Sapienza University of Rome

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Sapienza University of Rome
Sapienza – Università di Roma
Latin: Studium Urbis
MottoIl futuro è passato qui
Motto in EnglishThe future has passed here
RectorProf. Luigi Frati
Admin. staff8,000
LocationRome, Italy
Colors         [2]
AthleticsCUS Roma
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Coordinates: 41°54′12″N 12°30′57″E / 41.90333°N 12.51583°E / 41.90333; 12.51583

Sapienza University of Rome
Sapienza – Università di Roma
Latin: Studium Urbis
MottoIl futuro è passato qui
Motto in EnglishThe future has passed here
RectorProf. Luigi Frati
Admin. staff8,000
LocationRome, Italy
Colors         [2]
AthleticsCUS Roma

The Sapienza University of Rome, officially Sapienza – Università di Roma, also called simply Sapienza[3] formerly known as Università degli studi di Roma "La Sapienza", is a coeducational, autonomous state university in Rome, Italy. It is the largest Italian university by enrollment and the oldest of Rome's four state-funded universities. In Italian, sapienza means "wisdom" or "knowledge".

In 2010 QS World University Rankings ranked the university 190th overall in the world.[4]



Former logo of the University of Rome

Sapienza University of Rome was founded in 1303 with the Papal bull In supremae praeminentia dignitatis issued on 20 April 1303 by Pope Boniface VIII, as a Studium for ecclesiastical studies more under his control than the universities of Bologna and Padua.[5]

In 1431 Pope Eugene IV completely reorganized the studium with the bull In supremae, in which he granted masters and students alike the broadest possible privileges and decreed that the university should include the four schools of Law, Medicine, Philosophy and Theology. He introduced a new tax on wine in order to raise funds for the university; the money was used to buy a palace which later housed the Sant'Ivo alla Sapienza church.

However, the University's days of splendour came to an end during the sack of Rome in 1527, when the studium was closed and the professors dispersed; some were killed. Pope Paul III restored the university shortly after his ascension to the pontificate in 1534.

In the 1650s the university became known as Sapienza, meaning wisdom, a title it retains. In 1703, Pope Clement XI purchased some land with his private funds on the Janiculum, where he made a botanical garden, which soon became the most celebrated in Europe through the labours of the Trionfetti brothers.

University students were newly animated during the 19th-century Italian revival. In 1870, La Sapienza stopped being the papal university and became the university of the capital of Italy. In 1935 the new university campus, planned by Marcello Piacentini, was completed.


File:Université La Sapienza.JPG
Entrance to the university's main campus.

Sapienza University has many campuses in Rome but its main campus is the Città Universitaria (University city), which covers 439,000 m2 (4,730,000 sq ft) near Termini Station. The university has some satellite campuses outside Rome, the main of which is in Latina.

In 2011 a project was launched to build a campus with residence halls near Pietralata station, in collaboration with the Lazio region.[6][needs update] In order to cope with the ever-increasing number of applicants, the Rector has also approved a new plan to expand the Città Universitaria, reallocate offices and enlarge faculties, as well as create new campuses for hosting local and foreign students.

The Alessandrina University Library (Biblioteca Universitaria Alessandrina), built in 1667 by Pope Alexander VII, is the main library housing 1.5 million volumes; it has some important collections including collezione ciceroniana, Fondo Festa, etc.

Points of interest

Church of Sant'Ivo alla Sapienza, by Borromini, originally a chapel of the Sapienza see.


Since the 2011 reform, Sapienza University of Rome has eleven faculties and 65 departments. Today Sapienza, with 140,000 students and 8,000 among academic and technical and administrative staff, is the largest university in Italy.

The university has significant research programmes in the fields of engineering, natural sciences, biomedical sciences and humanities.


In order to cope with the large demand for admission to the university courses, some faculties hold a series of entrance examinations. The entrance test often decides which candidates will have access to the undergraduate course. For some faculties, the entrance test is only a means through which the administration acknowledges the students' level of preparation. Students that do not pass the test can still enroll in their chosen degree courses but have to pass an additional exam during their first year.


In 1990, Pope John Paul II faced small protests in his only visit to La Sapienza.[citation needed]

On January 15, 2008 the Vatican cancelled a planned visit to La Sapienza University by Pope Benedict XVI who was to speak at the university ceremony launching the 2008 academic year[7] due to protests by some students and professors.[8] The title of speech should have been 'The Truth Makes Us Good and Goodness is Truth'.[9] Some students and professors protested in reaction to a 1990 speech that Pope Benedict XVI (then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger) gave in which he, in their opinion, endorsed the actions of the church against Galileo in 1633.[7]

Other controversies include the murder of Professor Ezio Tarantelli[10] in 1985, the murder of Marta Russo in 1997, the "Law School scandal"[11] in 2003, the "Parentopoli scandal" in 2010 and the award given to Muammar Gaddafi on June 10, 2009 (Medaglia d'Oro dell'Università degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza").[12][13][14] This award is an institutional gift given by Sapienza to foreign authorities visiting the University. During his visit, Gaddafi participated in a meeting with Sapienza's students, where he was asked about a number of controversial aspects regarding Libya's political choices, such as human rights of migrants, gender equality and free elections.[13]

Notable people

Notable Alumni

PictureAlumniBornDiedAcademic degreeNoteAwards
Segre.jpgEmilio Gino Segrè19051989PhysicsPhysicist,colleague and close friend of Ettore Majorana. He's Doctoral advisor was Enrico Fermi. He helped discover Antiproton, Astatine, sub-atomic antiparticle. He discovered Technetium.Nobel Prize in Physics Nobel prize medal.svg (1959)
Enrico Fermi 1943-49.jpgEnrico Fermi19011954Physics ProfessorPhysicist,colleague and close friend of Ettore Majorana. He was Doctoral advisor of Emilio Gino Segrè. He descovered: new radioactive elements produced by neutron irradiation,Controlled nuclear chain reaction. He's also known for the Fermi–Dirac statistics and The Theory of beta decayNobel Prize in Physics Nobel prize medal.svg (1938)
Daniel Bovet nobel.jpgDaniel Bovet19071992Psychobiology ProfessorNobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (1957)for his discovery of drugs that block the actions of specific neurotransmitters. He is best known for his discovery in 1937 of antihistamines, which block the neurotransmitter histamine and are used in allergy medicationNobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine Nobel prize medal.svg (1957)
Attilio Celant 01.JPGAttilio Celant1942EconomicsDean of the Faculty of Economics of "Sapienza" University of Rome (2002-2011).
Pietro Belluschi18991994Civil EngineeringLeader of the Modern Movement in architecture. Dean of the MIT School of Architecture and Planning(1951-1965). Collaborator and Design Consultant for Pan Am Building.AIA Gold Medal (1972)
Ennio de Giorgi.jpgEnnio de Giorgi19221996MathsHe was an Italian mathematician,who worked on partial differential equations. He solved Bernstein's problem about minimal surfaces. He solved 19th Hilbert problem on the regularity of solutions of Elliptic partial differential equation.Caccioppoli Prize (1960), Wolf Prize(1990)
Romaldo Giurgola1920Literature and Artsex Professor at Cornell, University of Pennsylvania and Columbia, before becoming chair of the Columbia architectural department in 1966. He is presently Ware Professor Emeritus of Architecture at Columbia.AIA Gold Medal(1982)
Bernardo Bertolucci1940Modern LiteratureItalian film director and screenwriter, whose films include The Conformist, Last Tango in Paris, 1900, The Last Emperor, The Sheltering Sky and The Dreamers2 Nastro d'Argento Best Director, Academy Award for Best Director, Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, Golden Globe Award for Best Director, Golden Globe Award for Best Screenplay, David di Donatello for Best Director, David di Donatello for Best Script, Golden Lion for his career at the Venice Film Festival,Honorary Palme d'Or at Cannes Film Festival
Scott O'Dell18981989American children's author who wrote Island of the Blue Dolphins (1960), which won the 1961 Newbery Medal and the 1963 Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis as well as the Lewis Carroll Shelf Award, of The King's Fifth (1966), Black Star, Bright Dawn (1988), The Black Pearl (1967), and Sing Down the Moon (1970); which were all also Newbery HonorNewbery Medal (1961), Lewis Carroll Shelf Award, Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis,several Newbery Honor awards
Gabriele D'Anunnzio.pngGabriele d'Annunzio18631938poet, journalist, playwright, soldier, politician. He was part of the literary movement called the Decadent movement.
Vito Volterra.jpgVito Volterra18601940Mathematical Physics ProfessorItalian mathematician and physicist, known for Theory of integral equations and the Lotka–Volterra equations
Maria Montessori1913.jpgMaria Montessori18701952Natural sciencesFounder of the Montessori method of education
21rampell.xlarge1.jpgCharles Ponzi18821949Known for the fraudulent business scheme named after him,the Ponzi scheme
Nicola Cabibbo.jpgNicola Cabibbo19352010PhysicsEx President of Italian National Institute of Nuclear Physics and of Pontifical Academy of Sciences
Mario Draghi - World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2012.jpgMario Draghi1947EconomicsPresident of the European Central Bank. Governor for Italy on the Boards of Governors of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the Asian Development Bank. Ex governor of the Bank of Italy. Ex Italian Executive Director at the World Bank. Ex director general of the Italian Treasury. Ex vice chairman and managing director of Goldman Sachs International
Umberto Guidoni portrait.jpgUmberto Guidoni1954AstrophysicsEuropean Space Agency and Italian Space Agency astronaut(ESA/ASI) and a veteran of two NASA space shuttle mission
Maurizio Cheli.jpgMaurizio Cheli1959GeophysicsEuropean Space Agency and Italian Space Agency astronaut(ESA/ASI) and a veteran of one NASA space shuttle mission
Abdirashid Ali Shermarke19191969Political Science2nd President of Somalia
Fiat Luca cordero di Montezemolo.jpgLuca Cordero di Montezemolo1947Italian businessman and Chairman of Ferrari, president of Confindustria,president of Nuovo Trasporto Viaggiatori(NTV). He was also Chairman of Fiat S.p.A from 2004 to 2010.
Fichera.jpegGaetano Fichera1951Literature and ArtsHe was an Italian mathematician, working in mathematical analysis, linear elasticity, partial differential equations and several complex variables. Member of Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, the Accademia Nazionale delle Scienze detta dei XL and of the Russian Academy of Science.
Ignazio Visco at the Rebuilding Europe’s Competitiveness Meeting, Villa Madama, Rome 30th October 2012.jpgIgnazio Visco1949EconomicsGovernor of the Banca d'Italia(Bank of Italy)
CarloFea.jpgCarlo Fea17531836LawItalian archaeologist
Fuksas.jpgMassimiliano Fuksas1944ArchitectureItalian architect
Mario catania.jpgMario Catania1952Literature and ArtsEx Head of Department of European and International Policies at the Agriculture Ministry. Italian Minister of Agriculture
Paolo Leon1935Economicsprominent Italian Post Keynesian economist
Sergio Balanzino1934LawDeputy Secretary General of NATO. Two times NATO General Secretary
Franco Frattini on April 6, 2011.jpgFranco Frattini1957LawItalian Minister of Foreign Affairs
Flickr - europeanpeoplesparty - EPP Summit 23 March 2006 (40).jpgAntonio Tajani1953LawEuropean Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship
Leopoldo Elia19252008LawItalian Minister of Foreign Affairs
Crescenzio Sepe.jpgCrescenzio Sepe1943PhilosophyCardinal-Archbishop of Naples
Giorgio Gaja1939LawHe was elected in 2011 as a judge of the International Court of Justice
Carlo Verdone 2007 cropped.jpgCarlo Verdone1950Modern LiteratureActor, Director, Scriptwriter
Andrea Stramaccioni (cropped).jpgAndrea Stramaccioni1976Lawex footballer who is the current head coach of Internazionale Milano.

Faculty and staff

Among the prominent scholars who have taught at the Sapienza University of Rome are architects Ernesto Basile and Bruno Zevi; chemist Emanuele Paternò; jurists Antonio Salandra, Sabino Cassese and Giuliano Amato; mathematician Vito Volterra; pharmacologist and Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine Daniel Bovet; philosophers Luigi Ferri and Augusto Del Noce; physicist and Nobel Laureate in Physics Enrico Fermi; political scientist Roberto Forges Davanzati


See also


  1. ^ "Osservatorio - Didattica studenti" sul sito del MIUR
  2. ^ "Sapienza University of Rome – Identity Guidelines".
  3. ^ Official Sapienza University of Rome name and logos writing guidelines[dead link]
  4. ^ QS World University Rankings 2010 Results
  5. ^ History
  6. ^ "Pietralata, i lavori del campus inizieranno a fine 2012" (in Italian). Nuovo Paese Sera srl. 27 July 2011. Retrieved 28 May 2012.
  7. ^ a b BBC NEWS | World | Europe | Papal visit scuppered by scholars 15 January 2008
  8. ^ "The letter of the scientists to the rector of the University" (in Italian). Retrieved 2012-07-05.
  9. ^ Benedict XVI's Planned Lecture at La Sapienza 18 January 2008
  10. ^ Delaney, Sarah (1999-05-21). "Killing Raises Italian Terrorism Specter". Retrieved 2012-07-05.
  11. ^ Esami comprati, 18 arresti è scandalo alla Sapienza
  12. ^ Gadhafi in Italy Likens U.S. To Osama Bin Laden
  13. ^ a b Flock, Elizabeth (2011-08-29). "Gaddafi’s female bodyguards say they were raped, abused by the Libyan leader - BlogPost". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2012-07-05.
  14. ^ "Shame of Family Appointments at Universities".

External links