Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Turin University

the historic university building from the 1700
Back in the 2006, a Winter Olympic Games TV ad said 'the whole world comes to Turin', and indeed many famous people have passed through Turin much earlier than 2006, fell in love with our city, chose it to spend a part of their lives and even study here!

Besides an airport - look up for TRN - Turin also has one of the oldest Italian, and of the world, universities!!

Founded in 1404, the current university structure, including the labs, the classrooms and all the offices are spread out from the 1700 Rectorate building, in downtown Via Po, to many mini campuses that reach out as far the Turin's suburb.

Unlike North American and British universities, Turin doesn't have just one whole area devoted to the university, because this one has grown over the centuries following the city's life and it urban developments.
Each school or college has its own library, located in its own building or mini campus; the university dorms are also spread out all over Turin to be located nearby the different schools or colleges.

Generally speaking, when referring to the University of Turin, the locals mean 2 institutions: the Liberal Arts School, located near Mole Antonelliana and Via Po and Politecnico where the Engineering and Architecture Schools have their administration.

Palazzo Nuovo: the Liberal Arts School
Naturally though, there are other parts, like the Medicine School in the hospitals, the veterinary school near the Valentino Park, the business school based in a refurbished mental institution, and the list can go on for all the university majors and degrees offered here in Turin.

If you want to have a sense of the historic university atmosphere, the 1700 Rectorate building in Via Po is where you have to go.
It will be easy to include it in your itinerary after visiting Turin's city symbol Mole Antonelliana (tallest building in Europe!) with its unique National Cinema Museum, and before a snack at CaffĂŠ Fiorio where all the Italian intellectuals used to go. For gelato, walk a bit farther down in Via Principe Amedeo to L'Essenza del Gelato, you won't regret it!
In the winter they also make an excellent hot chocolate 😉

The historic Rectorate has been the administrative building of the Turin University since 1720, and since 1436 Turin has offered higher education degrees in Theology, Arts, Medicine and Law with over 25 different full-time professors.  

Today, the whole complex of Schools, Colleges, the Fine Art Academia, the Polytechnic  School with the Architecture School, the School of Economics and its Business School, the Medicine and Veterinary Schools, the Liberal Arts headquarters, including the Law School, all together plus the research centers and the multidisciplinary colleges make of Turin one of the best universities in Italy.

Currently most schools are organized on a 3 year system for the B.A. or B.S. + 2 for what Italians call 'lower level Masters degree', others are on a different system. Overall, the Italian university system is getting more structured and friendly thanks to the growing international student body that keep choosing to study here in Turin since the 15th century, when Desiderius Erasmus set the trend 😎

In the wide courtyard of  the Rectorate there are always art installations,
here's the one for the Pig Year (2019)

the Medicine School in front of the Rectorate

If Desiderius Erasmus was the very first European university exchange student, who chose Turin to enrich his education, experience a new lifestyle and gain a new perspective on the world, millions of others have followed him in the recent years, thanks to the European student mobility project that carries his name.

Among its alumni, the Turin University is proud to count many famous writers, philosophers, scientists, politicians and even soccer players; here are just a few names you might recognize:

Italian authors: Italo Calvino, Cesare Pavese, Natalia Ginzburg, Umberto Eco
Human Rights Activist and Lawyer: Kakai Kissinger
Politician: Antonio Gramsci
Nobel Prizes: Rita Levi- Montalcini, Renato Dulbecco, Salvador Luria
Entrepreneur: Adriano Olivetti
Soccer player: Giorgio Chiellini
Golfer: Edoardo Molinari
GROM Gelato founders: Federico Grom and Guido Martinetti
Automobile designers: Sergio and Paolo Pininfarina
Architect, designer, photographer: Carlo Mollino
Painter and Sculptor: Ugo Nespolo (you can see some of his works in the Turin subway stations too)

one of the temporary art installations in the Rectorate courtyard

The story of the Turin University is rather long and convoluted given all the historical events, suffice it to say that from those 4 university degrees issues in 1436, the university has literally exploded. Some specific schools have always been, and always will be, our local educational pride and joy, like the Polytechnic School. However, don't underestimate the most uncommon fields, as might quickly find out that the Turin University is actually one of the world's excellence centers! 

Do it like Eramus, JJ Rousseau and F. Nietzsche: come over to Turin and go peek through the Rectorate arcades what new art installation is organized.

As for us, having completed our Italian 4 year Laurea (B.A. + M.A.) here, we are always available to show you around for the best food and wine places and yoga spots for our private classes 👍
Italian classes for travelers and upper level students are available too, together with many other privates 🙆

E-mail Lucia:

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