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Housing & Facilities

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Housing and Facilities

The OU in Arezzo study center is comprised of two facilities: the Kathleen and Francis Rooney Family Residential Learning Center and the San Francesco Classroom Annex. The Rooney Family Center is the central student residence and is also home to classrooms, study and lounge areas, a cafeteria, a chapel, kitchen facilities, an information desk, offices and more. The San Francesco Classroom Annex, located a short walk from the Rooney Family Center, houses classrooms, offices and a computer lab for student use.

While most students reside in the Rooney Family Center, housing will vary depending on the type of program:

Semester/Year-long programs

  • You will reside at the Rooney Family Residential Learning Center 
  • OR you can request a homestay with an Italian family

Summer programs

  • While in Arezzo, some summer programs will stay at the Rooney Family Residential Learning Center and some will stay in hotel/B&B accommodation arranged by OUA staff and program leaders 
  • Summer programs include travel throughout Italy, during which all students will stay in hotel/B&B accommodation arranged by OUA staff and program leaders

Kathleen and Francis Rooney Family Residential Learning Center

The Rooney Family Center (RFC), a beautifully renovated former monastery in Arezzo's historic center, is the epicenter of all OU in Arezzo activities and provides a safe, family-like atmosphere designed to support students during their experience abroad. Even students who do not reside in the center — those on home stays or in short-term summer accommodations — have access to the center for classes, studying, socializing, laundry and other needs.

The RFC features 25 student bedrooms, a two-bedroom faculty-in-residence apartment, a fully-equipped kitchen and dining hall, classrooms and much more. See below for a full description of the RFC facilities and history. 

The common areas of the Rooney Family Center provide OUA students with formal and informal spaces to study together, relax and socialize, and OUA events are also held here. These common areas are accessible to all OUA students: those who reside at the Center as well as those in homestays or other housing.

  • Great Hall featuring a grand piano, tables, couches and chairs
  • Library (popular for studying) with personal lamps, table outlets and a large collection of books in Italian and English — research books, textbooks, travel books, magazines, novels, etc. 
  • Lower library/loft area with lounges for studying and socializing
  • Computer lab equipped with iMacs, Microsoft suite, some with Adobe programs, printer and office supplies
  • Industrial kitchen where breakfast is prepared and where our chef cooks dinners
  • Student kitchen area with ice machine, glasses, plates, utensils, microwaves, toaster ovens and food lockers for students
  • Mensa/cafeteria that is always open for eating and socializing; often used for playing cards and board games outside of meal times
  • Garden and large patio with tables and chairs, green spaces, flowers, lemon trees and an herb garden
  • Chapel, which is open all the time for student use
  • Etruscan Well — a historical point of interest in our building
  • Grand entrance with comfortable couches
  • Mailboxes for semester students
  • Classrooms/meeting rooms: 
    • Conference room
    • Seminar room
    • Aula Magna fresco classroom
    • Distance-learning classroom 
    • All except seminar room equipped with smart equipment for presentations and high-quality lectures
  • Laundry room with five washers, five dryers, irons and ironing boards, hanging/drying racks 
  • Media and TV room with comfortable seating, TV with cable, Netflix, Blu-Ray and a DVD library
  • Outlook tower/loggia with beautiful views, tables and chairs
  • Visitor’s suite with upper balcony overlooking the chapel

Additional Services and Information
  • Board games, yoga mats, extra towels and extra blankets are available for students to check out, and the Center has a foosball table
  • The Center has heating, air-conditioning and wi-fi
  • Administrators and staff work in the building
  • The OU in Arezzo Center Coordinator lives in an apartment within the Center
  • THe Rooney Family Center is safe and secure with staff readily available, locked doors and entrance only by card access

There are 8 single bedrooms, 9 double bedrooms and 7 triple bedrooms in the residential facility. 

Each bedroom has:

  • One full bathroom per room, with stand-up shower, storage cabinets and drawers
  • Twin bed (several bedrooms have lofted beds and/or bunk beds)
  • Lockable wardrobe/closet with drawers, a full-length mirror, hanging bar and storage
  • Lockable desk and desk chair
  • One refrigerator per room
  • Linens (blanket, pillows, sheets, etc.)
  • Towels
  • Laundry basket
  • Lamp
  • Hangers
  • Trash cans
  • One hair dryer per room 
  • Openable windows and screens in all rooms
  • USB outlets or regular outlets by every bed and throughout the room
  • Card access for residents only (only you and your roommates have access to your room)

The history of the 32,000-square-foot Kathleen and Francis Rooney Family Residential Learning Center is closely linked to the history of the city of Arezzo, and the building has been an important part of the city's architecture for over 800 years. The RFC began its history as a collection of simple 13th-century homes that led to Arezzo's cathedral, or duomo. This road (the "sacred way," so-called because of its connectivity to the cathedral) developed into a thriving community of urban monastic complexes during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.

In the 17th century, these simple homes were combined to form a palace owned by the noble Monauto-Barbolani family.  In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, the building passed to the Marquis Guelfi-Camaiano, whose family decorated the main floor of the palace with the beautiful wall paintings we see today. Finally in 1892, the palace became the Monastery of the Clarisse, or Poor Saint Clares, until it was sold by the church in 2007, was fully renovated and modernized, and became the home base of OU in Arezzo.