Aim and methodology. Dietary habits of university students were analyzed in order to investigate any differences between students living at and away from home. Two hundred and fifty-eight undergraduate students attending University of Ferrara completed a self-administered questionnaire on demographic characteristics, food frequency consumption habits and body weight perception. Results. Students living at home practiced more sport and consumed more frequently raw and cooked vegetables, fish, meat and poultry, fresh fruit, eggs, bread/cereals. Conversely, students living away from home consumed more often packaged/ready food, beer and spirits, milk and chips. The majority of students living alone reported a modification of dietary habits since leaving family. Furthermore they perceived to have a weight condition different from normal in a greater extent than students living with family. Discussion. Students living alone encountered more difficulties in adopting a healthy diet so it would be desirable to adopt nutritional educational interventions on university students, usually neglected by these measures.