Harman Patil (Editor)

Sapienza University of Rome

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Type  Public
Rector  Dr. Eugenio Gaudio
Undergraduate tuition and fees  2,872.5 EUR (2014)
Phone  +39 06 49911
Founded  1303, Rome, Italy
Established  1303
Administrative staff  8,000
Total enrollment  101,047 (2014)
Founder  Pope Boniface VIII
Colors  Yellow, Red
Sapienza University of Rome

Motto  Il futuro è passato qui
Motto in English  The future has passed here
Address  Piazzale Aldo Moro, 5, 00185 Roma, Italy
Notable alumni  Maria Montessori, Mario Draghi, Emilio Segrè, Ettore Majorana, Gabriele D'Annunzio
Similar  University of Rome Tor Verga, Roma Tre University, University of Bologna, University of Naples Federico II, Libera Università Internazio

The Sapienza University of Rome, (Italian: Sapienza – Università di Roma), also called simply Sapienza or the "University of Rome", is a collegiate research university located in Rome, Italy. Formally known as Università degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza", it is the largest European university by enrollments (the third if considering also the distance learning schools) and one of the oldest in history, founded in 1303. The University is also the most prestigious Italian university and also the best ranked in Southern Europe.


The biggest part of the Italian ruling class studied at this University. La Sapienza educated numerous notable alumni, including many Nobel laureates, Presidents of the European Parliament and European Commissioners, heads of several nations, notable religious figures, scientists and astronauts.

Presentation sapienza university of rome


Sapienza University of Rome was founded in 1303 with the Papal bull it: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, making it the first pontifical university.

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, and 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.


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 the Roma Tiburtina 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. 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

  • Orto Botanico dell'Università di Roma "La Sapienza", a botanical garden
  • Sant'Ivo alla Sapienza
  • San Pietro in Vincoli: the cloister is part of the Faculty of Engineering
  • Villa Mirafiori: a Neo-Renaissance palace built during the 19th century,some rooms are decorated with fine frescoes. The Department of Philosophy is located in this building.
  • Academics

    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. It offers 10 Masters Programmes taught entirely in English.


    As of the 2016 Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), Sapienza is positioned within the 151-200 group of universities and among the top 3% of universities in the world.

    In 2015, the Center for World University Rankings ranked the Sapienza University of Rome as the 112th in the world and the top in Italy in its World University Rankings.


    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.


    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 due to protests by some students and professors. The title of speech would have been 'The Truth Makes Us Good and Goodness is Truth'. 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.

    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; chemist and Nobel Laureate Giulio Natta; philosophers Luigi Ferri, Augusto Del Noce and Vittorio Somenzi; physicist and Nobel Laureate in Physics Enrico Fermi; political scientist Roberto Forges Davanzati

  • Carlo Costamagna
  • Cardinal Mazarin
  • Mario Oriani-Ambrosini
  • Corrado Gini, statistician
  • Lucio Bini and Ugo Cerletti, psychiatrists
  • Corrado Böhm, computer scientist
  • Benedetto Castelli, mathematician
  • Andrea Cesalpino, physician and botanist
  • Federigo Enriques, mathematician
  • Maria Montessori, physician and paedagogist
  • Paola S. Timiras, biologist
  • Barnaba Tortolini, mathematician
  • Andrea Zitolo, physical-chemist
  • Edoardo Amaldi
  • Oscar D'Agostino
  • Ettore Majorana
  • Bruno Pontecorvo
  • Franco Rasetti
  • Giovanni Battista Beccaria
  • Giovanni Jona-Lasinio
  • Luciano Maiani
  • Domenico Pacini
  • Antonio Signorini
  • Nicola Cabibbo, President of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences
  • Stefano Levialdi Ghiron
  • References

    Sapienza University of Rome Wikipedia