Students in the European Union Policy Studies graduate program take full advantage of Florence's offerings by engaging in extracurricular activities and becoming part of local life. Many students get involved with local church groups, sports clubs, volunteer organizations, and yoga studios. Others take extra language classes and visit the countless museums and cultural events Florence hosts. Below is a list of useful resources for everyday life in Florence and for travel planning.
Trenitalia (www.trenitalia.it): Italian regional and Eurostar train schedules, bookings, and promotions.
Terravision Airport Transfer Bus (www.terravision.eu): Airport transfer from Florence to Pisa and Pisa to Florence. Tickets can be purchased online in advance or right outside the main train station (Santa Maria Novella), where the bus picks up passengers. Tickets usually cost between €5 and €10. Discounts can sometimes be found when booking online.
ATAF (www.ataf.net/en): ATAF's orange buses run all over the city and to the outskirts. Timetables and routes can be found on the website in English and Italian. One-way bus tickets cost €1.20 and can be purchased at most tobacconists' shops. A 'Carte Agile' (10 rides for €10) or a one-month bus pass are cheap options for frequent riders.
Region of Tuscany tourism website (www.turismo.intoscana.it): Trip ideas and intineraries for the whole Tuscan region. Great travel resource for bookings and upcoming events.
The Florentine (www.theflorentine.net): Englishing-language news magazine with comprehensive lists of things to do and see in and around Florence. This is a go-to guide for students and ex-pats in Florence.
The Odeon English Original Sound (www.cinehall.it): The Odeon theatre shows both blockbuster and independent English-language films with Italian subtitles and hosts various film festivals. The schedule for any given month can be found on this website under "Odeon Original Sound."
Amici degli Uffizi card (www.amicidegliuffizi.it): The Friends of the Uffizi card is a yearly pass that students can purchase for a discounted rate (approximately €40) that grants unlimited access to Italian state museums. This includes the Academmia Gallery, the Uffizi Gallery, the Pitti Palace, and the Boboli Gardens.
Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino (www.maggiofiorentino.it): This world-class institution hosts operas, ballets, and concerts. Students can purchase the Maggio pass for significant discounts on shows and festivals.
Bus2Alps (www.bus2alps.com) and Florence for Fun (www.florenceforfun.org) are two student travel agencies. They organize day trips, weekend trips, and fall and spring break trips to vacation destinations in Italy and surrounding countries.
Sports and Athletics
Calcetto (www.thelionsfountain.com/tournamentschedule.html): In Italy, soccer is king. For students who play soccer, there are a number of tournaments around Florence for calcetto (small sided, 5-on-5) games. Students occasionally play in the Fiorenza International School Cup, which is a co-ed tournament involving various international universities located in Florence.
Capoeira (www.zumbifirenze.com/index.asp): Growing in popularity in the US and Italy, capoeira is a Brazilian martial art that incorporates music and dance. Capoeira is a great opportunity for students to be active, learn a new sport, and meet Italian friends.
Gym and Tonic: Those students interested in a traditional gym in Italy will find a number of options throughout the city. One convenient option is Gym and Tonic on Via del Leone 10. Gym membership can run upwards of €60 per month, but there are discounts for students who sign up for 3, 6, or 12 month memberships.
Studying and Research
Biblioteca della Oblate (www.bibliotecadellaoblate.it): Florence’s public library also has a popular cafe on its top floor. It’s a wonderful setting to meet locals, as many Florentine students study and congregate here. To register for a library card and Wi-Fi internet pass, students must present their passport at the information desk. See the information section of the website for events and operating hours.
European University Institute (www.eui.eu): JMU EUPS students are granted external user access to the EUI. Monday through Friday, students can use the library, its research services, and its internet connection. The EUI cafeteria has a full buffet and made-to-order, restaurant-quality dishes for reasonable prices.
Many cafes around Florence (especially within Santo Spirito) offer free Wi-Fi and cozy spaces for studying and reading.