University of Florence can trace its origins to the Studium Generale,
which was established by the Florentine Republic in 1321. Initially,
Civil and Canon Law, Literature, and Medicine were among the subjects
taught at the Studium, and various famous scholars were invited
to teach there: Giovanni Bocaccio was asked to lecture on the Divine
However, the importance of the Studium was fully
recognized with a Bull by Popo Clemente VI in 1349, in which he
officially authorised the Studium to grant regular degrees, extended
the Privilegia maxima, and established that the first Italian Faculty
of Theology would be in Florence.
In 1364, with Emperor Carlo VII, the Florentine
Studium became an Imperial University. However, when Lorenzo the
Magnificent gained control of Florence and much of Tuscany, the
Studium was moved to Pisa, in 1473. Carlo VIII moved it back to
Florence from 1497-1515, but with the return of the Medici family
it was once again transferred to Pisa.
In spite of these moves, many teaching activities
continued in Florence, and scientific research found substantial
support in the various Academies of the time, like the Crusca and
Only in 1859, when the Grand Duke was exiled, were
all these separate teaching activities reunited in a suitable system
called the Istituto di Studi Pratici e di Perfezionamento; a year
later this was recognized as a full fledged university by the Government
of Unified Italy.
In 1923, with a special Act of Parliament the Instututo
was officially denominated a University.
Later, the new University was organized into the various faculties:
Agriculture, Architecture, Arts, Economics, Education, Law, Mathematics,
Physical and Natural Sciences, Medicine and Surgery, Pharmacy, and
Political Science. The Faculty of Engineering, where 2-year courses
had been offered since 1928, was added to the 10 faculties in 1970.