Temple Rome expands rich history with campus move

Scheduled for Fall 2024, with first-year housing available in Spring 2025, Temple Rome relocates to Piazza di Spagna.

Temple’s Rome Campus is scheduled to relocate Fall 2024 to Piazza Di Spagna with the aim of providing a more culturally immersive experience. | COURTESY / THE TEMPLE NEWS

For almost 30 years, thousands of Temple students have enjoyed the temporary homeliness and comfort of the Temple Rome campus, located across the Tiber River from Rome’s Prati neighborhood.

Since 1996, Temple Rome has been located in a 15th-century palazzo, the Villa Caproni, which is situated in the historic heart of the city near the Piazza del Popolo. The location has provided students with a beautiful and culturally immersive setting for their studies for decades.

Despite the prominence of the campus’ prior location, the Rome Campus is relocating to Piazza di Spagna, a historic area in Rome, offering students a more immersive cultural experience surrounded by landmarks, museums, cafés and shops. 

The new facility will accommodate all academic activities, including housing for first-year students, that offers disability access, classrooms, art studios, a gallery, a science lab and a library. The construction of the new campus will also be expense neutral, mitigating any additional costs for students and parents. 

The move is scheduled for Fall 2024 with first-year housing available in Spring 2025. The new campus offers students an immersive experience in Rome’s historic center, near landmarks like the Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain. 


In the Fall of 1966, Temple Rome hosted its first cohort, consisting of 24 undergraduates and 12 graduate students. Since the doors first opened, more than 12,000 students have passed through the program. 

In 1990, the campus established its Gallery of Art, serving as an exhibition space for guest artists, faculty and students. The space has forged relationships with commercial galleries, the Roman art academies and the general art community. 

For some students, it’s the first and last time their artwork will be displayed, as many students take their General Education Arts credit requirement abroad. 

Temple Rome has historically been a hub for students of the Tyler School of Art and Architecture because of the city’s rich art history. As a country, Italy has some of the most UNESCO world heritage centers, cultural or natural sites considered to be of outstanding universal value belonging to all people, regardless of cultural territory.

Temple Rome celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2017 with renovations, aimed at modernizing and expanding its facilities to meet the needs of students and the program. 

In May 2017, the campus hosted several hundred alumni from all decades, Main Campus staff and faculty, including late-president and then provost, JoAnne Epps, as well as President Richard Englert. 

The renovation included upgrades like a new “aula magna,” or meeting room, for conferences and gatherings, advanced technology centers, four smart classrooms and renovated studio spaces for visual arts. The campus now boasts a library with more than 14,000 volumes, a modern art gallery, student lounges and improved bathroom facilities. 

The campus currently offers a six-week, non-credit opportunity for adults to experience the joys of studying abroad in Rome regardless of their enrollment status at Temple. 

The program has seen significant growth in recent years, with three successful cohorts running in the past year alone. Initially piloted in 2019 with one adult participant alongside undergraduates, the program faced delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic and officially launched in Fall 2021 with around 10 participants. 

Adult Study Abroad has since expanded its offerings, accommodating nearly 45 participants across three cohorts in Spring, Summer and Fall 2023. 

Participants, similar to undergraduate students studying abroad, have the flexibility to tailor their experience with various activities like excursions, cooking classes and wine tastings.

Previous Temple Rome dean, Hilary Link, established Temple’s Rome Entry Year Program. Which allows freshmen to study abroad during their first academic year and attracts students from across the world, including America, Japan and Italy. Throughout the years, the program has expanded from about a dozen students to more than 30. 

The opening of the new campus also helps the university with publicity, as Temple Rome has advertisements across the city and in the airport. Placing the campus in the heart of Rome’s most tourist-dense area also helps expose the university to travelers and locals.

“We have had a notable presence in publications,” said Emilia Zankina, the dean of Temple Rome. “In the airport we have a billboard that is seen by all Americans who board a plane, so we often get pictures from anybody who knows us and travels. This is another opportunity for us.”


Temple Rome hopes the construction of labs and additional classrooms will help recruit students within the College of Public Health and the College of Engineering. 

“The key is to make sure that students can come and progress in their majors so you don’t delay their graduation and all of this relates to access because the more a person needs to forgo, whether it is more time or more money to be spent, the more restricted the program is,” Zankina said. “So we have been trying to be mindful of how we can make this affordable for [students] in any way.”

Temple Rome is also well known for its gallery space, featuring the work of students, professors and visitors alike, with about 10 showings each year. The new campus will feature a bigger art gallery ready to house the typical 50 to 100 visitors each gallery opening typically hosts. 

A view of Piazza di Spagna from a building terrace. | COURTESY / THE TEMPLE NEWS

The construction of on-campus dorms allows participants in The Entry Year Program to comfortably stay on campus and adjust not just to Rome, but college life as well. 

Temple Rome also anticipates hosting cohorts of high school students in the future, which will  provide another use for the dorms. 

“For the past four years, we have had pre-college courses for high school students here in Italy, and this summer, we’re also expecting for the first time American high school students to come from the states, from the Philadelphia area primarily, and spend two weeks in Italy,” Zankina said. 

The campus will  feature outdoor green spaces, like a courtyard and a terrace. The new space is located near to the local metro, allowing students to travel outside of the campus’ immediate vicinity for class and leisure. It also allows students who are living off campus to easily commute. 

Temple Rome’s new venture is entirely cost neutral. They secured renovation contributions from their new landlords, Mater Dei, an Irish religious order, who are contributing about 50 percent. The rest of the necessary funding will come from Temple Rome’s own savings. 

“Temple doesn’t have to pay an extra penny for this and once we’re there, revenue that we’ll be generating from the housing that would allow us to make sure that this beautiful location doesn’t cost us our students and their families extra money,” Zankina said. “So that’s something I’m also very happy about.”


Olivia Harmanos was surprised to hear of Temple Rome’s location given the prior location’s cultural significance. 

“I feel that the whole historic center is very crowded,” said Harmanos, a senior architecture major and Fall 2022 study abroad alumnus. “So I’m kind of curious to see how students are going to navigate that space and also the logistics of where students are going to live but then also, the old location was such a beautiful building.”

Some students may lose an authentic, Roman cultural immersion as the new campus resides in a popular section of the city and students will now be in one of the most tourist-dense sections of Rome.

“It was nice to commute with the locals to work and get that experience where I’m going to class in the historic center, you’re kind of traveling with the tourists and the packs,” Harmanos said. 

Students studying abroad for upcoming semesters received an email announcing the new campus. Students were not given any options to live in the dorms yet as they haven’t been fully constructed, said Nadia Bodnari, a sophomore management information systems major studying abroad in the Fall 2024 semester. 

“It’s definitely really exciting to be one of the first people to experience [study abroad] there,” Bodnari said. “I’m not sure where the old campus was, but it’s definitely going to be interesting.”

Spring and Summer 2024 students will be the last cohorts to experience the decades-old campus before the move is finalized, while Fall 2024 students will have classes in the new building. Students participating in Spring 2025 will be the first class to completely utilize the new campus, including dorms. 

“I think that there could be something gained by walking to class every day and being in the historic center,” Harmanos said.  “Because I know that definitely when I was there, I wasn’t going to the historic center every day, so there’s definitely a lot to gain from that experience.”

Anna Augustine contributed reporting.

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