University of Bologna visit Bologna

Audio guide


Visits: access to the university faculties is free without limitations in the day-time from monday to saturday. Closed saturday afternoon and sunday.

Position:  chick here to reach Universitary Area


The Alma Mater StudiorumUniversity of Bologna is the oldest university in the western world. And the most prestigious in Italy.

The University is also one of the universally recognized symbols of the city. Because of it the city takes the nickname of “the dotta“, alongside those, just as well-known as “the fat” (for good cooking) and “the red” (for the characteristic brick color with which Towers and palaces of the city centre are built).


The birth of the University of Bologna

Conventionally, the birth of the University of Bologna dates back to 1088. To determine the date precisely a commission was set up in 1888, presided by poet Giosuè Carducci.

In the eleventh century, in an era marked by the strong influence of the Church and Monarchy, the Emilian city decided to favor the development of a free education, independent of ecclesiastical schools. And so the students organized themselves to choose independently the most prestigious masters. At that time mainly grammar and rhetoric, logic, and law were taught. And, as a matter of fact, a jurist like Irnerio is considered to be the first internationally renowned scholar of the university of Bologna.

The system at that time was based on student offerings and on the interventions of the council. In times of difficulty, the cpuncil managed to ensure continuity of the lessons. Only in 1158, the University had its status as a place of research independent of political authority recognized.

From the 14th century studies of a medical, philosophical and mathematical type were added to legal ones. And soon came theology. The widening of the borders had the effect of attracting famous names of the Italian cultural scene: Dante Alighieri and Francesco Petrarca above all. Following them, in the years to come, great personalities such as Thomas Becket, Erasmus from Rotterdam, Torquato Tasso, Carlo Goldoni, Pico della Mirandola and Nicolaus Copernicus.

The central building, the one that houses the rectory, is at number 33 at Palazzo Poggi. Inside there is a classroom dedicated to Carducci who held his Italian literature lessons there.


Curiosity University of Bologna


In Bologna, the Alma Mater rhymes with via Zamboni.

Under the porticos of this road, which lead up to the two Towers, thousands of students spend the evening. In the surrounding area, everything revolves around the University. Venues, bulletins, meeting places, classrooms and departments. For those visiting the city, a walk in this street any day of the week can perfectly give an idea of the ferment and the historical importance that the Emilian university still holds.



Click here to continue the tour visit bologna in two days