The Alma Mater Studiorum (University of Bologna) is the oldest continually operating university in the world, it is believed by most accounts it started at 1088. Its motto, "alma mater studiorum" in Latin is for nourishing mother of studies. The university is historically notable for its teaching of canon and civil law.
The university counts about 100.000 students in its 23 faculties, and has branch centres in several other Italian cities and abroad in Buenos Aires.
During passed centuries some of notable alumni and professors were: Dante Alighieri, Francesco Petrarca, Nicolaus Copernicus, Paracelsus, Guglielmo Marconi, Umberto Eco, Romano Prodi and many others.
Throughout the hallways, the stairwells, the porticoes and the loggia of Palazzo dell’Archiginnasio, the seat of Bologna University from the 16th century until 1803, when the offices moved to Palazzo Poggi, thousands of painted or sculpted coats-of-arms are on display. Most of the coat-of-arms belong to students who served in positions of responsibility at the university. The heraldic decorations stand by itself or surround tributes to professors or ecclesiastic authorities.
From 1838 Palazzo dell’Archiginnasio has housed the Council Library. The building is the work of architect Antonio Morandi, known as “Terribilia.” The Anatomy Theatre is also housed here. It was used for the staging of the experiments conducted by the Faculty of Medicine.
“Certainly it is that before learning took the form of a University system, Bologna was a center of light and leading. The University, however, was not founded until 1088. The foundation was memorable from the fact that it set the example to all the rest of the world.”
— from “University Centenary Ceremonies” 1893 by John Malcolm Bulloch
Palazzo Poggi is located in Via Zamboni 33 and houses the headquarters of the University of Bologna and its rector. Built between 1549 and 1560, it was the home of Alessandro Poggi and his brother Giovanni Cardinal Poggi .
The inside is decorated with frescoes by Pellegrino Tibaldi, who some say designed the building, while others say it was Bartholomew Triachini.
On the ground floor classrooms were dedicated to the poet Carducci, where he lectured on the Italian language and literature for 40 years, and always on the ground floor there is the Sala dell’Ercole where there is a 1730 sculpture of the hero by Angelo Piò.
Between 1712 and 1725 the tower was erected for the Observatory, and the palace became the seat of the Academy of Sciences.
Inside the palace there are numerous museums; the Bologna University Library houses the Picture Gallery, begun in 1754, with over 600 portraits.
I'll confess it: I'm a university junkie. I could ramble happily around the campus of an institution of higher learning anywhere in the world...particularly if it features a bookshop. But our time in Bologna was limited and the day was extremely hot, so I had resigned myself to NOT seeing this ancient seat of learning, which has been churning out intellectuals with credentials for more than a thousand years.
But we were looking for the Opera (another of my passions), and we happened to stumble upon the Law School. Since my traveling companion is a law professor in the US and we're both attorneys, this was of considerable interest. Plus, it looked really old -- it turns out to have been built in the mid-sixteenth century, with a recent addition a couple of hundred years back. We strolled in and were prepared to follow one of the many students into a lecture hall, just to see how it compared with our own alma mater, when we realized from the chatter around us that virtually all the young people were Americans. From which, we concluded that they were attending a summer program, probably led by US professors, and we'd both seen plenty of that sort of thing back home. So we went to the Oratory of St. Ceceilia instead, which was truly worth the visit.
But you might be there during the term, so forge ahead! See how the other half lives, or litigates. And then drop me a line so I can sound intelligent the next time it comes up in conversation.
This beautiful Renaissance style mansion, Palazzo Malvezzi Campeggi, serves as the Law Faculty (facoltà di Giurisprudenza) of the University of Bologna. It was designed by Andrea Marchesi da Formigine for Cesare Malvezzi and completed in the middle of the 16th century. In the 18th century, the palace was acquired by the Campeggi family who employed bolognese artists to decorate its interior with elaborate frescoes. The inner courtyard has a double loggia with arches supported by Doric columns, beyond which is a large statue of Hercules, sculpted by Giuseppe Mazza in the 18th century (see attached photo). Palazzo Malvezzi Campeggi is located in the university district on via Zamboni.
L'Università di Bologna is famous for being one of the oldest academic institutions in the world that still function as such. It was founded in the latter half of the 11th century and quickly gained repute for being one of the foremost medical schools in Europe. Today the main activity associated with the University occurs on Via Zamboni, where the main administrative centre is located (Palazzo Pioggi, number 33) and the library is to be found (number 35).
The Palazzo Pioggi was built in 1549 by Pellegrino Tibaldi, but it didn't become the headquarters for the University until 1803 (before that they were located at the Archiginnasio, see my tip on that building). The courtyard, which contains frescoes of Ulysses voyage, is attributed to Tibaldi, but the rest of it was completed by Triachini.
The library contains over 800 000 volumes located in an 18th century reading room. The librarian responsible for the works in the late 18th century, Cardinal Mezzofonti, is alleged to have spoken 50 languages and was called "the universal interpreter" by Lord Byron.
Today, the University is most notable for its large amount of Communist and far-left material, usually plastered on the historic walls of university buildings. This city was the first in Italy to have a Communist mayor, so it shouldn't be surprising that the spirit of far-left activism and opposition is very much alive and well in the heart of the University community.
Bologna is the most ancient University town of the world. For more information, click here. Almost all faculties are in Via Zamboni, which begins right by the two towers.
Pictures shown the faculty of law, where I study. The building is called "Palazzo Malvezi".
A lot of ancient building of this area are center of the different faculty of the most ancient university still in activity. Via Zamboni is cut in two from Piazza Verdi on which the are the Comunale Theatre.
Via Zamboni, Largo Respighi, Via delle Moline and the nearby little street are the heart of the university of Bologna day and night. In this area u can find any kind of facility for the students but also a lot of nightlife place, like pub, reaturant, take away, lounge bar, live cafè,.......It's nice walking in the street watching people, taking a bear and stending outside talking with friend. I was a student but I stil go there for the relaxed atmosphere and everytime u can meet old and new friends.
Unfortunately where there are young people, there are some problems cause not all the people are civil or good persons.....so in the last year Piazza Verdi and the nearby is the meeting point of pusher selling smoke. There are alway a police car there to preserve, but there are also drunked or druged people sitting under the Comunale theatre 'portici'.
This is a big problem but I want to say that u have to spend some hours in this quarter, day and night, in the summer there are jazz concerts, street performances and it's nice walk there drinking a bear or eating some fast food, relaxed.....no problems for your safe, is like in all the crowded area in the world.
Bologna has the oldest University in Europe, founded in 1088. Most of the university buildings are located in Via Zamboni (from the two towers left). IT's an area with a lot of pubs, pizzerias and cafés, and for its very lively, since it's a meeting point for all students. Typical of this area are also all posters you find all over searching or offering rooms, selling or buying something, or promoting any kind of event or party! Anyway the zone is quite dirty and there are a lot of tramps and weird people, so it's not a good zone to hang out alone at night. And BEWARE OF PICKPOCKETS!!!
Palazzo Poggi, or Poggi Palace, on the Via Belmeloro, has been the central administrative seat of the University of Bologna (one of the most important in Italy) since year 1803, though the building itself is several centuries older.
The construction of the palace was ordered by the Cardinal Giovanni Poggi (hence the name) and completed during the 1549 – 1556 time span. Quite a short one, I thought, by the building standards of the Middle Ages.
Inside, there are interesting (though not most colourful) frescoes by Pellegrino Tibaldi, depicting the series of ancient legends about Ulysses. Strange, because during those years most frescoes were not secular, but religious in nature & subject…
The Poggi palace also houses several of the University museums, but I guess that is the topic of other tips…
The Universtity of Bologna is one of the resons that make the city so special since it brings every year thousands of fresh faces to revitalize the city.
It's the oldest university in the Western world, it dates back to 1088 and it was centered mainly around Roman Law as laid down in the Justinian Code.
The University has seventeen faculties. They are:
Cultural and conservation studies
Foreign languages and literature
Literature and philosophy
Mathematics, physics and natural science
Medicine and surgery
School of modern languages for interpreters and translators
Anatomy was a great and traditional commitment for its teachers. Although the ethic-religious rules prohibited the dissection of corpses, it was a frequent secret practice.
Precise anatomical descriptions found in Guglielmo da Saliceto surgical text books bear witness to this practice.
The foundation of the Medical School of the Bologna University was a rather longer lasting process. The beginning goes back to the year 1063. The title teacher appeared after the year 1170, while such a title could have been obtained by the church authorities since 1179. The city statutes for medicine date back to the year 1378.
Visit the Nat'l Library in Bologna. The Anatomy Theater is fascinating. There's a table in the center for the cadavres and a statue "stripped" down to the muscles. The whole building, part of a medieval university, is interesting with student coats of arms painted on the ceilling and beautiful architectural details.
Walk around the city and experience the energy of the people. Although the weather was terrible, the market was busy and musicians still managed to entertain the crowds from sheltered corners.
With so many University students located in Bologna, the vibe is young and energetic. Music is played in the streets and laughter can be heard vibrating amongst the medieval buildings. I really wanted to stay for the evening but couldn't due to a train strike.