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You must be feeling very excited about your imminent adventure in the beautiful city of Florence. SACI wishes to help you as much as possible to find all the information you need before departing. The following titles lead to information about group flights, hints for your first movements in Italy and Florence, and an exhaustive checklist you should consult before leaving (make sure you have everything you need!).
Please click on the title of your choice to view the correspondent information.
SACI offers a round trip group flight from New York for each term. SACI’s group flight is made available through Advantage Travel of CNY, Inc.
Students may choose to travel independently and not take advantage of the group flight; however, students traveling independently should arrive on the same date as the group flight. Anyone arriving earlier must find alternate accommodations in order to only arrive at the SACI office for housing assignments and orientation materials during office hours on that date. Students who decide to travel independently are urged to make prior plans as to how they will contact relatives in the US to inform them of arrival as SACI cannot be responsible for confirming the arrival of independent travelers in Florence.
The Florence airport (Peretola) is connected with the city center by a bus service every half hour, which arrives to the central train station (SMN). The service, which is direct and makes no intermediate stops, is called VOLAINBUS. The bus can be taken from the SITA bus station or from the front of the main train station. Tickets can be purchased on board with cash.
Taxis are also stationed in front of the Arrivals terminal and have a fixed fare to downtown Florence of €20, plus €1 for each piece of luggage This fare is valid Monday through Friday, from 6 am to 10 pm, but is a bit higher during the weekends or after 10 pm. The taxi ride is approximately 15 minutes. It is not customary to tip taxi drivers in Italy.
Advantage Travel of CNY, Inc. is an exclusive agency committed to providing discount travel worldwide to major educational institutes, their students, parents and alumni. Its specialty services include tailor made packages for parents, onsite issuance of Eurail passes, International Student Identity Cards, multilingual knowledge, and first hand familiarity with international destinations and the environs.
The SACI group flight offers several advantages including a pre-departure orientation at the airport given by a SACI representative. The SACI representative will be available to answer additional questions that students or parents may have prior to departure. Students on group flights are also met by SACI staff in Florence and provided with additional orientation materials. Students who have chosen to stay in SACI housing are given their housing assignment and apartment keys and are transported by taxi to their apartments (approximately 30 euros should be brought by the student to cover the taxi fare).
For students traveling on the group flight, parents and other family are welcome to contact the SACI New York office for confirmation that flights have arrived in Florence.
Only enrolled SACI students may take advantage of the spaces reserved for SACI students on the group flights. For specific details on flights available for the upcoming terms and information on how to reserve a space, please click here.
Reservations are not accepted by telephone.
Students will receive their tickets two weeks prior to departure. You should plan to arrive at the airport three hours in advance of the flight departure.
- Keep your passport and valuables with you at all times while traveling.
- Carry extra clothes in your hand luggage, as well as medicines and valid prescriptions, and additional toiletries as allowed.
- Prior to leaving your home country, convert enough money into euros to get you through the first few days in Italy-at least $250 or more.
- ATMs are fairly common in Florence and are the most convenient way to have access to money throughout the term. It is however recommeded to have a sufficient amount of cash in the event of problems with the ATM card.
Florence is a relatively compact city and it is generally easy to get around on foot, particularly within the city center. This is also by far the most interesting way to see the city.
Taxis and buses are available throughout the city, although using taxis throughout the term is likely to become rather expensive. Taxis are not usually flagged down on the street as in the US - you must go to a taxi stand or order a taxi by phone (055-4390, 055-4242). Be prepared to give the operator the exact address where you are located.
See more about taxis, public transportation, and walking around the city: Getting Around Florence.
SACI's main facility, the Palazzo dei Cartelloni, is located in the San Lorenzo area of Florence, within a short distance of the Duomo and is accessible via the nearby Santa Maria Novella train station. For a online walking tour of the San Lorenzo area, you may wish to visit the San Lorenzo website at www.firenzespecial.it. The site includes tours of area streets including Via Sant’Antonino 11 where SACI is located. You will also see a photograph of the façade and short history of the Palazzo dei Cartelloni (Palace of the Scrolls). SACI also owns another historic palace in the heart of Florence—The Jules Maidoff Palazzo for the Visual Arts, close to the Santa Maria Nuova Hospital, the Oblate Library, and Florence's Archaeological Museum.
For more information on travel safety hints, read the Department of State’s pamphlet A Safe Trip Abroad at: http://travel.state.gov/travel/tips/safety/safety_1747.html.
As far as major crime is concerned, Florence itself is a very safe city. To learn about any travel warnings that may affect Italy, you can visit the US Consular Information Sheet for Italy at: http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1146.html.
The best defense against pickpockets and purse snatchers is to be aware of your surroundings and conceal all valuables carefully, particularly in tourist areas and city buses and trains. Women unaccustomed to the culture may find the Italian form of “appreciation,” which includes excessive attention, compliments, or determined attempts to talk, to be threatening at first. The attention is generally harmless and is best dealt with by ignoring the man involved.
The following is a checklist of important utilities you should remember to fit in your luggage, as well as some of the documents and forms you should bring with you to Florence. Also listed are a series of actions you should make sure to carry out before your departure.
If you haven’t done so, please return the following forms to SACI's New York office:
|Student Visa (Fall and Spring Term students only)|
Payment in full for the program must be received no later than six weeks before the start date of the session you are attending (unless you are receiving financial aid). Refer to your invoice if you have any questions regarding payment dates.
Did you set up your bank account for international withdrawal and confirm that your ATM PIN will work?
Do not forget your:
|Share this and all information with a contact person at home or family members.|