Tasti di scelta rapida del sito: Menu principale | Corpo della pagina

The University of Pisa

Pisa, Palazzo La Sapienza, internal courtyard
Pisa, Palazzo La Sapienza, internal courtyard

Pisa’s character as a City of knowledge is largely due to the Napoleonic age. While the Studium Generale of Pisa was officially instituted in 1343, with a pontifical bull “In supremae dignitatis” from Pope Clement VI, it was radically modernized by Napoleon and aimed toward the highest levels of university instruction in Europe.
During the Napoleonic period, “the Studio” was in fact transformed into an Imperial Academy, dependent on the University of Paris, with the charge of supervising the entire Tuscan scholastic system. The reform of the new University of Pisa, becoming the “Imperial University”, entailed a new Statute, promulgated on 23 December 1810.
The seat of the university was in the Palazzo della Sapienza, founded in the Renaissance but considerably renovated in the twentieth century. The building, set on the city’s old grain piazza and completed in 1543 after numerous campaigns, was commissioned by Lorenzo dei Medici and intended from the beginning as the seat of the Pisa Studium.

After the general modifications to the new Imperial University (1810), the students, instead of having free lodging, were charged a monthly fee. And so it was that between 1819 and 1824 the University Library was moved to the upper floor of the Sapienza, where the student rooms had been. The library was further expanded in terms of books and documents from other libraries of suppressed monasteries in the Napoleonic age as well as in terms of the effects of the more general work of the gallicization of the library catalogue, which led to the consequential and progressive opening up to new French publications. Among these one should note the Napoleonic Code (1809).

Among those who studied at the University of Pisa, one finds the name of “Giusepe Bonaparte”, or Joseph, Napoleon’s older brother, on the lists of doctoral and bachelors candidates between 1788 and 1789.
The documents relative to the reform of the University of Pisa during the Napoleonic period are kept in the sixteenth–century Palazzo Toscanelli, the seat of the State Archive.

Palazzo La Sapienza
Via Curtatone e Montanara, 15

Free access to the interior courtyard; the Library is open Monday through Friday 8:15 AM to 7:15 PM; Saturday 8:15 AM to 1:30 PM

State Archive
Palazzo Toscanelli
Lungarno Mediceo, 30

Open Monday and Friday 8:30 AM to 1:30 PM; Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM.