Practical information for your semester in L'Aquila
Academic Calendar & Term dates
23 December - 6 January
Semester 1 examinations
16 January - 24 February
March - September
TUHH Semester2 starts with some preliminary activities run in L'Aquila in March, then continues in Hamburg as of April 1.
Bank Holidays (Italy)
1 November, 8 December, 6 April, 25 April, 1 May, 2 June, 10 June, 15 August
Applying for an Italian study visa
Please notice that, before joining our programmes, you will only need to apply for one visa only at an Italian Embassy/Consulate, as Italy is the location for your first semester/year. Afterwards, while you're spending your semester(s) in Italy, you will have the chance to apply for another visa, e.g. a German one if you're spending your Semester 2 in Hamburg, at the Germany Consulate based in Rome.
Web-based visa application on Universitaly.it
Starting from Academic year 2020-2021, the visa application procedure is completely web-based. Non-EU students not living in Italy are requested to pre-enrol using the online platform called UNIVERSITALY. Once your pre-enrolment request on Universitaly.it has been approved by the University of L'Aquila, you will receive a confirmation email. After that, you will have to get in contact with the local Italian Diplomatic-consular mission for the visa request process. Please note that the university confirmation email does not automatically imply the issue of a study visa for you, which is all up to the Diplomatic mission you're in contact with, instead.
Documents required (to be submitted via Universitaly.it)
Italian Residence Permit
The InterMaths team will assist you with preparing all the required documentation, which includes a couple of forms to be filled in and, among others:
A full copy of your passport (every single page, cover included)
A copy of your health insurance card
All you need to do is visit any Italian post office and withdraw the required form known as "kit permesso di soggiorno" ("soggiorno" sounds like "sojjorno"). Then, bring it to campus and we'll fill it in together!
Then, put all the required documents (including blank forms) back in the envelope, visit any Italian post office once again and complete the submission process (including payment of the required fees) with the post office clerks. After that, your application will be submitted to the L'Aquila police station ("questura" sounds like "kuestura") via the post office itself. Note that you may withdraw and drop your application form at any Italian post office, not necessarily the ones in L'Aquila, but the envelope must be addressed to the L'Aquila Questura, as it's the one in charge of the place where you're going to live and study.
At the end of the submission process, the clerk at the post office will hand you out three receipts, which will be considered as your temporary residence permit (always carry a copy with you whenever you're around and drop one to our Registrar's Office to confirm your enrolment).
On such receipts you'll also find the date and time of the appointment fixed for you at the L'Aquila police station (Questura) to complete the rest of the required procedures, which includes an interview for fingerprints (carry with you passport & ID photos). Eventually, you'll be summoned for another appointment to collect your final (plastic) permit card - the one you can see on this page.
The whole process will be complete in approximately 2 months (but it might even take longer) and will cost you around 120 euros.
To finalize your enrolment, you'll then have to submit your translated and legalized qualifications, which include, depending on the case, ONE of the following:
Declaration of Value (DoV)
All our students, doesn't matter if they are EU or not, must hold valid insurance covering risks related to health, accidents, death, permanent invalidity, civil responsibility (including travel assistance) while they are outside their home country.
Personal medical cover is required in most European countries, even in those that have a public health system. An insurance card will also be required by local authorities in order to obtain a residence permit.
For all the Erasmus Mundus (EMJMD) students: a mandatory insurance coverage, covering risks related to health, accidents, death, permanent invalidity, civil responsibility, is provided to all students (whether they're scholarship holders or not) by the InterMaths Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree (EMJMD) Consortium.
Such insurance complies with the minimum requirements set out by EACEA
To all the other students (Double Degree programmes, for instance). If you are non-EU, note that you will have to purchase a valid insurance policy that complies with some minimum requirements established by the consortium and that will allow you to obtain a visa and a residence permit. You may refer to these links if you wish. All the below-listed companies offer insurance that comply with the minimum requirements to obtain an Italian residence permit:
[AON 24/7 emergency assistance: # +31 10 448 8260]
- Expat & Co
- Protrip-World by DrWalter
- Waitaly (cheapest option. Not EACEA compliant (thus, not valid for Erasmus Mundus students, but still valid for an Italian residence permit to attend other programmes, like RealMaths for instance)
[Waitaly 24/7 emergency assistance via Europ Assistance # 800046421 (toll free from Italian phones only)
or # +39 0258286966]
Below you can find some information about finding a place to stay in L'Aquila, which is going to be your first destination in your study programme. For details about housing in the other partner universities, just browse the related section from the top menu (e.g. Consortium > Vienna).
Housing options in L'Aquila
Temporary accommodation in L'Aquila & Useful links
Below you can find some information about how to get to L'Aquila, which is going to be your first destination in your study programme. For details about reaching the other partner universities, just browse the related section from the top menu (e.g. Consortium > Nice).
How to get to L'Aquila
Another coach service (operated by T.U.A., aka as A.R.P.A.) is available from the "Tiburtina train station" (Stazione Tiburtina in Italian) located in East Rome. But this means you'll have to firstly get on a train/bus/undeground from the airport to get to the "Tiburtina train station", which will take you one hour at least. So, we strongly suggest you use the other option, as such buses will be departing right from inside the aiport parking area.
A bunch of European cities are also connected to the Abruzzo Airport in Pescara, located at about 100 km to the east of L'Aquila.
Coaches departing from the two Rome airports: Fiumicino or Ciampino
Coaches departing from Tiburtina station in East Rome
L'Aquila can also be reached by train. However, the whole journey from Rome may take you even 4 hours or more, and you'll have to change trains at least two times, whereas a bus will take you there in an hour or so. Thus, we strongly recommend using coaches, instead, unless you wish to visit historical towns in the Abruzzo region.
Getting to campus
Our programmes are coordinated and hosted by D.I.S.I.M. (Department of Information Engineering, Computer Science, and Mathematics) located on the Coppito campus in via Vetoio - West L'Aquila. The Coppito campus also hosts other departments (biology, chemistry, physics, medicine) and, most notably, the main city hospital (in Italian ospedale). Keep that in mind whenever you will be asking for directions, as everybody knows where the hospital is.Local buses are operated by A.M.A. For more information and timetable see here
The webpage is in Italian, but all you need to do is enter the word "ospedale" or "coppito" in the search box.
Number 1 or 2U Bus are very likely the ones you'll need most, as they connect our campus to the bus station at the Hotel Amiternum, the "L'Aquilone" shopping centre, as well as the main coach station (known as Collemaggio) in the old city centre. But there are several other buses that might take you there - just check out the link above.
The City of L'Aquila in brief
- Reasonable cost of living
- A town of artistic interest
- Safe and quiet but also lively university town
- Direct buses to Rome in little more than 1 hour
- Three popular ski resorts nearby as well as three national parks
- Sandy beaches at a short distance
L'Aquila is an Italian city of about 70,000 inhabitants and around 20,000 university students. It is the capital of the Abruzzo region and it is conveniently located 100 km (62 miles) east of Rome. The city is on a hill at 720 m (2365 ft) above sea level and is surrounded by mountains, most notably to the north by the Gran Sasso range, which includes the highest peaks (up to 2,900 m) of the Apennines, with a number of small lakes, trails and mountain climbing routes as well as deep caves. Within the province of L’Aquila there are also two national parks (Parco Nazionale Gran Sasso Monti della Laga and Parco Nazionale della Majella).
The city itself is full of history, traditions, beautiful buildings (like the Spanish Fortress) and churches (most notably, the Collemaggio Basilica). There are also a lot of good restaurants, pubs and places where students get together at night (most remarkably, on Thursdays and Saturdays). The city is also the home of L'Aquila Rugby - this team won the Italian championship five times.
For more practical and historical information about L'Aquila, click here.
A student will spend approximately 500 euros a month:
- around 200-300 euros for accommodation and related expenses (gas, electricity bills, Internet...);
- about 300 euros for meals (reduced fares or even free access to canteen available in L'Aquila if you're awarded a Regional Grant), transports (a monthly bus pass in L'Aquila costs around 30 euros), books, sports centres and the like.
Canteen at the Math Department (Coppito campus)
Location: car park of our Department (opposite the "Coppito 1" building, main entrance).
Opening time: 12.30 pm - 2.30 pm Mon-Fri
Main university canteen
Open for lunch and dinner even at week-ends
Location: premises of the ADSU Regional Office (Località Casermette /S.S. 80 – 67100 L’Aquila), at just 2 minute's walking distance from the Hotel Amiternum (first stop for coaches arriving from Rome).
- Movieplex, Via Leonardo Da Vinci, Pettino, L'Aquila (25 mins walk from the Math Dept.)
- Ente Musicale Società Aquilana dei Concerti "B. Barattelli"
- Solisti Aquilani
- Conservatorio di Musica "Alfredo Casella"
- Istituzione Sinfonica Abruzzese
Bars, restaurants, pubs & clubs, discos
Before the 2009 earthquake most people and students used to gather at the many cafes and bars in L'Aquila city centre. Now, while several buildings there are still to be reconstructed and part of the area is not yet accessible to people, dozens of bars and clubs have proudly reopened their doors. You will find lots of students hanging out mostly on Thursday nights (typically, university night) and Saturday nights. Just ask the taxi/bus driver to drop you at "Fontana Luminosa" (the big fountain near the castle) and walk into the main road "Corso Federico II". You'll see that most people gather in a small square a few steps ahead near "via Garibaldi".
Aquilasmus is a student association, part of ESN (Erasmus Student Network). Aquilasmus offers several services to Erasmus students, like organizing parties, trips, international dinners, cineforums and more. Take a look at their website, join their Facebook group and check out their Instagram page to get to know other international students and be involved in their activities.
Being L'Aquila ideally located in central Italy, you'll have lots of opportunities to visit Italy's top destinations: Rome, Naples, Pompei, Sicily, Florence, Venice, Verona, Milan, Turin, to mention just a few. The easiest and most convenient way to reach any of these destinations is from the bus/train stations in Rome, where you can get to by TUA/ARPA coach or Flixbus from L'Aquila (either from the bus station "Collemaggio" or from the Hotel Amiternum). Some destinations (Bologna, Venice, Verona to the North or the whole beautiful Apulia region in Southern Italy - most notably the Salento Peninsula) are more easily accessible from Pescara train station, where you can get to by TUA/ARPA coach from L'Aquila bus station or even by train (you'll have to change trains in Sulmona). Recently, most popular Italian cities have also been connected to L'Aquila by direct coaches (Flixbus).
And, if you're into art, don't miss out the opportunity to visit Rome museums for free on every first Sunday of every month!
Short excursions around L'Aquila
Amiternum archeological site
On the way to Pizzoli (west L'Aquila) you may stop by and visit the stunning archeological site of Amiternum, an ancient Italic town founded by the Sabines and conquered by the Romans in the 3rd century B.C.!
The site features an amphiteatre, a theather, publich baths as well as an aqueduct.
For more information and opening times, visit this link.
Gran Sasso and other ski resorts
Gran Sasso is Italy's second highest mountain (2,912 m asl). From the bus station in L'Aquila you can catch a number M6 bus (free shuttle buses at weekends!) bound for Assergi/Fonte Cerreto (1150 m above sea level), which is the base of the cableway that will take you to Campo Imperatore (around 2100 m asl). Campo Imperatore is a ski resort where you'll also find an astronomic observatory, a hotel (where Italian dictator Mussolini was held captive), an alpine garden, lakes and several breathtaking trails. The cableway may not be available all year round (it's usually closed in summer). Anyway, if it's closed, you may still decide to get to Fonte Cerreto to go on a hiking trip: there are several amazing hiking paths starting there!
If you are into skiing, there are another 2 popular ski resorts at a short distance from L'Aquila, with better facilities than Campo Imperatore:- Campo Felice: see here
- Ovindoli: see here
Stiffe Caves (Grotte di Stiffe)
Another place worth visiting in the neighbourhood is Stiffe (the nearby village is called San Demetrio dei Vestini), located at only 18 km from L'Aquila. The tour of these spectacular caves takes about one hour, but do not go there between November and April, as they may be closed because of the high water level inside. According to its official website, there are two buses going there every day from Collemaggio bus station in L'Aquila: one leaving at 8.15 am, the other one at 2 pm. Click here for details.
Lake Campotosto (Lago Campotosto)
Located at about 1,300 m asl, this lake is part of the Gran Sasso e Monti della Laga National Park. It was created back in 1940s to produce electric power. In winter the lake gets almost completely frozen, while in spring and summer lots of people get there for canoeing, windsurfing, bird-watching, fishing (a permit is usually required) or just for picnicking. The road around the lake is ideal for walking or cycling. Several hiking paths connect Campotosto to nearby villages like Capitignano, Montereale and Amatrice. Click here for more information. The easiest way to get there is by catching an ARPA bus from Pizzoli to the village of Capitignano, then walk up to the lake, but it is going to be a 1-hour hike up to the lake and could be a bit strenuous for some. If you wish to get straight to the lake, you'll have to firstly get to the bus station in Collemaggio (L'Aquila city centre), then catch a TUA/ARPA bus to "Lago Campotosto".
Marmore Waterfalls (Cascata delle Marmore)
Marmore waterfalls are a man-made waterfall created in ancient times by Romans. Its total height is 165 m (541 feet), making it the tallest man-made waterfall in the world. Its source is a portion of the waters of river Velino (the rest of the river flows into a hydroelectric power plant), after flowing through Piediluco lake near the community of Marmore. It pours into the valley below formed by the river Nera. Its flow is turned on and off based on a specific schedule, to satisfy the needs of tourists and the power company alike. Tourists try to be there the moment the gates are opened to see the powerful rush of water.
How to get there: catch a train from L'Aquila to Terni, then board a direct bus to get to the waterfalls.
Adapted from Wikipedia
Gran Sasso National Laboratory
From the official web-site
The Gran Sasso National Laboratory is one of the four INFN laboratories. It is the largest underground laboratory in the world for experiments in particle physics, particle astrophysics and nuclear astrophysics. It is used as a worldwide facility by scientists, presently over 900 in number, from 29 different countries, working at about 15 experiments in their different phases. It is located between the towns of L'Aquila and Teramo, about 120 km from Rome. Go to www.lngs.infn.it for more details and guided tours.
Beaches on the Adriatic coast
There are many amazing sandy beaches on the Adriatic coast at only 1 hour-ride from L'Aquila. The easiest one to get to is Giulianova. All you have to do is get to the bus station in L'Aquila and buy a ticket at the TUA/ARPA office on the -2 floor. Get off at Giulianova Stazione (train station) and walk to the beach, it's just a few steps away.
Other popular places are: Alba Adriatica, Pineto, Pescara and Vasto. Pescara is by the way Abruzzo's largest city, with lots of shops, clubs and great nightlife, too. Just get to the main train station (Pescara Centrale, 2 hours away from L'Aquila, change trains in Sulmona; or just get there by TUA/ARPA bus). Outside the train station you'll find yourself in the city centre with lots to do and see on the promenade that will take you right into the beach!
Calascio Fortress (Rocca Calascio)
How to get there: get to the bus station in Collemaggio (L'Aquila city centre), then catch a TUA/ARPA bus to Calascio (check out the TUA/ARPA website)
CANADA' Fitness Club [link]
WHERE. Coppito, campus of the Math Dept., just 2 minutes' walking distance from our teaching buildings. MAP
DETAILS. Access to the area with weights machines (sala pesi) costs only 15 euros/month (average fare in other gyms is 40 euros) - free trial pass also available. You can join extra courses like pilates, yoga, zumba, fitbox, body pump, as well as reserve the outdoor fields. Check timetables and fares from the url.
CUS - Centro Universitario Sportivo [link]
WHERE. Statale 17 Bis (aka "Centi Colella", on the way from L'Aquilone Shopping Centre towards the Hotel Amiternum - around 20 minutes' walking distance from our department, but mind the traffic! Or just board AMA bus no. 2 or 19 from our department)
DETAILS. Large university sports centre with several halls and rooms for most popular sports (fitness, spinning, judo, climbing etc.), including outdoors fields (football, volleyball, rugby, tennis, etc.). Reduced fees for university students.
Piscina Comunale L'Aquila [link]
WHERE. Viale Ovidio 3 - L'Aquila (city centre, close to the castle)
DETAILS. City pool offering reduced fees for university students.
Circolo Tennis L'Aquila [link]WHERE. Viale Ovidio 1 - L'Aquila (city centre, close to the castle)
SKI ResortsCampo Imperatore [link]
Campo Felice [link]
L'Aquila Rugby [link]WHERE. Strada Statale 17 Ovest, Centi Colella, L'Aquila (opposite the main Post Office)
There are quite a few private gyms (and swimming pools too) across the city, just google "palestra l'aquila" or "piscina l'aquila"
Library in Coppito
(biblioteca in Italian), ground floor, Coppito1 building, DISIM (Math Dept.)
Open: Mon-Thu: 8.30 am – 7 pm, Fri: 8.30 am - 2 pm
The first time you enter the library you will be asked to register. So, bring with you an ID document and your student card.
More details can be found here
Library in the Department of Humanities (downtown, old city centre, address: viale Nizza 14)
Mon - Fri: 8.30 am - midnight!
Sat: 9 am - 5 pm
Sun: 3 pm - 8 pm
Study & Computer rooms
You can find study rooms in the Canadà centre, which is at 2 minutes' walk from the main teaching building (aka Coppito1), (Math Dept).
There you'll also find a bar, a gym and a computer room, too.
Click here to view a map
Click here for their Facebook page