Italy (SISM) - Firenze
Internal Medicine Endocrinology, Internal Medicine - Cardiology, Internal Medicine - General, General Surgery, Internal Medicine - Rheumatology
Pocket money: 3,50 euros per day
Student Hostel - "Residenza Calamandrei", Viale G.B. Morgagni 51, 50134, Florence
Nicole Capialbi

Florence is the capital city of Tuscany region, located in Northern Central Italy. It counts about 377 000 inhabitants but they are regularly more, because of the amount of tourists visiting the city during the whole year. Because of its history, Florence is a great historical and fine arts centre in Tuscany and, more generally, in Italy.

Capital city of the Italian Kingdom from 1865 to 1871, after Italy unification, Florence has been previously an important city-state during the Middle Age often in war with other cities nearby, like the Marine Republic of Pisa, the city of Siena and Lucca, to predominate on territory. The city of Florence found out his Gold-Time during the Reinassance period, under the governor of Medici Family, one of the richest family in town (they were ancient doctors -speziali-) who succeeded to conquer the power during the 15th century and expanded Florence dominion and influence on the whole region corresponding to the actual Tuscany. This period consacred Florence as one of the most beatiful city in Europe and gave it the reputation of "capital of the Reinassance".

(The picture on the right shows a portrait of Lorenzo de' Medici (called the Magnificent) by Girolamo Macchietti (16th century))

Unfortunatly the beauties you can admire in Florence are mostly from Reinassance period, because, starting from the 1500s, the new artistic trends moved to other cities. This situation held over until the 1800s, the century when the city became capital of Italy.
During the 1600s Florence reached its peak in the field of science, especially meteorology, while in 1737 it saw the extinction of the Medici dinasty and the inclusion of all Tuscany in the territories of the Austian crown, leading Francis Stephen , duke of Lorraine, to access the throne. On November 30th 1786 the Grand Duke Peter Leopold approved a new penal code in which, for the first time in the history of the modern States, torture and death penalty were abolished.
Florence saw a new cultural and artistic growth during the 1800s, when new buildings and monuments were constructed and many representatives of the culture of the time (from all over Europe) lived there thanks to its pretty liberal and tolerant environment.
The historic centre of Florence attracts millions of tourists each year, and it was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1982. Due to Florence's artistic and architectural heritage, it has been ranked by Forbes as one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and the city is noted for its history, culture, Renaissance art and architecture and monuments.


Hospitals connected to the medical school

The Teaching Hospital of Careggi [1] you are going to is about 5 min walking from your lodging place, it is a multiple building facility spread on a large area, some departments are new and fully modern, some others older.
The first day you will go to your ward with one of us who will introduce you to your chief and your tutor, who is an intern or a young doctor, she/he will explain you what you need or do not understand, you will speak with her/him in English. In Italy very few people speak English, old patients speak just Italian and sometimes also older doctors. Italian teaching system is almost focused only on frontal lectures and self studying so, generally, there are not many students working in the departments and practical training is deficitary, so you could find some problems in comparison with your system. Students are generally not allowed to perform diagnostic and therapeutic procedures alone and independently, please always ask if you know how to do something and want to do it, you will be supervised and cannot do anything without doctor's approval. You will have occasion to practice if you know how to exploit situations, being demanding with doctors and making your presence count.
What to bring – It is mandatory to have your personal white-coat and your stethoscope, hospital cannot provide you some. We suggest to bring your hospital shoes or comfortable ones. If you are going to clinical wards you are allowed to dress however you want but with some restrictions: no short trousers, no mini-skirt, no sandals, no short-top, if you are long-haired it's better to keep your hair tied up, if you have beard try to make it appear well cured or shave it regularly; try to be always professional. If you are going to surgical wards please note same things for clinical, in addition, when you will go to the O.R. you will be provided with scrubs, it is possible you will be requested to dress only with them or after O.R. you will find more comfortable keeping it, normally there is no problem. If you will do night shifts you can ask for scrubs, also generally there is no problem for that.Working time – It may vary depending on the day and ward, normally rounds start at 8.30-9, O.R. at 7-7.30 until 14 or later. You will not be asked to stay until late noon and it may change from day to day, so if you think your work is done, feel free to go from 12 but report yourself to your tutor, if you can not find her/him it does not matter, anyway you can plan working time with your tutor. Weekends and nights are not requested, but if you find it interesting you can do it, we suggest to speak about it with your tutor. Nobody will make pressure on you about it, but we just ask you to try to be punctual in the morning, at least the first days: if you will not demonstrate interest and constance in going to hospital you may create some trouble for us with our professors. Thanks in advance.Except from Careggi, there are two other structures connected with the medical school. The first is the C.T.O. (Centro Traumatologico Ortopedico - Orthopaedic Traumatological Center), which is always administrated by Careggi but it is located just outside its area, on the right. The other structure is the hospital Meyer, which has a different administration and a paediatric hospital, one of the best in Europe. You might also go there for your exchange, depending on the department you have been assigned to.

Universita degli studi di Firenze Pathology Basic Science Unraveling the role of renal progenitors in resolution/progression of glomerular and tubular injury
Universita degli studi di Firenze Pathology Basic Science Characterisation and drug sensitivity of BCR/Abl-independent / Imatinib-resistant stem cells of Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia selected in hypoxia
Universita degli studi di Firenze Rheumatology Clinical Project without lab work Assessment of cardiovascular involvement in systemic lupus erythematosus

You will be provided with pocket money for your meals; the sum is 3,50€ per day (excluding Sundays) and covers a "ridotto 1" meal in the university restaturants. The option "ridotto 1" includes a first course, a side dish with dessert or fruit, bread and drink, but you can also spend the money wherever you want. You will receive a meal-card for the canteen of the student hostel where you are going to live, but you can use it in every allowed university restaurant. One university-restaurant is located exactly at your student house, opening times are 12.00-14.15 and 19.00-21. In hospital there is no student restaurant but sometimes you can eat hospital meals, or grab something at hospital's bars, that will depend on your working time or what you prefer.


You will stay at Student House “Calamandrei”, a 5 tower structure from Regional Grants Service, it hosts about 400 students coming from Italy and whole world in general, especially Albania, different African and Middle-East countries. It is located in viale Morgagni 48, just 5 minutes from hospital and is in front of some scientific faculties facilities (Plesso didattico Morgagni), with classrooms, internet room/wifi, bar, library, studying rooms.

Rooms – Rooms are double, divided per sex (compulsory), with lavatory and shower shared with other 2 students (1 shower, 1 sink for 4 people), WC are at floor. Bedsheets service is available, you will need just your towels. Laundry service is also available in the basement. Hosting foreign people in the facility is forbidden.


The principal public transport network within the city is run by the ATAF and Li-nea bus company, with tickets available at local tobacconists, bars and newspaper stalls. Individual tickets, or a pass called the Carta Agile with multiple rides (10, 21 or 35), may be used on ATAF&Li-nea buses, Tramvia, and 2nd class local trains but only within city railway stations. Once on the bus, tickets must be stamped (or swiped for the Carta Agile) using the machines on board, unlike train tickets which must be validated before boarding. The main bus station is next to Santa Maria Novella railway station. Trenitalia runs trains between the railway stations within the city, and to other destinations around Italy and Europe. The central railway station, Santa Maria Novella railway station, is located about 500 metres (1,600 ft) northwest of the Piazza del Duomo. There are two other important stations: Campo Di Marte and Rifredi. Most bundled routes are Firenze—Pisa, Firenze—Viareggio and Firenze-Arezzo (along the main line to Rome). Other local railways connect Florence with Borgo San Lorenzo in the Mugello area (Faentina railway) and Siena.
Long distance 10 km (6.21 mi) buses are run by the SITA, Copit, CAP companies. The transit companies also accommodate travellers from the Amerigo Vespucci Airport, which is five kilometres (3.1 miles) west of the city centre, and which has scheduled services run by major European carriers.
The centre of the city is closed to through-traffic, although buses, taxis and residents with appropriate permits are allowed in. This area is commonly referred to as the ZTL (Zona Traffico Limitato), which is divided into five subsections.[citation needed] Residents of one section, therefore, will only be able to drive in their district and perhaps some surrounding ones. Cars without permits are allowed to enter after 7.30 pm, or before 7.30 am. The rules shift during the tourist-filled summers, putting more restrictions on where one can get in and out.
In an effort to reduce air pollution and car traffic in the city, a multi-line tram network called Tramvia is under construction. The first line began operation on 14 February 2010 and connects Florence's primary intercity railway station (Santa Maria Novella) with the southwestern suburb of Scandicci. This line is 7.4 km (4.6 mi) long and has 14 stops. The construction of a second line began on 5 November 2011, construction was stopped due to contractors' difficulties but will be completed in 2018. This second line will connect Florence's airport with the city centre. A third line (from Santa Maria Novella to the Careggi area, where are the most important hospitals of Florence) will be completed in 2018 too.

Railway station

Firenze Santa Maria Novella railway station is the main national and international railway station in Florence and is used by 59 million people every year. The building, designed by Giovanni Michelucci, was built in the Italian Rationalism style and it is one of the major rationalist buildings in Italy. It is located in Piazza della Stazione, near the Fortezza da Basso (a masterpiece of the military Renaissance architecture) and the Viali di Circonvallazione, and in front of the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella's apse, from which it takes its name.
A new high-speed rail station is under construction and is contracted to be operational by 2015. It is planned to be connected to Vespucci airport, Santa Maria Novella railway station, and to the city centre by the second line of Tramvia. The architectural firms Foster + Partners and Lancietti Passaleva Giordo and Associates designed this new rail station.


Florence's "Amerigo Vespucci" is one of two main airports in the Tuscany region, the other being Galileo Galilei International Airport in Pisa.


Florence has few beautiful parks, interesting walking paths and it is sorrounded by wonderful countryside and touristic attraction. All the cultural and young life is almost all located in the city centre, mostly in bars, cafés, clubs; in general there is not any problem in spending time drinking and chatting in squares and streets until late night, but eventually neighbours can complain about it and in the last years it has been more frequent police intervention, especially with drunk people. Buying and drinking alcohol in the streets is not prohibited, bars do not give glass bottles or glasses after 10 PM for street drinking, plastic and cans are allowed instead. Buying, selling and detention of drugs (e.g. hashish, weed, cocaine, heroine, amphetamine) is prohibited by Italian laws, punished with fines, signalization to toxic dependency services and legal charge. Florence local committee will not be considered responsible of your private behaviour and any legal issue will not be considered IFMSA responsibility.
In general about our social program we organize tours in Siena, Pisa, Lucca or Montecatini, some gorgeous towns in Tuscany. We plan dinners, "happy hours" all together. Our favourite "event" is a lunch where everyone cooks some special meal from his/her country that we enjoy all together!!


Sight Seeing

  • Florence Cathedral - Duomo di Santa Maria del Fiore (with the Dome)

It is the fourth biggest Church in the world and his uniqueness is its spectacular dome, the first builded and second for largeness after S. Peter Dome in Rome. It was begun in 1296 in the Gothic style to the design of Arnolfo di Cambio and completed structurally in 1436 with the aforementioned dome engineered by Filippo Brunelleschi. The external façade was not completed until 1887 (Neo-Gothic style).
The Cathedral complex includes the Baptistery and Giotto's Bell Tower, all located in Duomo Square.

  • Church of the Holy Cross - Chiesa di Santa Croce

It hosts a beautiful chapel builded by architect Filippo Brunelleschi (the same of the Dome) for Pazzi's Family and many monumental graves of important artists and scientists, between them: Michelangelo, Galileo Galilei, Machiavelli, Rossini, Foscolo and others.

  • Old Bridge - Ponte Vecchio

One of the symbol of the city in the world, it hosts jewelry stores and precious stones laboratory.
It was built in 1345 by Taddeo Gaddi.

  • Piazza della Signoria

The central square of Florence, it hosts beautiful art masterpieces like:
- Palazzo Vecchio (Old Palace), which was the seat of many florentine rulers throughout history and is the current Town Hall;
- The fountain of Neptune by Bartolomeo Ammannati (1545);
- The Loggia dei Lanzi.

  • Pitti Palace and the Boboli Garden - Palazzo Pitti e il Giardino di Boboli

Palazzo Pitti (Pitti Palace) was built in 1458 and was originally the residence of Luca Pitti, a rich florentine banker. In 1549 the palace was bought by the Medici family and became the residence of the ruling families of the Grand Dutchy of Tuscany (Medici and then Lorraine), and of the Savoia family for a short period after Italy unification.
Today there are 7 museums located inside Palazzo Pitti; the complex also includes the wonderful Boboli Garden, a real open-air museum (containing beautiful statues) which can be considered one of the most important examples of Italian garden.

  • Michelangelo Square - Piazzale Michelangelo

Piazzale Michelangelo is one of the best places where to go if you want to see a wonderful panoramic view of Florence. It was built in 1869 by the architect Giuseppe Poggi and its famous view is often reproduced on postcards.


  • The Uffizi Museum

It is one of the most famous art galleries in the world (and the most visited italian museum), it owns an incomparable collection of Reinassance Art, with paintings of Giotto, Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Donatello, Michelangelo, Raffaello, Tiziano, Caravaggio, Bernini, Beato Angelico, Rembrandt, Rubens, Goya, Tintoretto, Paolo Uccello, Chardin, Piero della Francesca, Masaccio, Vasari, Correggio, Canaletto, El Greco, Durer, Antonello da Messina, Mantegna and many others.
Its construction and decoration began during the 16th century and continued throughout the 17th, under the supervision of many artits, among which are Giorgio Vasari and Bernardo Buontalenti.

  • Gallery of the Academy of Florence

The Galery of the Academy is the second most visited italian museum (after the Uffizi) which contains the highest number of Michelangelo sculptures in the world (seven), as well as many Renaissance paintings.
It is mostly famous for being the home of Michelangelo's David.



Internet connection – There is wi-fi connection in the hostel; you will receive the credentials for accessing internet from every structure related to university. In front of the building at the University there are wi-fi connection and PC rooms, you are free to use them during the opening hours (7.30AM-19PM). At the hospital, PCs are normally connected to the net so you can mostly have free access. In the hospital area there is also the Biomedical Library, you have free access to internet, books and borrowing services.