. All class projects should be placed on Dante. Lap top computers cannot be used during class periods. Any items left unattended in the classrooms may be thrown away during cleaning periods.

Student Rooms

Every room in the Villa is different but typically 2 students are hosted in each room. Each room has their own bathroom and students will be provided with linens and towels. Upon arrival rooms will be randomly selected but you will be able to pick your roommate.  

Student Kitchen

The kitchen in the common room is for communal student use. There are utensils, crockery and cutlery available.


The laundry room is open 24 hours per day. The washing machines and dryers are gettoni (token) operated. Gettoni may be purchased from the Program Office or from the RA's for € 1.50 each. Depending on the type of wash or dry cycles chosen, more than one gettone may be required. Instructions for using both the washing machines and the dryers are posted in the laundry room. These must be followed carefully in order to maintain the machines in good condition, and so that your clothes aren't damaged. Only soap labeled "Per Lavatrice" should be used in the washing machines. It is recommended that you use the lowest temperature settings for both washing and drying. The University assumes no responsibility for any damage caused by the machines. If competition for the machines becomes problematic, the RA's will make a sign-up sheet, and only the list issued by the RA's will be respected. Every Friday from 7:00am – 10:00am the machines are reserved for staff use. Twice a month students will be issued two gettoni tokens to wash the linens from their rooms.


Arriving in Italy

It is important for Pepperdine students to identify themselves as visitors and students in an American university program because Italian laws restrict visitation periods and immigration that take jobs and/or positions in Italian universities.

The first step in entering Italy is passing through Customs. Pepperdine students should pass through the gate posted "Nothing to Declare" (Green) since, as visitors, they can expect to consume or carry out whatever they bring in.

Important Documents

Students should bring the stamped documents that were returned to them by the Italian Consulate with them to Florence. They will need these in order to register with the Police Department when they arrive in Florence, which they will do with help from the program staff. If a student does not have all these documents available, the entry letter from Pepperdine on Pepperdine letterhead is accepted by the Police Department as a substitute for ALL  documents, but it needs to be stamped by the Italian Consulate. The Police Department needs to see the Italian Consulate stamp somewhere. For that reason, every single student is expected to come here with at least one document stamped by the Consulate. Many students and parents have the mistaken perception that the process they have gone through for the Italian VISA is the only one they needed to allow the student to stay in Florence. That's probably why some students leave their stamped documents home in the States. The VISA is just the permission to enter Italy. There is an additional process to actually STAY in Italy. Students that come to Florence without a visa (due to the fact that they hold a passport from another country which does not require a visa) will be responsible for registering themselves to the local authorities.

Transportation to Your Facility

The Departure Packet will specify how students will travel from the airport to the Villa. A staff member or Resident Advisor will be awaiting arrivals in order to guide students in this process.

By Train

Pepperdine's facility, Villa Di Loreto and Residenza Tagliaferri, is located at viale Milton, 41. The Villa is within walking distance from Stazione di Santa Maria Novella (SMN), Florence's main train station. Exit the station and go right on Via Valfonda. Then go left on Via Nazionale, which becomes Via S. C. D'Allessandria. Then turn right on Viale Spartaco Lavagnini. Then turn left on Via C. Landino. The Villa is located on the corner of Via C. Landino and viale Milton. Please use the main office entrance at Via Landino 15. Students should arrive between 9:00am – 5:00pm. NOTE: If you fly into the Pisa Airport, the train to Florence takes approximately one hour. Be certain to buy your ticket in the airport unless you have an activated rail pass.

By Taxi

The Pepperdine facility is on the corner of viale Milton and via Landino. The walk-in entrance to the Villa is on viale Milton, a short 100 feet from the intersection of via Landino. Note: Italians pronounce the address "41 Milton" as "Quar-un-too-no Mealtone."


Most meals are prepared in the facility's commercial kitchen by an Italian chef and served in the former hotel's dining room Sunday evening through Thursday evening. Breakfast is served seven days a week. Lunches are not served Friday-Sunday and dinners are not served Friday-Saturday. Meals while traveling on weekends will be the responsibility of the student. 


What do you need? What should you leave behind? How will you ever get all of your things into the suitcases the airline will let you check in? The answer to all three of these very valid questions is "Less is definitely more!" Do not take too much and choose carefully what you do take.

As to choice, that should be determined by two factors: climate and cultural differences. As to quantity, that will be determined by airline luggage restrictions. Airlines have strict luggage allowances, and they will charge you a costly excess baggage fee for exceeding the maximum weight or size allowed. In some cases they may refuse to allow luggage on the airplane.

Typical Luggage Allowance

Policies on maximum number of checked luggage, dimension and weight restrictions, and checked luggage fees vary from airline to airline. It is the student's responsibility to check with his or her airline for these luggage restrictions. Most airline carriers charge a fee for each piece of checked luggage. Fees vary by airline, and it is the student's responsibility to be prepared to pay these fees at the airport.

What to Take

During the week, students have a schedule much like Malibu. Classes and meals will take up most of the day, but evening activities may vary. The most common student dress is casual – jeans or khakis, long-sleeved shirts, sweaters and sweatshirts. It is much colder and damper in Europe in the fall and winter than it is in Malibu. (But there will be enough warm days to justify taking a few short-sleeved tee shirts.) Take clothing that layers. Start with jeans or slacks and a long-sleeved shirt. For really cold weather, add an under layer of thermal or silk underwear (one bottom and one top should be sufficient) and a top layer that is lightweight and warm (a hoodie or fleece pullover), which you can add or remove, depending on the temperature. The outer layer (coat) needs to be waterproof and warm. A down-filled parka, or ski-type jacket, is ideal for very cold weather and travel. But it might also be desirable to have a long, dark- colored raincoat (perhaps with a zip-out insulated lining) for city wear. Three pairs of shoes should cover it: waterproof comfortable walking shoes are absolutely necessary (think miles and miles of walking and uneven rocky surfaces), athletic shoes for daily wear, and nice shoes for dressy occasions. Waterproof sandals or flip flops are a good idea for wearing in the showers and bathrooms both in the house and when traveling.

One of the most obvious cultural differences between Europeans and Americans is dress. When Europeans go out at night, even to a local restaurant, they tend to dress up. You should too, even when traveling. This doesn't mean formal wear – nice slacks or jeans and a sweater are fine for all but the fanciest restaurants. Something dressier is appropriate for the opera, the symphony or the theatre. Dress to blend in with your country's culture. Europeans are seldom seen on the street wearing shorts and tank tops, even in summer, unless at beach resorts. If you must wear a pair of shorts and a tank top, please save it for the beach or inside the house – especially women for safety reasons!

Suggestions from Program Alumni

  • The weather tends to be extremely warm in the early fall and late spring, so be sure to pack lightweight clothing for these times of the academic year.
  • Practical clothes that are dark-colored, machine-washable, wrinkle-resistant, and colorfast will last longer and be more comfortable. Keep in mind that storage space is more limited in the Florence bedrooms than it is in the Malibu dorms.
  • Don't take too many shoes. You'll be much happier with a few pair of versatile, comfortable shoes than a suitcase of shoes to match every outfit.
  • You can find personal products like toothpaste, shampoo, soap, etc. overseas – often even the same brands. However, bring your favorite product if you can't live without it. If you wear contact lenses, you may want to take along a supply of lens solution. The brands overseas may differ slightly from those in the U.S. If you plan to travel frequently by rail, it is helpful to bring a couple travel-sized bottles of antibacterial gel to wash your hands with.
  • Cathedrals and other religious sites often require modest attire, which is defined both for men and women as covered shoulders and long pants (or skirts). Women may wish to carry a large, lightweight scarf during warm weather so they can quickly cover their shoulders.
  • If you are on medication, bring a supply from home. U.S. prescriptions will not be filled overseas. Generic brands of aspirin, cough syrup, etc., may be found locally, but not always the brands you prefer. Some medications that are sold over the counter in the United States require a prescription in Florence such as Robitussin DM cough syrup and Neosporin. You may wish to bring these items with you. When traveling with a medication, keep it in its regular prescription container and keep a copy of your doctor's prescription with you. If you must take medication by injection (i.e., insulin) please carry your doctor's letter describing your condition and inform Pepperdine's staff overseas immediately upon arrival.
  • BED LINENS ARE PROVIDED in the houses but you need to take your own towels and washcloths. When you travel, you will find that many hotels do not provide washcloths. (If space is an issue, you can always get towels overseas. Just take one and purchase more if you need them.)


  • Slacks or jeans
  • Shorts
  • Skirts
  • Tees
  • Long-sleeved shirt
  • Warm sweaters/polar fleece pullover/sweatshirt
  • Warm coat (which you may need to wear over dress clothes) and/or jacket
  • Warm, water-proof shoes or boots
  • Walking shoes
  • Underwear
  • Warm socks
  • Cold-weather gear: thermal underwear or heavy knit tights, gloves/mittens, warm hat or scarf
  • Warm pajamas and a lightweight robe
  • Slippers or sandals – bare feet aren't allowed in our houses or in hotel lobbies
  • Some special occasion wear (theatre, opera, banquet, a date?!)
  • Swimming suit

Other Essential Items

  • Emergency envelope (see Student Handbook for details)
  • Telephone calling card – purchase a local card upon arrival in Florence
  • Travel alarm clock
  • Lightweight towel and washcloth (at least one of each; more can be purchased locally)
  • Backpack for weekend travel
  • Money belt or passport pouch (to store valuables under your clothes)
  • Umbrella (as collapsible as possible)
  • Flash Drive
  • Spare contacts or glasses
  • Supply of prescription medication in original containers

A Few Tips

  • Don't put valuables (cameras, computer, etc.) in your checked baggage
  • Avoid over-packing your bag so that the airport security screener will be able to easily reseal your bag if it is opened for inspection.
  • Avoid packing food and drink items in checked baggage.
  • Place identification tags with your name and phone number on all of your baggage, including your laptop computer. It is a good idea to place an identification tag inside your baggage as well.
  • Pack one change of clothing and necessary toiletries in your carryon luggage. Suitcases do not always arrive when you do.
  • Roll your clothes instead of folding them. This saves space and leaves room for overseas purchases.
  • Wear your bulkiest, heaviest shoes and your coat or jacket on the plane so you won't have to pack them.
  • Use the space inside your shoes for small items (socks, toiletries, etc.)
  • Don't forget to save space for your books!
  • DO NOT pack money, travelers' checks, or credit cards in your checked luggage.
  • Save space for your return trip – luggage restrictions can be even more strict flying from Europe to the United States.

Do Not Bring

  • Linens
  • Expensive jewelry or other valuables
  • Too many shoes
  • Sophisticated electronic equipment
  • Things on the list above that you'd rather buy overseas
  • Anything you don't absolutely need
  Cultural Activities

Cultural and Sporting Events

Below are websites where you can get information and directly purchase tickets for the most important cultural, sports, music events, and art exhibitions both in Florence and throughout Italy. It is centrally located in Florence and it is easy to reach.,

Teatro Comunale

Known worldwide for its classical music concerts and opera representations.
Corso Italia, 12
Ticket Office
Tel: 80011211

Theatres in Florence

Famous for their comedies, theatre representations, and musicals.

Teatro Verdi
Via Ghibellina, 101
Tel: 055212320

Teatro della Pergola
Via della Pergola, 12/32
Tel: 0552264335

Classical Music Concerts in Florence

Amici della Musica
Via G. Sirtori, 49
Tel: 055608420

Original Language Films

Odeon Original Sound
Via Sassetti, 1
Tel: 055214068
Every Monday and Tuesday
Ticket € 7.20; Club Card: 6 films € 27.00


The number you can call to make reservations at these museums is: 055 2654321. If you are interested in visiting the famous "Last Supper" by Leonardo Da Vinci in Milan you can make reservations by calling this number: 02 89421146.

Uffizi Gallery
Loggiato degli Uffizi, 6
Tel: 05523885
Closed Mondays

Gallery of Modern Art
Pitti Palace, Piazza Pitti
Closed 1st, 3rd, 5th Monday & 2nd, 4th Sunday of each month

Academy Gallery
Via Ricasoli, 60
Tel: 0552388609
Closed Mondays

Brancacci Chapel
Piazza del Carmine
Tel: 0552382195
Closed Tuesdays

Palatine Gallery
Pitti Palace, Piazza Pitti
Closed Mondays


Duomo San Giovanni

Baptistery of San Giovanni S. Giovanni

Basilica of Santa Croce Santa Croce

Basilica of San Lorenzo San Lorenzo

Basilica di S. Maria Novella S. Maria Novella

Church of S. Miniato al Monte
V.le Galileo (near Piazzale Michelangelo)

Church of SS. Annunziata SS. Annunziata

  Service Opportunities

Big Brother Big Sister

This is a program that started in the spring of 2003. The goal is to teach English to local Italians. The student will be assigned a child from the age of 6-14. We hope that you will speak only English during this time even if it is tempting to speak Italian.

Depending on the age, each group will have different activities. A calendar and schedule will be made for each week, however the BB/BS usually takes place on Thursdays. The Program has been putting on several Disney plays like Little Mermaid or Peter Pan etc. in English but from 2010-2011 we have tried to organize more activities so that the kids could learn and have fun in the same time. Each week we will have printed name tags for both our students and the Italian students.

Food Service

The Florence program is cooperating with a homeless shelter institute in Florence that offers meals to the homeless community of the city. Students are asked, on a voluntary basis, to daily bring our left over food to the Institute and bring the empty boxes back to the Villa.


Several times during the semester our students can visit the hosts of a social institute that provides shelter to a small community of people affected by different kind of mental and physical disabilities. CIRS stands for Comitato Italiano per il Reinserimento Sociale and its goal is to help these people catch back with the general society of Florence. For instance, mentally retarded people can find assistance at CIRS in many different types of labor and artistic activities, such as porcelain, theatre, physical education, etc. Our students often go there and spend a couple of hours talking to them, interacting and helping them out in their different activities. Pepperdine students are always welcome at CIRS and the relationship is one of the most genuine and fulfilling.

Corri la Vita

Corri la Vita is a non competitive running race organized by the city of Florence that serves as a fund raising event to help the scientific research against cancer. It usually takes place late September every year and it gathers about 20000 runners each edition. Pepperdine University is happy to sponsor this activity for the students because Corri la Vita is a Florentine tradition that connects charity purposes with a true Italian experience, highly regarded at the national level.

Green Day

Students will be asked every year to serve for the environment spending their time for this good purpose. In past years students have decided to help cleaning the small river from the trash and, as a general rule, they always separate trash inside the Villa: paper, plastic, and general trash.

Olive and Grape Picking

According to the harvest period and if weather permits, an olive and grape picking activity is scheduled to give the student the opportunity to experience the true pleasure of picking up olives and grapes in the Tuscan hills, reconnecting with nature and helping the community with this heavy task.

  Student Employment

Resident Advisors

One male and one female RA are hired and trained by the IP Office prior to departure. RAs are expected to work together with the Program Director, Visiting Faculty, and IP Office to create a strong learning community, maintain Pepperdine standards, and promote the IP mission statement within the group. Through planning events, acting as a leader and working as a liaison between the students and the Program Staff, RAs are essential for the development of camaraderie within the house.

Media Coordinator

One IP Media Coordinator (IPMC) is hired and trained by the IP Office prior to departure. The IPMC acts as a liaison to the IP Office for collecting photos and video footage from the program and then creating videos from that footage. The IPMC creates two end-of-the-semester videos, an Orientation House Tour video, a service-oriented video, and a 5-minute video to be shown at The Return the following Fall semester. Additionally, they are responsible for creating two "check in" videos per month while abroad. These videos are posted onto both the IP and program-specific Vimeo sites: and

Library Worker

The library worker is hired on the Malibu campus before departure for the program. This position serves as a resource for managing and organizing the library resources at the facility, and helping students to more effectively use online library resources provided by the Pepperdine University Libraries.

Student Worker Positions

Student Workers are hired by the Program Director once students arrive at their program. These positions range in the amount of responsibilities and time commitment.

Kitchen Worker

Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays the program serves breakfast, lunch and dinner to students. On Sundays, only dinner is offered. Consequently the following positions are available: Breakfast set-up, Lunch clean-up, Dinner set-up, Dinner clean-up.

This is roughly what they need to do:

  • Breakfast Set-up
    • Put the plastic tablecloths on the serving tables.
    • Set out: glasses, coffee cups, tea cups, spoons, sugar, paper napkins, bowls, bread, 4 kinds of cereals, yogurt, juices, 2 kinds of cold milk, jams, honey and chocolates.
    • Coffee (3 thermos), tea and hot milk.
    • Check if the coffee and the tea need to be replaced.
    • Check if anything needs to be full and replaced.
    • Rotate the cereal every morning.
  • Breakfast Clean-up
    • Put back all the food and drinks in their place in the kitchen.
    • Clean and put back the dishes, the teapots and the coffee makers in their own places.
    • Turn the sanitizer is off.
    • Check if all the paper napkins, paper tablecloths and plastic cutlery are thrown away.
    • Clean and dry the plastic tablecloths.
    • Check if the cabinet and the serving table are cleaned.
    • Check if the cabinet and the kitchen door are closed.
    • Check if they throw away the trash from the kitchen and the mensa.
  • Lunch & Dinner Set-up
    • Check if all the tables are ready with: paper tablecloths, paper napkins, cups, cutlery, 1 oil set on each table,1 bottle of water.
    • Check if all the oil set, Parmesan cheese and the bottles of water are full.
    • Check if on the serving tables are placed the plates.
    • Check if the cabinet is locked during lunch and dinner (only the cabinet with plastic cutlery, cups and napkins can be open.
    • Check if bread is ready in a bowl and if it is replaced upstairs in the dining area.
    • Check if the fruits are washed and ready.
    • Check if the bowl with hot water and soap is ready upstairs on the trolley.
    • Check if the coffee cups and the tea cups are replaced near tea and coffee on the serving table.
    • Check if coffee, tea and cookies are ready.
    • Check if the food is placed on the serving tables for every course.
  • Lunch & Dinner Clean-up
    • Check if all the dishes, cutleries, cups, oil sets and cheese bowls are taken back to the kitchen.
    • Check if the oil sets are refilled for next time and if they washed them at least once a week.
    • Check if all the bottles of water are empty.
    • Check if the cabinet, the serving table and all the tables are cleaned.
    • Check if they sweep and mop the dining room.
    • Check if the pots and pans are cleaned and replaced in their places in the kitchen.
    • Check if all the dishes, cups and cutleries are cleaned and replaced in the cabinet upstairs.
    • Check if they cleaned and put the bottles of water in the sanitizer (they have to do this operation one time a day)
    • Check if the sinks and the kitchen table are cleaned.
    • Check if they sweep and mop the kitchen.
    • Check if the oil sets are full.
    • Check if the cabinet is locked.
    • Check if the kitchen door is closed when they're working and when they have finished.
    • Check if they throw away the trash from the kitchen, the mensa and the student centre.


Service Coordinator

  • The Service Coordinator duties are listed as follows:

    • Food Service
      • We deliver food once a day depending on the student's class schedule.
      • We take a sign up sheet from the students and depending on their class schedule we make a calendar of when they are to deliver the food.
      • We will start the food delivery during the first week of October.
      • We will have a training session with each student to show them where they need to go.
      • The student worker packs up the food for them.
      • It takes about 15 minutes to walk to the square and 5 minutes to give the food and bring back the empty containers.
      • We supply the carts for the students to roll the food down to the center.
    • Orphanage
      • First we need to determine how many students are interested.
      • We need to fill out an application.
      • We have to be approved by the Orphanage.
      • We have a meeting all together at the Orphanage and then we have a tour of the Orphanage and we meet the children for the first time.
      • We start the week after our official meeting.
      • Once we establish our day in which we are going to serve we will make a sign up sheet with a back up calendar.
      • (All above should be done before our field trip).
      • This program should start the weekend after our Field Trip.

    Big Brother Big Sister

    • Dates have been determined from 6pm to 8pm on Thursdays for those who participate.
    • Goal is to teach English to young children from the age 6-14.
    • We divide the 6-7 year old 8-9 year old 10-12.
    • We might have older children, but we will need to decide what we should do with them.
    • This project is the most time consuming and the hardest, but at the end the most enjoyable to our students.
    • In the past we have done a play which means that each time we worked in base of this.
    • The students wrote the play and we practiced each time we got together.
    • Other time have a theme each time and we have had work station and the group would.
    • The themes need to be determined at the beginning of October.
    • Each week we need name tags for the students and our Pepperdine students (we need to make sure we have correct spelling of everyone's names).
    • We need to know what supplies are needed the by Monday of each big Brother/Big Sister.
    • Set up starts at 5pm and we need a few students to assist each time with set up.
    • We need to have a lesson plan for each week which you need to come up with.

What are your smartphone options?

  • We require students to secure a smartphone with an international calling and data plan or an in-country call and data plan in order to take advantage of all International SOS applications (our travel assistance provider) and to be able to be reached in cases of emergency. Please consider one of the following options:

U.S. Options

  • Use your existing smartphone. This may be possible depending on your carrier and smartphone. Contact your cellular provider to understand how your phone would work abroad and about any international calling and data plans available.
  • Purchase a new U.S. smartphone with global service (e.g. google phone plan, select T-Mobile, and select Sprint offerings).
  • Purchase an international sim card similar to one found at Cellular Abroad. Please visit this page to learn about unlocking your smartphone and contact your current provider to know if your phone can/should be unlocked and how to do so.

Florence Options

  • Bring your existing unlocked smartphone or another unlocked smartphone phone that you can put a local sim card into.
  • Most students purchase a pay by month sim card when they arrive in Florence. You can purchase this card at a store 2 minutes away from the villa, and your group will be taken there during the program orientation. This plan has two versions, one with data and no minutes, or one that gives less data but minutes. Most students do not purchase minutes, as you can utilize FaceTime Audio, or WhatsApp with data to call. One things student may use minutes for is to call taxis. However, there is an app called AppTaxi in which case you can order taxi's in a way similar to Uber.
  • The most commonly used service is TIM: 25 Euros* for a sim card + 10 euros* per month as usage fees.
    • Two Plans
    • Plan 1: About 25GB of data per month, but no minutes
    • Plan 2: About 10GB of data per month, with 100 minutes
  • The program does not recommend purchasing a phone in Italy.

*Please Note: These prices are as of November 2018, and are subject to fluctuation.


Each student room has a telephone in the room. They can use dial codes for emergency, long distance, and room-to-room calls. Phones in the rooms do not permit local calling. For local calls, a student may use the pay phone located in the hallway on the ground floor or one of the prepaid phone cards largely available in Florence (USA AT&T, MCI, EUROPA,etc ).

Dialing Instructions

When dialing the US from Florence:

  • First dial the international calling code 001, then the area code, then the number.
  • Example: to call the Pepperdine switchboard from the Villa – 001 310 506 4000.

When dialing Villa from outside Italy:

  • First dial the international calling code (either 011 from the USA or 00 from Europe), 39 (Italy's country code), then 055 (Florence's city code) followed by the local number.
  • For example dialing the office from the USA 011 39 055 47 41 20 or from Europe 00 39055474120.

On Campus Dialing

All the extensions correspond to the room number except the following:

Room 3 - ext. 35
Room 4 - ext. 34
Program Office - ext. 10
Director Office - ext. 13
Faculty apartment - ext. 15

Taxi - 5005, 5006

Emergency Numbers

Police - 5008
Fire - 5009
Ambulance - 5010
Medical Center (24 hrs a day) - 5007
Director Elizabeth Whatley (mobile) - 5025
Director Elizabeth Whatley (house) - 5026

Calls to Your Room from Off Campus

+39 055 488657 + room number /ext.*
+39 055 488696 + room number / ext.*
*The phone computer answers to outside calls with a shrill tone. During the tone the room number / extension should be dialed. The system works only with touch- tone telephones.

Calls from Off Campus

+39 055 474120 - Program Office
+39 335 6207534 - Director (mobile)


Many students prefer to use WhatsApp, an app that allows you to make international phone calls, video calls, and texts at no additional charge. This is typically used as an alternative Text and FaceTime in many European countries.

Student Mail

Student Mail is placed in a basket outside of the program office on a daily basis. Students can come and pick up their mail at anytime.

  Electrical Applicances

Voltage and plugs differ in Europe and without the proper voltage converter American appliances (110 volts) will "fry" when plugged into European electricity outlets. Voltage converters that are sold widely with plug converters do not work very well – in spite of manufacturers' claims. Using them for such things as radios and stereos may mean damage to the unit. Do not bring sophisticated electronic equipment that might be damaged by even the slighted voltage change unless they are battery operated (and bring a good supply of batteries!).

The following electricity standards apply:

  • Central/Southern Europe - 220v/50hz (round, 2-pronged plug)
  • United Kingdom - 220v/50hz (plug shape differs from rest of Europe)

Definitely DO NOT take American hair dryers, straighteners, or curling irons since converters are not sufficient for their high watt requirements. European versions are readily available and reasonably inexpensive.

Do not use electrical appliances in the bathrooms. Faulty insulation of an iron or hairdryer in connection with water is lethal with 220-volt power supplies. You cannot use many US electronic appliances in Italy – if you are unsure please check before you plug anything in. Adapters and electronic items such as hairdryers can be found at electronics shops.


Visiting Florence

  General Info

Facts and Statistics

  • Location: Southern Europe, bordering Austria 430 km, France 488 km, Holy See (Vatican City)
  • 3.2 km, San Marino 39 km, Slovenia 232 km, Switzerland 740 km
  • Capital: Rome
  • Climate: predominantly Mediterranean; Alpine in far north; hot, dry in south
  • Population: 58,057,477 (July 2004 est.)
  • Ethnic Make-up: Italian (includes small clusters of German-, French-, and Slovene-Italians in the north and Albanian-Italians and Greek-Italians in the south)
  • Religions: predominately Roman Catholic with mature Protestant and Jewish communities and a growing Muslim immigrant community
  • Government: republic

Language in Italy

Italian is the official language of Italy, and 93% of population are native Italian speakers. Around 50% of population speak a regional dialect as mother tongue. Many dialects are mutually unintelligible and thus considered by linguists as separate languages, but are not officially recognized. Friulian, one of these dialects, is spoken by 600,000 people in the north east of Italy, which is 1% of the entire population. Other northern minority languages include Ladin, Slovene, German, which enjoys equal recognition with Italian in the province of Alto-Adige, and French, which is legally recognized in the Alpine region of the Val d'Aosta. Albanian is spoken by 0.2% of the population, mainly in the southern part of Italy, as too are Croatian and Greek. Catalan is spoken in one city, Alghero, on the island of Sardinia, by around 0.07% of the population. On the rest of the island, Sardinian is spoken by over 1m, which comes to 1.7% of the Italian population.

  Guests and Visitors


Guests are permitted in the Student Centre only in special cases. All guests must be signed in at the Program Office. Guests who are not resident in villa may only be received in the public areas from 9:00am – 11:00pm. Guests are never permitted on any of the floors that contain student bedrooms without the permission of the Program Director.

The University reserves the right to refuse entry to a visitor as well as request a guest to leave. Again, no overnight guests are allowed.

Though alumni are not permitted to stay in Pepperdine's International Program facilities, tours may be requested and are dependent upon the availability of the International Program staff. If you are interested in attending an alumni trip held at your International Program site, please contact the Seaver College Alumni Relations Office to find out about upcoming Pepperdine Alumni Travel trips.
Phone: 310.506.4348

For Visitors from Other European International Programs

The Florence Villa has dormitories and rooms available for students coming from other Pepperdine International Programs.

Students who wish to stay in another Program's facility must request permission to do so by faxing the other Program's Director, by the Tuesday before the requested weekend of lodging. (Students may fax requests for housing at any time in order to obtain priority, but must follow up the request on the Tuesday before the actual requested weekend. The student must wait to receive fax confirmation from the other Program before leaving).

Each week, the Resident Advisors (RAs) will coordinate all housing requests with the Facility Manager and Program Assistant.


Hotels and Hostels

Where to Sleep in Florence

Hotel Reservations in Italy

- Hotel LA FORTEZZA (3 stars) Viale Milton, 95 - 50129 Firenze
Ph.: +39 055 46391 Fax 0039 055 46391388
email  site

- Hotel SAN GALLO PALACE (4 stars) Via Lorenzo il Magnifico 2 - 50129
Ph.: +39 055 463871 - Fax +39 055 4638704
email  site

- Hotel DONATELLO (3 stars) Piazza Indipendenza, 24 - 50123 Firenze
Ph. +39 055 4627472 - Fax +39 055 4625064
email  site

- Hotel PANAMA (3 stars) Viale XX Settembre, 80 - Firenze
Ph.: +39 055 4620236 / 4620237 Fax: +39 055 4620235

- Hotel CARAVAGGIO (3 stars) -  P.zza Indipendenza, 5 50129 Firenze
Tel. +39 055 496310


- PLUS FLORENCE YOUTH HOSTEL - Via Santa Caterina D’Alessandria, 15 (this is very close to the villa)

Phone nr. +39 055 462 8934


- LOCANDA GALLO – Bed & Breakfast – Via San Gallo, 73 – 50129 Firenze

Tel. +39 055 4620095 Fax: +39 055 240607

Email site


- Paolo Manini Bed & Breakfast – Viale Cadorna 12

Mobile: 333 3770022 – Phone 055 485688



- Ape Rossa Bed & Breakfast – Via dei Cappuccini 12 – 50134 Firenze

Ph./Fax: +39 055475178 – Mobile 338 5356686