University of Pisa

The University of Pisa (Italian: Università di Pisa, UniPi) is an Italian public research university located in Pisa, Italy. It was founded in 1343[1] by an edict of Pope Clement VI. It is the 19th oldest extant university in the world and the 10th oldest in Italy.[2] The university is ranked within the top 10 nationally and the top 400 in the world according to the ARWU and the QS. It houses the Orto botanico di Pisa, Europe's oldest academic botanical garden, which was founded in 1544.

The University of Pisa is part of the Pisa University System, which includes the Scuola Normale Superiore and the Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies. The university has about 50,000 students (of which 46,000 are undergraduate and postgraduate studies, and 3,500 are doctoral and specialization studies).

In the fields of philology and cultural studies, the University of Pisa is a leading member of ICoN, an inter-university consortium of 21 Italian universities supported by the Ministry of Education, Universities and Research, as well as a member of the European University Association, the Partnership of a European Group of Aeronautics and Space Universities network and the Cineca consortium. It's the only university in Italy which has become a member of the Universities Research Association.[3]

Among its notable graduates there are several national and foreign political leaders including two Italian presidents, five Popes, five Italian prime ministers and three Nobel Laureates as students, faculty or staff affiliates.

Pisa has an intense athletic rivalry with the University of Pavia, which traditionally culminates in the Pisa-Pavia Regatta (Regata Pisa-Pavia), the oldest competition of this kind in Italy, and second in Europe only to the Oxford Cambridge boat race.

In 2013, the University of Pisa finished with La Sapienza University of Rome in first place among the Italian universities, according to the Academic Ranking of World Universities.[4][5][6]

Coordinates: 43°42′59.43″N 10°23′54.45″E / 43.7165083°N 10.3984583°E

University of Pisa
Università di Pisa
University of Pisa
Seal of the University of Pisa
Latin: Universitas Pisana
MottoIn supremae dignitatis
Motto in English
In supreme dignity
RectorPaolo Mancarella
Administrative staff
CampusUrban/University town
Sports teamsUS Pisa
AffiliationsICoN, EUA, URA, PEGASUS


Palazzo alla giornata 11
Palazzo alla Giornata on the riverbank Lungarno Pacinotti, home of the Rectorate
Orto botanico di Pisa 2
Orto botanico, botanical garden

The University of Pisa was officially established on 3 September 1343.[1] However, a number of scholars claim its origin dates back to the 11th century.

The first reliable data on the presence of secular and monastic schools of law in Pisa is from the 11th century and the second half of the 12th century, a time when Pisa had already achieved a remarkable economic development. The following century formed the first documents to prove the presence of doctors of medicine and surgery.

The earliest evidence of a Pisan Studium dates to 1338, when jurist Ranieri Arsendi transferred to Pisa from Bologna. He, along with Bartolo da Sassoferrato, a lecturer in civil law, were paid by the municipality to teach public lessons.

The papal bull In supremae dignitatis, granted by Pope Clement VI on 3 September 1343, recognized the Studium of Pisa as a Studium Generale; an institution of further education founded or confirmed by a universal authority, the Papacy, or Empire. Pisa was one of the first European universities to boast this papal attestation, which guaranteed the universal and legal value of its educational qualifications.

The first taught subjects were theology, civil law, canon law and medicine. In 1355, Francesco da Buti, the well-known commentator of Dante's Divine Comedy, began teaching at the Studium.

Pisa and its Studium underwent a period of crisis around the turn of the 15th century: the Florentines' conquest of the town led to the university's closure in 1403. In 1473, thanks to Lorenzo de Medici, the Pisan Studium resumed its systematic development, and the construction of a building for holding lessons was provided for in 1486. The building — later known as Palazzo della Sapienza (the "Building of Knowledge") — was located in the 14th-century Piazza del Grano. The image of a cherub was placed above the gate Dell'Abbondanza (the "Gate of Abundance"), leading to the piazza, and today is still the symbol of the university.

Following the rebellion and the war against Florence in 1494, the Pisan Studium suffered a period of decline and was transferred to Pistoia, Prato and Florence. The ceremonial reopening of the university on 1 November 1543, under the rule of Duke Cosimo I de Medici, was considered as a second inauguration. The quality of the university was furthered by the statute of 1545 and the Pisan Athenaeum became one of the most significant in Europe for teaching and research. The chair of Semplici (botany) was held by Luca Ghini, founder of the world's first botanical gardens. He was succeeded by Andrea Cesalpino, who pioneered the first scientific methodology for the classification of plants, and is considered a forerunner in the discovery of blood circulation. Gabriele Falloppio and Marcello Malpighi lectured in anatomy and medicine. Galileo Galilei, who was born and studied in Pisa, became professor of mathematics at the Pisan Studium in 1589.

The university's role as a state institution became more accentuated during the Medici Grand Duchy period. A protectionist policy ensured a consistent nucleus of scholars and teachers. Laws issued by Cosimo I, Ferdinando I and Ferdinando II obliged those who intended to obtain a degree to attend the Studium of Pisa. Many notable figures lectured at Pisa, especially in the fields of law and medicine.

The university's development continued under the Lorenas. They completed the construction of the astronomic observatory (a project initiated by the Medicis), and enriched the university library with important publications. They helped develop the botanical gardens, and natural science museum, and established new chairs including experimental Physics and Chemistry.

The annexation of Tuscany to the Napoleonic Empire resulted in the transformation of the Studium into an Imperial Academy. The Athenaeum became a branch of the University of Paris, and the courses and study programs were structured following the French public education model. Five new faculties were established: (theology, law, medicine, science and literature), along with examinations, different qualification titles and graduation theses. In 1810 the scuola normale was established, after the École normale of Paris.

The Restoration wasn't able to cancel the effects of the Napoleonic experience. The first Congress of Italian Scientists was held in Pisa in 1839. Over 300 experts of various disciplines and 421 scientists discussed zoology, comparative anatomy, chemistry, physics, mathematics, agronomy, technology, botany, vegetation physiology, geology, mineralogy, geography and medicine.

In 1839–1840, the Director of Education Gaetano Giorgini brought about the most important reform in the University of Pisa by raising the number of faculties to six (theology, law, literature, medicine, mathematics, and natural sciences). Giorgini also created the world's first chair of agriculture and sheep farming.

In 1846, the Scuola Normale reopened. At the same time, liberal and patriotic ideals were spreading at Athenaeum and a battalion of the university (composed of lecturers and students) distinguished itself in the Battle of Curtatone and Montanara in 1848.

During the Second Restoration in 1851, Leopoldo II united the universities of Pisa and Siena in a unique Etruscan Athenaeum, motivated in part by economic reasons, but primarily for political control. The faculties of theology and law rested at Siena, while those of literature, medicine, mathematics and natural sciences remained at Pisa. Following the Florentine insurrection and the fleeing of the Grand Duke in 1859, one of the initial measures imposed by the provisory government was the restitution to the city of Pisa of its Studium with all six of its faculties.

With the birth of the Kingdom of Italy, the University of Pisa became one of the new state's most prestigious cultural institutions. The first European Institute of Historical Linguistics was founded in Pisa in 1890. Between the second half of the 19th century and first half of the 20th century, lecturers who taught at Pisa included the lawyers Francesco Carrara and Francesco Buonamici; philologists Domenico Comparetti and Giovanni D'Ancona; historians Pasquale Villari, Gioacchino Volpe and Luigi Russo; philosopher Giovanni Gentile; economist Giuseppe Toniolo and mathematicians Ulisse Dini and Antonio Pacinotti.

During the years of fascism, the Pisa Athenaeum was an active centre for political debate and antifascist organisation. After the second world war, the University of Pisa returned to the avant-garde style of learning in many fields of knowledge. To the faculties of engineering and pharmacy, established pre-war, were added economics, foreign languages and literature and politics. In 1967 the Scuola Superiore di Studi Universitari e Perfezionamento S. Anna was founded which, together with La Scuola Normale, formed a learning and teaching centre.

Today, the University of Pisa has 20 departments, with high-level research centres in the sectors of agriculture, astrophysics, computer science, engineering, mathematics, medicine and veterinary medicine. The university has close relations with the Pisan Institutes of the National Research Council, with many cultural institutions of national and international importance, and with industry, especially that of information technology, which experienced a phase of rapid expansion in Pisa during the 1960s and 1970s.

Organization and administration

The University of Pisa consists of 20 departments. These departments offers several courses in their related field of study:

PhD studies are usually offered and arranged by the departments. The lectures are mostly given in Italian, except for a number of courses at the faculty of foreign languages and literature, some scientific programmes, such as the international MSc in aerospace engineering (EuMAS), Master in Business Informatics, the Master of Science in Space Engineering[7] and the Master in Computer Science and Networking,[8] jointly offered with Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna. Students also have at their disposal a language centre, where they can attend courses in foreign languages, a sports centre (Cus Pisa) that arranges for many sports intramural leagues and allows sports practice in almost all the disciplines available in Italy, and three university refectories (Mense universitarie). The University of Pisa is not organized in the form of one unique campus, but rather its many buildings are scattered throughout the whole Pisa area, especially in the city centre.


University rankings
QS World[9] 367

Notable people


Notable people who have attended the University of Pisa include:

In politics and government:

In theology:

In science:

In other fields:

Notable people who have attended the University of Pisa include:

Faculty and staff

Prominent scholars who have taught at the University of Pisa include:

In science:

In other fields:

In popular culture

The University of Pisa is mentioned in the film Don Juan (1926).

See also


  1. ^ a b c Hall-Quest, Alfred Lawrence (1976). "Pisa, University of". In William D. Halsey (ed.). Collier's Encyclopedia. 19. New York: Macmillan Educational Corporation. p. 81.
  2. ^ List of oldest universities in continuous operation
  3. ^ "URA Universities". Archived from the original on May 15, 2015. Retrieved May 29, 2015.
  4. ^ a b "ARWU Universities in Top 500 – Italy". Archived from the original on November 18, 2011. Retrieved November 17, 2011.
  5. ^ a b "Gli atenei toscani nella top world 500". Archived from the original on April 6, 2012. Retrieved November 17, 2011.
  6. ^ a b Le università di Pisa e Siena tra i primi 500 atenei al mondo at La Nazione
  7. ^ MSSE
  8. ^ MCSN
  9. ^ QS World University Rankings 2018
  10. ^ Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2011
  11. ^ QS World University Rankings 2011
  12. ^ U.S. News & World Report College and University rankings 2011
  13. ^ European Research Ranking 2010

External links

Adán Cárdenas

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Ali Mohammed Ghedi

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Carlo Chiti

Carlo Chiti (19 December 1924 – 7 July 1994) was an Italian racing car and engine designer best known for his long association with Alfa Romeo's racing department.

Born in Pistoia, Tuscany, Chiti graduated with a degree in aeronautical engineering from the University of Pisa in Italy in 1953. He joined Alfa Romeo in 1952 and designed the Alfa Romeo 3000 CM sports car,. When Alfa Romeo's competition department was closed down in the late 1950s Chiti was invited to join Scuderia Ferrari.

At Ferrari Chiti was involved with the design of the 1958 championship winning car Ferrari 246 F1 together with Vittorio Jano and the Ferrari 156 Sharknose car, with which Phil Hill won the 1961 championship. In 1962 Chiti walked out to join the breakaway ATS Formula One team formed by a number of disaffected ex-Ferrari personnel. The ATS project was not successful and did not last long and in 1963 Chiti re-entered competitive motor racing through a new project, Autodelta.

Autodelta enabled Chiti to rekindle his association with Alfa Romeo, for whom he designed a V8 and then a flat-12 engine for their Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 sportscars. These were eventually successful, winning the 1975 World Championship for Makes and 1977 World Championship for Sports Cars. At this time, Chiti became involved in Formula One again, through the Brabham team, who signed an agreement with Alfa Romeo to use Chiti's engines. There was some success – Niki Lauda won two races in a Brabham BT46 with the Alfa engine in the 1978 Formula One season. Brabham designer Gordon Murray persuaded Chiti to produce a V12 engine to allow ground effect to be exploited by the team. However, during the 1979 Formula One season, Brabham's owner Bernie Ecclestone announced that the team would switch to Ford for the next season, prompting Chiti to seek permission from Alfa Romeo to start developing a Formula One car on their behalf. The partnership with Brabham finished before the end of the season.

The Alfa Formula One project started with some promise but was never truly successful. The team achieved two pole positions, with Bruno Giacomelli leading much of the 1980 United States Grand Prix before retiring with electrical trouble. Tragedy also occurred when Patrick Depailler was killed testing for the 1980 German Grand Prix at the Hockenheimring. The team's best season was 1983, when Chiti designed a turbocharged 890T V8 engine, and Alfa Romeo achieved 6th place in the constructors' championship, largely thanks to two second-place finishes for Andrea de Cesaris.

In 1984 Chiti left Alfa Romeo to set up another company, Motori Moderni which concentrated on producing engines for Formula One. Initially the company produced a V6 turbo design, used briefly by the small Italian Minardi team. When the banning of turbos from Formula One was announced, Chiti designed a new 3.5 litre atmospheric flat-12 engine. This was eventually taken up by Subaru, who badged it for use in their brief and completely unsuccessful entry into Formula One with the tiny Coloni team in the 1990 Formula One season.

Carlo Chiti died in 1994 in Milan.

In 1999, Koenigsegg bought blueprints, machining tools and the patent for an unused 4 litre Chiti designed Formula One flat-12 engine.

Carlo Costamagna

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Carlo Rubbia

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Christopher Hacon

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Hacon was born in Manchester, but grew up in Italy where he studied at the Scuola Normale Superiore and received a degree in mathematics at the University of Pisa in 1992. He received his doctorate from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1998, under supervision of Robert Lazarsfeld.

Diomidis Kyriakos

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Francesco Redi

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Gian Biagio Conte

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Giovanni Salvemini

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Giuliano Amato

Giuliano Amato (Italian pronunciation: [dʒuˈljaːno aˈmaːto]; born 13 May 1938) is an Italian politician who twice served as Prime Minister of Italy, first from 1992 to 1993 and again from 2000 to 2001. Later, he was Vice President of the Convention on the Future of Europe that drafted the European Constitution and headed the Amato Group. He is commonly nicknamed dottor Sottile, (which means "Doctor Subtilis", the sobriquet of the Scottish Medieval philosopher John Duns Scotus, a reference to his political subtlety). From 2006 to 2008, he was the Minister of the Interior in Romano Prodi's government. On 12 September 2013, President Giorgio Napolitano appointed him to the Constitutional Court of Italy, where he has served since then.

Marcello Pera

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Natural History Museum of the University of Pisa

The Natural History Museum of the University of Pisa (Museo di storia naturale dell'Università di Pisa) is an Italian natural history museum at Pisa. It is part of the University of Pisa and is now located in Pisa Charterhouse 10 km from the city of Pisa in the comune (municipality) of Calci.

In 1596, Grand Duke Ferdinand I of Tuscany established the Museum of Natural History of the University of Pisa, transferring specimens from the Florentine palaces of the Medici, particularly from the Uffizi. This was expanded to serve the natural history faculties of the University of Pisa. Initially, the gallery was in the botanic gardens (Orto botanico di Pisa).

The oldest collections in the museum are Niccolò Gualtieri’s shells. (In 1814, the Botanic Garden (directed by G. Savi) was separated from the Natural History Museum (directed by G.Santi) and in 1827, Paolo Savi, assembled more than five thousand zoological specimens which are mostly extant.

Orto botanico di Pisa

The Orto botanico di Pisa, also known as the Orto Botanico dell'Università di Pisa, is a botanical garden operated by the University of Pisa, and located at via Luca Ghini 5, Pisa, Italy.

The garden was established in 1544 under Cosimo I de' Medici as the first university botanical garden in Europe, and entrusted to the famous botanist Luca Ghini of Imola. In 1563 the garden was relocated from its original riverside location (now the Medicean Arsenal) to one near the convent of Santa Marta, and in 1591 (under Joseph Goedenhuyze) again moved to its third and current location. From these early times, the garden has contained a gallery of natural objects (now Pisa's Museo di Storia Naturale), a library (now part of the university library), and portraits of its directors throughout the centuries. It also includes one of the earliest iron-framed hothouses built in Italy.

Today the garden is divided into sections containing the botanical school, gardens, ponds, greenhouses, and various buildings. Major collections include herb gardens and arboreta, as well as the old botany institute, built 1591–1595, with a facade ornamented with sea-shells.

Pisa Charterhouse

Pisa Charterhouse, also known as Calci Charterhouse (Certosa di Pisa, Certosa di Calci), is a former Carthusian monastery, or charterhouse, currently the home of the Museo di storia naturale e del territorio dell'Università di Pisa ("Museum of Natural History and of the Territory of the University of Pisa"), located in the comune of Calci, some 10 km outside Pisa, Tuscany, Italy.

The monastery is noted for the fresco of the Last Supper, by Bernardino Poccetti (1597), in the refectory.

Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies

The Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies (Italian: SSSA, Scuola Superiore di Studi Universitari e di Perfezionamento Sant'Anna) is a special-statute public university located in Pisa, Italy, operating in the field of applied sciences.

The rector is Pierdomenico Perata, elected on 8 May 2013 after the resignation of Maria Chiara Carrozza, when she became Member of Parliament and Minister of Education, Universities and Research.

Since January 2014, the school has been presided over by Yves Mény. The former president was Giuliano Amato, a former prime minister of Italy and currently judge of the Constitutional Court. The Sant'Anna is part of the Pisa University System, together with the Scuola Normale Superiore and the University of Pisa.

It is one of the three officially sanctioned special-statute universities in Italy, i.e., it has 'university status', being part of the process of Superior Graduate Schools in Italy (Grandes écoles) or Scuola Superiore Universitaria.

Ugo Spirito

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Valerio Magrelli

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He graduated in philosophy at the University of Rome and is an expert in French literature which he has taught and teaches at University of Pisa and University of Cassino. He debuted as an author at age twenty-three with a collection of poems entitled Ora serrata retinae.

Vito Volterra

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