Most of You students coming to Florence for a long term stay from one to several months face always the same problem; should you rent a place online, wait to get there locally or let the school taking care of housing?

This article will give you some pros and cons about the process.

When searching online you will find many web sites from rental agencies to private owners as well as various ads on classifieds web sites.

Often schools offer directly lodging solution.  Some larger ones such as Lorenzo dei Medici, Michelangelo, Leonardo have inside housing offices where people are paid to search, inspect and acquire properties everyday for their students and assist them during the stay.  The  down side of this approach is that in some cases you are not able to view the apartment, choose the location / features or knowing your future roommate.

Booking through an agency online can be a slightly more expensive solution because of the commission but you get the benefit of choosing an apartment on your own.

Renting from a private landlord it is surely cheaper then renting places from agencies but there is some degree of risk:  private owners are often not experienced and underestimate the language barriers,  at times, even the laws they should follow when renting a property, not everyone but it might happen and you don’t want problem in the middle of your stay / course. Moreover if you don’t like the place when you arrive, you have to start over with your search, as you will get no alternative from a single private landlord.

When you are dealing with smaller schools that have no inside housing managers, they might simply provide you with a list of names and telephone numbers from owners that have stopped by the school.  This is also somewhat risky because the accommodation might not have been certified or inspected properly,  in this case my suggestion is to check thoroughly the provided resources .

Hope this helps, happy search and stay!