The University of Pisa is one of the oldest universities in the world. It was founded in 1343 by Pope Clement VI, when the Popes resided in Avignon. The Florentines had partially destroyed the university in the 15th century, but Cosimo I de’ Medici had it reopened in 1543. The city’s Botanical Garden is part of the Università degli Studi.
Address, opening hours and admission
Address: Lungarno Antonio Pacinotti, 44 – 56126 Pisa. The university is not open for tourists.
History and description
The University of Pisa is one of the most prestigious universities of Europe. In the course of its history it has both had famous teachers (Galileo Galilei) and students (Enrico Fermi). At the moment it consists of 20 departments.
Although officially established in 1343, it might even already have existed as far back as the 11th century. It was one of the first universities in Europe being recognized through a papal bull.
The first subjects to be taught were theology, medicine and civil and canon law.
After the Florentines had conquered Pisa the city and its university went in decline. In 1486 Lorenzo de’ Medici had the Palazzo della Sapienza built in the Piazza del Grano. The cherub that crowned the entry is still the university symbol.
After another period of decline as a result of a war against Florence, the seat of learning was transferred to other Tuscan cities. In 1543 had the university of Pisa reopened, however, after which it expanded rapidly. The first Botanical Gardens in the world were part of the university.
In 1589 Galileo Galilei started teaching mathematics at the university.
After the end of the Medici dynasty, the Lorena continued supporting the university. Napoleon later made it into a branch of the University of Paris. In 1851, Leopold II created the Etruscan Atheneum by uniting th universities of Pisa ans Siena. In 1859, after the defeat of the Grand Duke, the University of Pisa became independent again.