An old art class in the 1950's



October 16, 1947, OSR is born

When news came that the allied troops were being moved to Trieste, a group of American and British mothers decided to form a school. It would be nondenominational and international, while combining the best of the British and American systems. They were able to get both the British and American Ambassadors to become patrons of the school and convinced the Torlonia family to rent the palazzetto of Villa Torlonia on Via Nomentana as AOSR’s first home. The school opened its doors to the public on October 16, 1947, with a grand total of 60 students.


OSR Relocates to Via Cassia

In 1951, the school met the demands of a rising enrollment by moving to its current Via Cassia location, and from there, continued to grow. The United States government expressed its recognition of the school's quality educational program and therefore gave a grant to the school.

The new elementary school was constructed, additional high school classrooms were completed, and the gymnasium was built.


Early 1960s

An AOSR AP Advanced Placement student studies in class. 


OSR Begins Offering Advanced Placement Courses

In the 1960s, OSR became the first school in Rome to offer the AP Program. To this day, AOSR offers Advanced Placement courses to high school students. Currently AOSR students have a choice of over 19+ extensive AP courses.  More than  50% of high school students take an AP and IB class at AOSR.

1965 and 1970s

Elementary School Extension is Built and the Hillside Theatre is added

In 1965, the elementary school extension was completed, as well as the leveling of the field. The Hillside Theater was added in the early 1970s, and the school took on its present day appearance.

The AOSR quad and elementary school buildings. 


Early 1970s

Varsity Cheer Squad pose for a group photo in the AOSR gym


OSR Becomes AOSR

During the early 1970s, the Overseas School of Rome (OSR), officially changed its name to the American Overseas School of Rome (AOSR), and after 50 years, still retains this name. Many alumni who attended OSR in the 1960s still refer to the school as the Overseas School of Rome, keeping the history alive. 


AOSR is Recognized as an IB World School

In 1989, AOSR officially became recognized as an IB World School, offering the IB International Baccalaureate Programme to high school students. The program continues to offer a well-rounded, academic curriculum for our students, with over 17 IB classes available to Grade 11 and 12 students. The IB program is recognized internationally in over 150 countries worldwide. 

Students study in the library



High school student studies outside. 


AOSR is Accredited by MSA 

In 1995, AOSR gained official accreditation from the Middle States Association (MSA). In the spring of 2018, AOSR successfully completed the reaccreditation process. 


AOSR Celebrates 70 Years of History! 

In April of 2018, AOSR celebrated 70 years of amazing history. Over 300 alumni from around the world came to celebrate AOSR’s birthday together with faculty, staff, and current AOSR families. Shortly after, thanks to many generous donations from alumni and community members, the Design Lab was constructed. In 2023, AOSR will celebrate 75 years. 

A high school student works in the new Design Lab. 


The Future of AOSR

Students stage an old photo