Bernardi Campus Facilities
St. Thomas’ Bernardi Campus is located on the west bank of the Tiber River on Lungotevere delle Armi in Rome, Italy. Purchased by St. Thomas in 1999, the Bernardi Campus provides housing to St. Thomas students and others participating in academic and summer programs, and offers accommodations for overnight guests. Situated in the Prati neighborhood, the campus is near both the center of Rome and Vatican City. Originally built as a residential estate in 1923, the building was purchased by an order of Spanish nuns in the 1950s. The building was again completely restored and refurbished in 1999 when it was purchased by the university.
There are two residential floors – one for men and one for women. The campus has a variety of room capacities for students – primarily doubles, with a very limited number of triples and singles. For each student, the room has a single bed, desk with desk chair, and wardrobe.
The rooftop terrace is an open-air patio that wraps around Bernardi's entire top floor. It features some rather stunning views of the entire city, from the distant Lateran in the south to the dominant St. Peter's in the west and Piazza del Popolo in the east. In the warmer months (March -November), the terrace is a favorite gathering place for students, who often come armed with guitars. The terrace is open to all residents from 7:00a.m. until 11 p.m, although these times may be extended or limited at the discretion of the campus director. Residents are expected to be respectful of neighbors by keeping the noise level at a minimum at all times. Click here to view an image of the rooftop terrace.
Computer Lab & Student Lounge
The main gathering place for Bernardians during the colder months, the basement student lounge (one of three throughout the building) features a leather couch, one of Bernardi's two student libraries, convenient access to the back door and the dining room. It's the place to go to catch a quick nap before a class, to find a friend (or ask if anyone's seen her), or strike up a conversation. It is probably the only room on Earth where you can reliably find a large number of people who'll find your Thomas Aquinas jokes hilarious. Click here to view an image of the computer lab.
Adjoining the basement lounge, the Bernardi computer lab is equipped with eight new Dell computers, plus a new printer. There is also wireless internet available throughout the building. Visit the front desk if you require assistance connecting to the Bernardi wireless network.
The computer lab is available only to Bernardi student residents and overnight guests. Due to the limited number and performance of campus computers, students are encouraged to bring a laptop of their own for academic work. Students are expected to respect the campus's limited data services, and to defer when necessary to those using them for academic work.
Chapel (Cappella Luisa e Dante Seghieri)
On Bernardi's main floor, the fine Capella Luisa e Dante Seghieri plays host to a Holy Hour at least daily, the Mass at least weekly, and the reservation of the Blessed Sacrament all the time. Fr. Carola, the Bernardi chaplain, likes to remind students at least once a week that, "While you're at Bernardi, you're housemates with Jesus Christ." Students are expected to treat the chapel with the reverence due any place where the Sacrament is reserved. Residents are especially enjoined to remember that there are often people praying in the chapel, so it behooves them to maintain a respectful volume when gathering in the adjoining salotto or other rooms on the main floor. Click here to view an image of the chapel.
There are two libraries: one on the main floor outside the chapel and the other in the computer lab area lounge. Both libraries offer a wide selection of books on a variety of topics that students may find helpful and useful for their academic work and their experience in Rome. All books in both libraries are organized and divided by topic area and subject (i.e., History and Culture, Philosophy and Theology, Arts and Architecture, Literature, Political and Spiritual Reading, and others) and students are expected to put them back in the order they found them after done using them. In the computer lab area, there is also a large selection of travel books, guides, maps, phrase books and dictionaries for anyone to use, free, provided that materials borrowed are returned in their original condition. These travel tools cover not just Rome and Italy, but every major country and city in Europe. The library is therefore indispensible to students planning trips around Europe during spring break and Christmas vacation. Click here to view an image of the library.
Kitchen and Dining Room
The student kitchen is fully equipped with a refrigerator, freezer, microwave, sink, stove and oven, in addition to some cabinet space for student groceries. Because of the amenities of the Bernardi kitchen and the convenience of the Carrefour/Despar grocery two blocks from Bernardi, the kitchen is usually crowded around mealtimes with students looking to save a few Euro by eating at home instead of going out to a restaurant. (And it goes without saying that those semesters fortunate enough to have a student who loves to cook should give that student full and unfettered access to the kitchen -- the rewards are bounteous and tasty!) Click here to view an image of the kitchen.
Students are not permitted to use Bernardi's main kitchen and dishwasher room, which is reserved for staff use. They are expected to manually wash and dry all used dishes immediately after finishing with them. No dishes may be taken from the student dining room. Meals may not be taken to student rooms, garden or other public areas of the building due to sanitary concerns. Students are also expected to help clean the kitchen and dining area on a regular basis.
The main dining room is home to every community meal and most of the major community events at Bernardi. It is certainly Bernardi's largest room, and is therefore well-suited to large non-prayer-related gatherings, be they meals, games, meals, study sessions, meals, disco parties, meals, or anything else! Its central location between the kitchen, the laundry room, and the computer lab / student lounge guarantees that there's almost always somebody in the Bernardi dining room. Click here to view an image of the dining room.
Bernardi residents stay in reasonably-sized, basically-equipped rooms. Each student is provided with a bed, wardrobe, desk, desk chair, pillow, towel, and trash can. Linen changes are available weekly.
Students are permitted to decorate and otherwise festoon their rooms during the time they are at Bernardi, provided that the room is returned to pristine condition before their departure. Students are further expected to keep their rooms reasonably clean during the semester; brooms are provided for this purpose. Each room is equipped with several power outlets and wirless internet. The overwhelming majority of student rooms are doubles, but there are a very limited number of triple and single rooms available each semester. With rare exceptions, students will share bathroom and shower facilities with others on their floor.
Without exception, females are housed on one floor and males on the other. It is strictly forbidden for any student to enter the floor that belongs to the opposite sex under all but emergency circumstances. Click here to view an image of a bedroom.
The elevator in the residence is a service lift only. It is used by housekeeping staff and should not be used by students except on moving days or for medical reasons. So take a look at these stairs! You'll be climbing them a lot while you're here!