With its origins in the early 14th century, the University of Florence is one of the oldest universities in the world, officially getting its imperial university status in the mid-1300s.
Florence is one of Italy’s flagship higher education institutions, catering for over 50,000 students with 1,800 lecturers and internal research staff, a further 1,600 technical and administrative staff and more than 1,600 research assistants and doctoral candidates. This makes it one of the largest and most productive public research systems in the country.
Coupled with this, scientific research is one of Florence’s great strengths, and the university is one of the most active Italian institutions in term of projects and related grants within the European Union’s Technology Research and Development Framework.
Its significance to higher learning can be traced all the way back to its origins, with a number of noted people having studied or taught at the institution. Celebrated poet and The Decameron author Giovanni Boccaccio, lectured on Dante Alighieri’s The Divine Comedy at the university. Enrico Fermi, the Nobel Laureate for Physics in 1938, was a lecturer in mathematical physics and mechanics at Florence.
Besides noted faculty, the university has been the educator of a number of Italian and international luminaries. Matteo Renzi, Italy’s current prime minister is an alumnus of Florence, as is Margherita Hack, one of Italy’s foremost astrophysicists.
The picturesque city of Florence provides a beautiful environment for study, and many notable Florentine attractions, such as the museum of natural history (Museo di Storia Naturale di Firenze) are affiliated to the university.