Sapienza University of Rome
“La Sapienza” is one of the oldest Italian universities and actually one of the largest in-presence universities in Europe, as marked by student enrolment, numbering about 120.000. The main venue of the Meeting will be in its large campus, just a few steps away from Termini central station and Policlinico Underground station. The Campus was planned by the Fascist regime and completed in 1935, with a masterplan by Marcello Piacentini, then a dominant architect, as a mix of rationalism and neo-classicism, coupled with grandiosity. Many other architects developed single buildings, like for instance Gio Ponti, who was one of the most relevant designers in post-World War II Italy. The famous painter Mario Sironi frescoed the Aula Magna of the Rectorate.
Virtual tour of the campus
The Campus is a special facility in Italian Universities, for its wide spaces and easily interconnected faculties. The white facades made of local travertine alternate with brick walls and are shadowed by trees, among which almost secular pines line the main avenue, at whose end the Minerva statue by Arturo Martini, representing wisdom, welcomes the visitor. Time has moderated the self-representative grandeur of the regime architecture, and the rationalist side of 20th century architecture can be appreciated nowadays in a lively experience. The Campus is a perfect location for a complex and interconnected conference, such as our 30th EAA Annual Meeting.
“La Sapienza” was founded in 1303 by Pope Boniface VIII, a disputed figure of pope, who held strong the earthly authority of the Roman Church, continuously fighting against some noble Roman families and with the king of France. In fact, the Italian poet Dante Alighieri predicted his descent to hell in the famous Divina Commedia. The university, or Studium Urbis (i.e. The place to study in The city), was strongly linked to the papacy, and located out of the main town, in the popular Trastevere district. It progressively gained autonomy and connections with the municipal institutions of the city of Rome, as well as prestige through the activity of prominent scholars. After moving to the centre of Rome and becoming associated with the term Sapientia (wisdom), since 1632 this definition has become part of its official name. In 1660, the university seat moved to the prestigious building in the Sant'Eustachio district, characterized by the poignant church of Sant'Ivo at Sapienza, a masterpiece of the architect Francesco Borromini.
After partially moving out of its historical seat, it was during the Fascist regime that the current main Campus was built, and the University was finally relocated in 1935. In 1982 and 1992 the second (Tor Vergata) and the third (Roma Tre) universities of Rome were founded, as part of a strategy for the reduction of the huge size of Sapienza, the creation of different specialisations and a wider spread of the university seats across Rome.
The Universities of Viterbo and Cassino-Southern Latium (both since 1979) are a consequence of the same strategy, diffusing universities all over the Latium region. All these State universities support the 30th EAA Annual Meeting.