General Contact Information

Gonzaga in Florence
VIia Giorgio La Pira 11/13
50125 Firenze - Italia

+39 055 215 226

Meet Our Staff!

Jason HoustonDr. Jason Houston is Director and Professor of Humanities at Gonzaga University in Florence, where he teaches Dante and leads the Gonzaga in Florence campus.

He completed his BA in Italian and Medieval Studies at the University of Oregon. He went on take his M.Phil in Medieval Studies and Ph.D. in Italian Language and Literature at Yale University in 2003.

From 2003 to 2016, he was Assistant Professor and then Associate Professor of Italian at the University of Oklahoma, where he created a new B.A. program in Italian, developed a new study center for OU in Arezzo Italy, and managed a public/private partnership between OU/ENEL Green Power/Capitoline Museums of Rome.

His research focuses on Giovanni Boccaccio and his complicated relationships with other key Trecento Italian authors: Dante Alighieri, Francesco Petrarca, and Zanobi da Strada. His publications include numerous articles and review articles in journals such as MLN, Dante Studies, Studi Sul Boccaccio, Renaissance Quarterly, and Speculum. His monograph Building a Monument to Dante: Boccaccio as Dantista (UToronto Press, 2011) underscored Boccaccio’s strong influence in the development of Dante Studies. In 2018, Harvard University Press will publish his translation (with Sam Huskey) of Boccaccio’s Shorter Latin Works in the I Tatti Renaissance Library series, which bring many of Boccaccio’s text into English for the first time ever. He is editing a volume for the Perspectives on the Decameron series (Day V). Currently, he is investigating the little-known figure of Zanobi da Strada and his position as the “fourth crown” of the Italian Trecento.



Alessandro PazzagliaDr. Alessandro Pazzaglia has worked at Gonzaga in Florence since 2002. His responsibilities include the following:

Finance & Budgeting: Budget formation for various Programs (Academic Year, Summer Sessions, Graduate Programs, Other Special Funds); Budgets updates and Budgets management and control; Preparation of the Annual Financial and Budgeting Reports

Fiscal: Preparation of all documents needed by the University’s local CPA for filing the Annual Income Tax Return;

Accounting: Book keeping; expense controlling; act as the University’s treasurer; expense approval; Monthly and yearly auditing in conjunction with the Controller’s Office in the U.S.

H&R: Director’s assistance on hiring Personnel, both faculty and staff members; preparation of faculty and staff members’ employee contracts; keep track of employees’ presence; collaboration with the Labor consultant for payroll matters (pay-checks); pay-checks payments; Personnel taxes preparation and payment;

Operations: Responsible for selecting and dealing with suppliers and vendors.

Legal: Preparation, of contracts service, in particular with Hotels where students will be staying during the Semester); Responsible in Assisting the Director for safety and security measures and procedures, functional maintenance of equipment and premises. Responsible for legal issues for students (i.e. Residence Permits).

IT: Keeping contacts with IT external technicians, assistance for IT issues to students, staff and faculty

Function as a liaison between the Florence Program and Main Campus for many issues and matters.



Frederica DionisioFederica Dionisio has worked at Gonzaga in Florence since 2006.

As Assistant Director for Student Development, Federica assists students with personal needs, cultural adjustment, housing, and emergencies. She supports the extracurricular activities including internships and volunteer service. Students are encouraged to continue their community service developing a connection with the Florentine community.

Federica identifies and contacts service sites in Florence in order to place students in volunteer roles. Federica organizes the volunteer schedule in accordance with the institution’s needs and the students’ class schedules, files the paperwork required for liability insurance for the students, and follows their progress during the semester or year. Once or twice a semester, follow-up meetings are held with all of the volunteers, so that they can debrief regarding their experiences at their site, and hear about the experiences of other volunteers.

As Internships Coordinator, Federica provides students opportunities to have firsthand experience working in an Italian business, artistic or cultural institution while earning academic credits. The program is being built by adding new local organizations and companies every year. The goal is to involve students in an Italian working reality, according with their major and interests.



Silia PasseriSilia Passeri is the Gonzaga in Florence Registrar. As such, her role includes the following:

Student services: Registration processing and serving as the initial contact for general policy questions and concerns, assistance with unofficial transcript production (online and in-person), enrollment verification procedures, assistance with grading, and with the processing of student academic forms.

Institutional and Academic services: Development of academic calendar and course offerings including the building of courses each semester utilizing Banner, room scheduling, assistance on course content and disability support services, and serving as the liaison to faculty for academic issues and activities.

Contact:, +39 055 215226 x104


Elisabetta CarusoElisabetta Caruso has been the librarian at Gonzaga in Florence since 2015 and also serves as the Special Assistant to the Dean.

Elisabetta graduated in Architecture at the University of Florence, earned a degree in Palaeography, Diplomatics and Archives Administration at the State Archives School of Florence, and then a post-graduate degree in Library Sciences from the Vatican Library, Rome.

She has worked in many Florentine cultural institutes and libraries as archivist, librarian and cataloger (Historical Archives of ENEL, Historical Archive of Fiesole, State Archives of Florence, Music School of Fiesole, Bibliotecanova Isolotto, Accademia dei Georgofili, Dominican Library of Santa Maria Novella, Kent State University Florence, and The British Institute of Florence) before joining the staff of Gonzaga in Florence.

In addition to the library services, she organizes the pro-seminars and lectures series and is responsible for the contents of the Gonzaga in Florence website.



Guido GabelliBorn and raised in Florence, Guido Gabelli left his beloved city right after graduating in Peacekeeping, Mediation and Conflict Management and Resolution, and started working in the humanitarian sector.

He lived and worked in Kosovo between 2005 and 2007, then moved to Sri Lanka until 2009. He then moved to the Philippines and, after a brief, four-month spell in China, finally came back to Florence. While abroad, he worked for a number of humanitarian organizations (Operation Dove, Nonviolent Peaceforce and UNHCR). He carried out many kinds of humanitarian intervention, from civilian protection to development cooperation, and human rights defense to refugee camp relief interventions.

Since coming home in 2010, he has taught English in all sorts of contexts, to all sorts of people (from soldiers to hairdressers) and ended up as an elementary school teacher for four years between 2011 and 2015. He started working for Gonzaga in Florence as a Student Development Coordinator in 2015.

In his free time, he volunteers with different associations and privately in the field of cross-cultural communication. He also plays bass and double bass, and he loves all that jazz.



Denise QuintieriDenise Quintieri has been working at Gonzaga in Florence since 2004, at first as unarmed security guard, concierge and access control with the society Secret and the Metropolitan Security Supervisory Institute. For the society Secret, she has worked also as a secretary, specializing in investigations on behalf of banks and individuals. Member of Metropolitan Security Srl Denise has worked in the offices for the remote control of the cameras installed by clients (companies and individuals), and in shopping centers as both receptionist and access officer as an unarmed security guard and for the control and protection of goods (anti-shoplifting).

Since 2012 she has been working as an employee of Gonzaga in Florence dedicated to reception and safety, camera control, access control, maintenance and technical assistance for various activities, both as an aid to the faculty and as a help to the student life.



Gabriela PassatoreGabriela Passatore serves as a Student Development Coordinator, leveraging her multicultural background to support students. Born in Brazil with Italian heritage, her family hails from a small town near Naples. Before moving to Italy, Gabriela lived and studied in Boston, MA for several months. This personal experience of being a foreign student makes her well-equipped to assist students in their transition.

At Gonzaga Florence, Gabriela's primary responsibility involves planning weekend trips for the travel study program. These excursions feature visits to various Italian cities such as Rome, Siena, Sorrento, and Sicily, with typically 3-5 weekend trips offered each semester. Her experiences and expertise ensure that students have a seamless and enriching study abroad experience.


Cynara EvansCynara Evans boasts a diverse international background. Born in Florence, she spent her formative years between Italy and Sweden, and lived in London for over six years before returning to her birth city to work at GIF.

Familiar with global cultures, Cynara appreciates that cultural differences are not impediments but valuable resources. As a native Florentine with firsthand experience as a study abroad student in Brussels, she uniquely understands what it's like to adapt to a new culture and fully embrace its facets. She uses her insights about Florence to help students integrate into and comprehend the local Italian culture.

As a Student Development Coordinator, she supports students with day-to-day life in Italy and make the most out of their time here and help students acclimate to their new home abroad creating the best possible experiences. In particular, she provides support with personal needs, housing, medical issues, and emergencies.

Cynara keeps students informed about local events, activities, and sports in Florence. She is always ready to assist students in adjusting to life in the city and answer any questions that they may have throughout the semester.

Her personal interests span art, sports, and travel. She has a fondness for contemporary art and emerging artists, with her favorite spot in Florence being the Oltrarno.


Niccolò BordoniNiccolò Bordoni serves as a Student Development Coordinator at Gonzaga, offering his support since January 2023. Born and raised in Italy, Niccolò utilizes his personal insights and experience to assist American students studying at the Gonzaga Florence campus, particularly with their extracurricular activities. He is dedicated to ensuring students have the resources they need to flourish during their college experience abroad.

Niccolò and his team are committed to fostering a welcoming and inclusive environment, helping international students navigate the cultural differences they may encounter. Despite being Italian, Niccolò embraces the challenges of cultural differences with an open mind, constantly aiming to bridge the gap between Italian and American culture. This experience has provided him with enriched perspectives and broadened horizons.


Elena PireddaElena Piredda serves as the Receptionist/Secretary at Gonzaga University in Florence.