University of Florence (Università di Firenze)

University Information, Campus and History
(Florence, Italy)

The University of Florence is one of the oldest universities in Italy. It is located in Florence, the capital city of Tuscany, Italy. The university evolved from what was then known as the Studium Generale founded in 1321 to the Instituto di Studi Pratici e di Perfezionamento in 1859. It was officially denominated a university in 1923 through a special Act of Parliament.

The Studium Generale was established by the Florentine Republic and recognised by Pope Clement VI in 1349. It instituted the first Italian faculty of Theology in Florence. It was made an imperial university in 1364 and was later moved to a new location in Pisa in 1473 under the reign of Lorenzo the Magnificent. Between 1497 to 1515, it was moved back to Florence by Charles the VIII but was moved again to Pisa under the rule of the Medici family. In 1859, the various faculties of the Studium that were still operating in Florence soon became the Instituto di Studi Pratici e di Perfezionamento. It was recognised as a full-fledged university a year later by the government of the unified Italy, and it was officially denominated a university by the Italian Parliament in 1923.

Today, the University of Florence is one of the most prominent and largest universities in Italy with 12 faculties and around 63,000 enrolled students. Depending on the programmes they offer, the faculties are strategically located throughout the six university campuses, which are the Polo delle Scienze Sociali (Campus of Social Sciences), the Careggi district, the S. Marta Institute, the Parco delle Cascine, the Sesto Fiorentino district, and the Accademia di Belle Arti (where the David by Michelangelo is displayed).

The University of Florence has 12 faculties:
  • Agriculture
  • Architecture
  • Economy
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Law
  • Letters and Philosophy
  • Mathematical, Physical, and Natural Sciences
  • Medicine and Surgery
  • Pharmacy
  • Political Science
  • Psychology


The university has many facilities including a university canteen, sporting facilities, Cultural Centre for Foreigners, and Italian Language Courses at the Centro Linguistico di Ateneo.

The university canteen is handled by the Azienda Regionale per il Diritto allo Studio Universitario. It offers dining services in contract or convention with a superb menu. The canteen produces an average of 4,500 meals a day. It also serves as a bar-restaurant with 70 seating places that can serve approximately 500 people at one time. Students need a canteen card (tesserino mensa) to dine at the university canteen.

The University Florence has a total of four sporting facilities, which are the Palazzetto dello Sport Universitario, Via Vittorio della Rovere, Impianto Polivalente Padovani, and the Via Paoli. Students are entitled to join the activities these sports facilities offer for free, but there are some that require a small enrollment fee. Students who want to join the sporting activities need to submit two passport photographs, a medical certificate not older than one year stating their physical fitness to take part in non-competitive sport activities, and a document proving their enrollment at the university.

The Cultural Centre for Foreigners offers museums tours and excursions to all university students. Additional fees are required for purchasing the grammar books, museum entrance tickets, excursion reservations, and examination fees.

The Centro Linguistico di Ateneo offers free Italian language courses to students with international study grants, Ph. D. students, post-doctorate students, and visiting professors throughout the academic year.

Student accommodation is plentiful around the city suburbs, being well connected to the university campus by regular buses. From Easter until late September, hotels in the city are at their busiest, with guest houses (pensioni) around the Stazione di Santa Maria Novella being especially popular. Florence villas and apartments make for a popular alternative to mainstream hotels, with the best boasting Tuscan character and terraces overlooking the Duomo.

Famous Students

Some of the notable students who graduated from the University of Florence are Giuseppe 'Beppo' Occhialini, who contributed to the discovery of the pi-meson decay in 1947 and played a crucial role in starting the European Space Research Organization; Sandro Pertini, the seventh president of the Italian Republic who received a degree in Political Science and is currently member of the faculty; Luigi Bigerri, the president of the Instituto Nazionale di Statistica (ISTAT) and is presently a professor in the university; Sandro Servi, the founder of Rimmonim: Jewish Publishing and Communications who is dedicated to the dissemination of Jewish traditional texts and educational materials in the Italian language; and Monica Frassoni, a member of the European Parliament and co-president of the Greens/European Free Alliance.

The trunkline number of the university is 800 450150. This number will connect to all departments including the Socrates Main Office. This is the office in charge of monitoring and coordinating incoming students. Their fax number is 055 2757681. They can also be reached through email at:

The university offers a Cultural Centre for Foreigners located at the Via Francesco Valori 9, 50132 Firenze (Piazza Savonarola). Their telephone number is 0039 055 5032703 - 01 - 02, and their fax number is 0039 055 5032705.

Contact University of Florence (Universitą di Firenze):
Address: The main Socrates office, Ufficio Orientamento Mobilita e Collaborazioni studentesche, Piazza San Marco, 4-50121, Firenze (Florence), Tuscany, Italy
Tel: +39 055 27571
Fax: 055 2757681
Florence University

Florence University

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