American Institute for Foreign Study Agreement

Expertise and Hospitality devoted to you. For a better health.

To improve the health and well-being of students and staff, American Institute for Foreign Study has signed an agreement which entitles you to special rates and conditions at one of the most modern and innovative health care facilities in Florence: Villa Donatello.

The following is a list of the insurance companies that have contracts with Villa Donatello:

  • BUPA

You are entitled to:

  • All specialist appointments at the reduced rate of € 100,00
  • An average 15% discount off regular rates on all diagnostic procedures and hospitalization services provided by Villa Donatello.
  • Fast Lane Phone Number: just dial 055 5097803 and an English speaking member of the staff will answer your calls Monday to Friday any time between 9:00 a.m. and 12:00 noon.

About Us

Villa Donatello’s mission is to treat each patient by providing the best medical treatment with caring, responsive service, and intelligent use of resources. Patient First: we strive to deliver the very best to every patient every day. The patient is the first priority in everything we do.

Every year, Villa Donatello provides health care to about 3.500 ambulatory and inpatients and receives about 20.000 outpatients for specialist’s visits. Likewise, about 2.000 CAT and MRI scans and about 1800 endoscopic procedures are performed every year.

Inpatient Care

Villa Donatello is a respected top facility in Florence, providing medical health care (including oncology services) as well as elective surgical procedures in all the major adult surgical specialties (General Surgery including Surgical Oncology, Vascular Surgery, Thoracic Surgery, Urology, Gynecology, Ophthalmology, Orthopedics, Otorhinolaryngology, Plastic Surgery) excluding cardio surgery and neurosurgery. One of the priorities for our team of surgeons is to provide not just traditional open surgery, but also minimally invasive surgical options, including robotic surgery and laparoscopic procedures.

Treatments for patients with cancers include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and/or targeted therapies or biologics. These treatments are most effective when guided by an experienced gynecologic oncologist. Our physicians use all the treatment tools available and carefully match patients to the appropriate treatment for them. Surgery is often the cornerstone of any cancer treatment plan. The goal of surgery is to remove the entire tumor, or as much of it as possible.

Excellent Oncology Surgery Service is provided for many conditions such as breast cancer, colorectal cancer, endocrine cancer, gynecologic cancer, urologic cancer, orthopedic cancer, skin cancer (melanoma).

Breast surgeries include: Mastectomy (This is the removal of all the breast tissue) and Lumpectomy: during this procedure, your surgeon removes the tumor and some of the surrounding tissue. This is also called breast-conserving surgery, since your breast remains intact. This can be performed with or without plastic surgery, but is always performed with your cosmetic result in mind as well. During breast cancer surgery, the lymph nodes under the arm (axillary nodes) are also evaluated to see if cancer has spread. There are two procedures for evaluating if cancer has spread to the lymph nodes: Sentinel lymph node biopsy uses a special dye and radioisotope injection to identify a small number of lymph nodes that are removed by the surgeon and evaluated thoroughly for cancer. Axillary lymph node dissection is performed to remove the remaining lymph nodes under the arm if there is known cancer involving the lymph nodes. Breast reconstruction: This is a follow-up surgery for patients who underwent a mastectomy or even a lumpectomy. A trained surgeon reconstructs your breast using local tissue rearrangement or artificial implants. You may choose to have this surgery at the same time as the surgery to remove the tumor, or you can decide to wait. Of course, this is an optional surgery. Some women choose to use a prosthetic device instead of undergoing surgery.

Colorectal cancer surgery: surgery type will depend on where the tumor is located and at what stage it is found. Local excision is used when the cancer is found at an early stage. Resection is used when the tumor is bigger. Your doctor removes the tumor and as much of the colon as necessary, and then reattaches the healthy part of the colon. Resection with colostomy happens if your doctor is unable to reattach the colon. In order for your body to get rid of waste, your doctor will create an opening, called a stoma. A bag is attached to the stoma to collect the waste. This procedure is called a colostomy.

Prostate cancer surgery: surgical options will depend on the size and stage of the tumor. They include: Radical prostatectomy: This is a procedure to remove your entire prostate. Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP): During this procedure, your surgeon removes some tissue from your prostate.

Bladder cancer surgery: Fortunately, 80 percent of bladder tumors can be readily treated with endoscopic techniques, which remove the tumors through the cystoscope via the urethra. At times, immunotherapy – a form of the tuberculosis vaccine known as BCG – is instilled in the bladder to treat or prevent recurrences. However, in some patients the cancer has invaded into the bladder wall, and more aggressive surgical treatment is required.

Kidney cancer surgery: we provide comprehensive care for kidney cancer including: laparoscopic radical nephrectomy, open radical nephrectomy for large tumors, partial nephrectomy for preservation of the kidney.

The Section of ORTHOPEDIC SURGERY is highly dedicated to Hip and Knee replacement. Our orthopedic surgeons team up with anesthesiologists to provide sophisticated pain management to limit pain caused by surgery, and with physiotherapists to offer the most advanced physical therapy treatment to build back your strength and range of motion.

Total Hip Replacement: If you suffer from hip arthritis that prevents you from enjoying your daily routine, you may benefit from total hip replacement surgery. This procedure replaces your damaged hip joint with an artificial one. The surgery restores your activity level and allows you to move comfortably and walk without pain.

Hip Revision Surgery: Hip replacements are designed in a way that may last your entire life. However, replacements can wear out due to natural use over time, or to an infection that can develop in nearby tissues. Hip revisions remove old hip implants that may have become a problem, and replace them with new ones.

Partial Knee Replacement: Three distinct sections divide your knee: the inside, the outside, and the front under the kneecap. In some cases, only one of these sections is damaged enough to need replacement. We can replace that one damaged section with artificial parts in a partial knee replacement, often with an advanced minimally invasive technique.

Total Knee Replacement: If you suffer from advanced arthritis of the knee that has not responded to other treatment options, and that limits your ability to perform basic activities like walking and climbing stairs, you may benefit from a total knee replacement.

Knee Revision Surgery: In some cases, people develop problems with their knee replacements. These problems originate from various factors, including normal wear and tear, a fracture, an infection, or unexplained pain or stiffness. Knee revision surgery corrects these problems by replacing the damaged knee implant with a healthy new one.

When a surgery is extremely complex, our orthopedic surgeons consult with and include other surgical specialists as part of the treatment team. These specialists may be micro-vascular surgeons, neurosurgeons, vascular surgeons, general surgeons, spine surgeons or plastic surgeons.

The section of PLASTIC AND RECONSTRUCTIVE SURGERY is involved in all aspects of plastic surgery, including aesthetic surgery, and it is dedicated to achieving full functional recovery in conjunction with aesthetically pleasing results following all types of surgery. Among the procedures provided: Abdominoplasty (removes excess skin and fat from the abdominal area and tightens weakened abdominal wall muscles); Hernia Repair (a hernia is a weakness or defect in the wall of the abdomen, groin, thigh, or genitals that often results in a visible bulge under the skin. Hernias are repaired to prevent them from worsening and causing more serious medical complications); Liposuction (sculpts the body by suctioning away unwanted fat from specific areas, including the abdomen, hips, buttocks, thighs, upper arms, chin, and neck); Breast Augmentation (breast enlargement using implants enhance the size and shape of a woman’s breast if she feels they are too small, balances a difference in breast size, or as a reconstructive technique following breast surgery); Breast Reconstruction (reconstructs breast after breast cancer surgery using implants or tissue flaps); Breast Reduction (removes fat, glandular tissue, and skin from the breasts, making them smaller, lighter, and firmer); Mastopexy (or breast lift, raises and reshapes sagging or drooping breasts); Blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery removes fat, excess skin, and muscle from the upper and lower eyelids. Eyelid surgery can correct drooping upper lids and puffy bags below the eyes); Facelift (lifts sagging skin on the face and neck, smoothes out wrinkles on the cheeks, jowls, and neck, eliminating a double chin); Rhinoplasty (or nasal surgery, can reduce or increase the size of your nose, change the shape of the tip or the bridge, narrow the span of the nostrils, or change the angle between your nose and your upper lip. It may also correct a birth defect or injury, or help relieve some breathing problems).

Moreover, Villa Donatello’s specialists offer also WEIGHT LOSS SURGERY (bariatric surgery) and VERTEBROPLASTY (a bone cement is injected under pressure directly into the fractured vertebra. Once in position, the cement hardens in few minutes, congealing the fragments of the fractured vertebra and providing immediate stability).

The Inpatients Clinic has 67 beds, distributed in single and double rooms all with en suite bathroom, individually controlled air conditioning, satellite television, refrigerator and a small safe. The Inpatients Clinic has five operating theatres and one two-bed adult sub-intensive care unit. Though not provided with an Emergency Room, Villa Donatello can admit patients with conditions that require urgent care. In fact, an emergency 24/7 surgery service is available regardless of time or day.

The Outpatients Clinic provides ambulatory surgery for a number of conditions as well as laser therapy for skin and eye pathologies. It is fitted with 6 rooms with beds for post- surgery recovery and with other recovery areas furnished with medical chairs. The Outpatients Clinic has three operating theaters, one ambulatory surgery room and four laser treatment rooms. A Doctor’s referral is required for admission to the Clinics.

Outpatient Care

Outpatient/ambulatory medical care includes the provision of professional diagnostic and therapeutic services rendered by physicians, clinical nurses or other health care professionals who are certified in his or her jurisdiction. A Doctor’s referral is required for all laboratory testing and diagnostic procedures.

Blood Tests

Blood testing is the single most important preventive tool you can use to help head off health problems. They give you a picture of your overall health, identify potential disease risks or test for specific problems. Villa Donatello provides the most comprehensive blood test panels and individualized tests like Cardiac Risk Factors, Vitamin Deficiencies, Hormone and Thyroid Panels, Metabolic and Chemistry Profiles.

Anatomic Pathology Lab

The Anatomic Pathology Unit is responsible for examination and diagnosis of tissue specimens obtained by physicians during procedures performed on inpatients and outpatients. In addition, specimens can be sent to our pathologists for consultation from other hospitals and clinical practices. Our Pathology specialists examine biopsies, perform analysis of proteins expressed in the tissue (immunohistochemistry), evaluate individual cells found in specimens such as Pap smears, urine, transbronchial washings, pleural effusions, or fine-needle aspiration biopsies.

Magnetic Resonance

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a noninvasive medical test that uses a powerful magnetic field, radio frequency pulses and a computer to produce detailed pictures of organs, soft tissues, bone and virtually all other internal body structures. MRI does not use ionizing radiation (x-rays). MR imaging is usually the test of choice for examining the body’s major joints, spine for disk disease, soft tissues (muscles, tendons and ligaments) and bones of the extremities, brain and blood vessels.

Computerized Tomography

Computed tomography (aka CT or CAT scan), is a radiological test that produces multiple images or pictures of the inside of the body. This procedure is one of the fastest and most accurate tools for examining the chest, abdomen and pelvis. It is invaluable in diagnosing and treating spinal problems and injuries to the hands, feet and other skeletal structures. CT plays a significant role in the detection, diagnosis and treatment of vascular diseases and it is commonly used to assess for pulmonary embolism as well as for aortic aneurysms.

Traditional Radiology

An x-ray (radiograph) is a noninvasive medical test that helps physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions. Imaging with x-rays involves exposing a part of the body to a small dose of ionizing radiation to produce pictures of the inside of the body.


Radiologist at Villa Donatello always use the smallest possible amount of radiation for any x-ray examination. For mammography, we use a specially designed x-ray machine which produces fine detail at a very low dose of radiation. Your mammogram will be interpreted by a physician who is a board certified radiologist with special training and certification in mammography.

Bone Densitometry

Bone densitometry uses enhanced x-ray technology to measure bone loss. It is today’s established standard for measuring bone mineral density and it is most often performed on the lower spine and hips. Sometimes the whole body is scanned. Bone densitometry is most often used to diagnose osteoporosis. It also is a sensitive procedure for measuring subtle changes in bones’ response to drug therapy.


Ultrasound is safe and painless, and produces pictures of the inside of the body using sound waves. Because ultrasound images are captured in real-time, they can show the structure and movement of the body’s internal organs, as well as blood flowing through blood vessels. Ultrasound examina- tions provide pictures of the Pelvis (endovaginal and external), Urinary tract, Abdomen, Testicles, Thyroid, Prostate (endorectal and external), Breast and Soft tissues. Carotid and peripheral venous and arterial ultrasound provide pictures of the blood vessels throughout the body. A Doppler ultrasound study may be part of a vascular ultrasound examination: it is a special technique that evaluates blood flow through a blood vessel, including the body’s major arteries and veins in the abdomen, arms, legs, neck and head.

Prenatal Ultrasound

Ultrasound scans offer a non-invasive, accurate diagnostic tool for dating a pregnancy, checking for any problems, and obtaining information about the fetus. An ultrasound exam uses high-frequency sound waves to scan a woman’s abdomen and pelvic cavity, creating a picture (sonogram) of the baby and placenta. It does not harm a fetus, and may be used as early as the fifth week of pregnancy. The machinery used at Villa Donatello allows analyzing complete three-dimensional (3D) pictures of a fetus. 3D scans may show more detail about a known abnormality. Because these scans can show more detail from different angles, they can help in the diagnosis of cleft lip. 3D scanning can also be useful to look at the heart and other internal organs.


Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy is a technique for treating stones in the kidney and ureter that does not require surgery. Instead, high energy shock waves are passed through the body and used to break stones into pieces as small as grains of sand. Because of their small size, these pieces can pass from the body along with the urine.

Interventional Radiology

Interventional Radiology diagnoses and treats a broad range of conditions, using minimally invasive surgical techniques guided by state-of-the-art imaging. Interventional radiology procedures are an advance in medicine that often eliminate the need for traditional open surgery. Interventional radiologists can block off blood vessels that feed tumors, drain blocked organs and perform biopsies through a tiny incision, in which small, thin surgical instruments are navigated, under image guidance, to the target area. Image guidance includes X-rays, computed tomography (CT) scans and ultrasound.


Anesthesiologists provide pre-operative assessment of patients and anesthesia services for all elective and emergency surgery (General Anesthesia – where you are unconscious during the operation; Regional Anesthesia – where an injection of local anesthetic makes the part of the body that is being operated on numb, allowing you to be awake during the operation, but pain free; Local Anesthesia – where local anesthetic is injected at the site of surgery to make just the area of the operation numb, supplemented or not with sedation). Moreover, they provide services for endoscopy, radiology (including MRI and interventional procedures) as well as for the sub-intensive care unit and pain management in acute and chronic patients.


Audiologists provide primary hearing health care, specializing in the identification, assessment, diagnosis, management, and treatment of hearing disorders.

Cardiology (non-invasive)

Services provided include: Consultations with Cardiologists, ECGs, Exercise Stress tests, Ambulatory Cardiac Monitoring (24h cardiac and Blood Pressure Monitoring) and Echocardiography (heart ultrasound) including Stress Echo. Echocardiography is a completely safe, painless and noninvasive test used to assess heart structure and function involving the placement of an ultrasound transducer on the chest wall to bounce sound waves off the heart chambers and valves.

Gastroenterology with Endoscopy Unit

Services provided include: Consultations with Gastroenterologists, Liver Biopsy an Endoscopy. The Center is staffed by a specially trained team of nurses, and is equipped with advanced endoscopic technology to visualize organ interiors, collect specimens and perform other procedures, usually through the body’s natural openings. Our board-certified gastroenterology specialists perform a number of procedures, including: Upper GI endoscopy (to detect ulcers, abnormal growths, bowel obstructions, inflammation, and hernia), Colonoscopy (to see inside the rectum and entire colon) and ERCP (endoscopic retrograde cholangio-pancreatography) for the diagnosis of problems in the liver, gallbladder, bile ducts, and pancreas).

Nutritional and Dietetics Services

Dietitians have specialist knowledge of nutrition and health; they translate scientific information about nutrition and food into practical dietary advice. As well as providing service about nutrition and health the service also provides advice about dietary treatment of disease and prevention of diet related conditions like coronary heart disease. The Clinic also provides follow-up for people requiring long term enteral nutrition support.


Our Clinic specializes in both medical and surgical ophthalmology, offering complete Optometric and Ophthalmic eye care and surgery to patients of all ages. Our doctors are fully trained and experienced to diagnose, treat and prevent conditions from myopia and hyperopia to glaucoma and cataract. We offer the greatest level of comfort, minimally invasive techniques (such as small incision and no stitch cataract surgery) and state-of-the-art retinal laser treatments. The following procedures are available at Villa Donatello: visual field testing, corneal topography, corneal endothelial microscopy, corneal pachymetry, OCT scanning, retinal fluoroangiography, laser vision correction, cataract surgery, corneal transplant, Intraocular injections, LASIK, YAG capsulotomy. The Ophthalmology Clinic offers the greatest level of technology available through the use of the femtosecond laser, designed to provide greater precision than manual surgery techniques.

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Villa Donatello’s licensed rehabilitation therapists provide services for hospitalized patients, as well as outpatients, including functional testing of strength, flexibility and range of motion, and biomechanical evaluation. We offer strengthening and conditioning in older patients, comprehensive rehabilitation services for persons with a wide range of hip, knee, shoulder, foot and ankle conditions, as well as rehabilitation following surgery of the extremities. Depending on the patient’s needs and goals, treatment may include physical therapy, rehabilitation engineering, therapeutic recreation, professional massage therapy, laser therapy, tecar therapy, magneto therapy and ultrasound therapy.

Dental Care

Our dentists provide check-ups, visits, cleaning, hygiene and prevention, fillings, extractions, conservative treatment and endodontics (tooth decay and root canal treatment), fixed and removable dentures, dental surgery and periodontics, implantology, disorders of the temporomandibular joint and orthodontics (correction of teeth and jaws that are crowded, have over- or under-bites, or are otherwise positioned improperly). Also, our oral health therapists have an important role in patient care. They work together with dentists to maintain patients’ oral health, educate patients on oral hygiene instructions and prescribe personalized methods to prevent oral disease. Moreover, our Clinic offers the innovative and future-oriented CEREC technology, the unique CAD/ CAM system for patient individual all-ceramic restorations in one single appointment. Additional state-of-the-art technologies available are: laser for oral procedures, digital oral radiology and Cone Beam CT (an X-ray based imaging technique that, like a conventional medical CT scan, provides fast and accurate visualization of bony anatomical structures in three dimensions).

Laser Clinic

By using the laser technology, we can selectively and ac- curately resurface the skin, removing wrinkles and other imperfections such as birthmarks, acne scars, age spots and sun damage. Trained medical staff quickly and precisely use laser light to rejuvenate and enhance your skin and for the treatment of vascular lesions, as well as for the most innovative techniques both in ophthalmology (laser blepharoplasty) and in gynecology (MonaLisa TouchTM for vaginal atrophy).

Other Specialist Visits

In addition to the above mentioned services, Villa Donatello offers further high quality comprehensive and integrated specialist visits. Consulting physicians hold regularly scheduled clinics in: Allergology, Andrology, Angiology, Dermatology, Ear Nose & Throat, Endocrinology, Hematology, Internal Medicine, General Surgery, Logopedy, Neurology, Oncology, Orthopedic, Plastic Surgery, Pneumology, Psychology, Rheumatology, Senology, Urology and Vascular Surgery.