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The University of Turin: its history

The University of Turin established in Turin in the 15th century, is one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in Italy.
Founded in 1404 following Prince Ludovico di Acaia’s will, it started to gain its modern structure after Emmanuel Philibert’s reformation, on the model of the University of Bologna.

Significant development did not occur until the reformation of Victor Amadeus II, who entrusted the modernization and secularization of the university to Francesco d’Aguirre.

In the 19th century the University grew considerably. It became one of the most prestigious institutions in Italy and contributed largely to Italian Positivism (Cesare Lombroso, Carlo Forlanini and Arturo Graf would teach here).


Over the first half of the 20th century the University of Turin was one of the main poles of Italian anti-fascism. In the post-war years the number of students and building development increased noticeably. At the end of the century, its many collaborations with national and international research centres, local institutions and the Minister of Education enhanced significantly its scientific role.

The University of Turin: figures

The University has about 70,000 students, 4,000 people including teachers, administrative and technical staff, 1,800 PhD students and researchers and 120 buildings in the local area and in other significant places in Piedmont. It can be considered a “town within the town”, which promotes culture and produces research, innovation, training and job opportunities.

More detailed statistics on the University of Turin here.

The University of Turin today

The University of Turin is one of the biggest universities in Italy, internationally oriented both in the field of research and in the field of education. Scientific research is carried out extensively and courses in every discipline (except Engineering and Architecture) are provided.

The University is deeply integrated into the local community and contributes significantly to its general well-being. It revitalizes urban and suburban areas, promotes cultural interaction, social integration and development and encourages dialogue and knowledge.

The University virtually concern all the fields of knowledge; the Research Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies, the Centre of Competence for the innovation in the agro-environmental field, the Interdepartmental Center for Molecular Biotechnology, the Center of Excellence for research, teaching and service in the field dentistry - Dental School, the Institute of Italian linguistic Atlas and the Italian language Centre for Inter-Faculty of Humanities are among the best in Italy. Some courses, such as Military Strategies, Biotechnologies, Physical Education and Sports, Restoration and Conservation of Artistic Heritage (located in Venaria) are unique in Italy.

There are more than 70 university libraries storing about 2 millions books: 100,000 of them are ancient volumes. The "Orto Botanico" (botanical garden) is very well-known, along with several University museums, such as the Cesare Lombroso (Museum of Criminal Anthropology) and the Luigi Rolando (Museum of Human Anatomy).

The University is particularly interested in collaborating with the local museums about subjects that range from Egyptology to Contemporary Art. Also, it is equipped with its own media: radio, television and cinema.

The University is actively involved in different social contexts: environment, equal opportunities, defense of the rights. It acts internationally through partnerships with universities and local organizations in India, China and developing countries in Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean area.

The “EDISU organization” (Ente per il Diritto allo Studio Universitario) is a regional institution which assists students and provides financial help on the basis of merit to students facing economic problems.






Presidency of the University of Turin
Via Po - Turin