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The 20 Best Italian University Cities

Bologna

 

The university cities are all sparkling and active, very often full of art, culture, and entertainment. In Italy, there are many universities. When choosing a university, one must look at the course of study, the didactics used, and the prestige of the university; these are fundamental. But if you decide to study off-site, the city atmosphere and its peculiarities also matter a lot.

Interested in finding out which cities are the best for university students?

Here are the 20 best Italian university cities!

20. Trieste

Trieste

Border city, a city of contrasts, but also a university city. There is the renowned Royal University of Economic and Commercial Studies, founded in 1924, which replaced the older Higher School of Commerce when Trieste was still part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It is a university center of excellent quality in a city rich in history and … wind. Unfortunately, you will have to take the bora into account, because it’s such a distinctive feature that it’s impossible to ignore it. All in all, Trieste is a multicultural city for historical reasons, which will conquer you with its architecture, position, and its folklore.

Quality of university services: 4/5
Quality of urban services: 3/5
Leisure and entertainment: 3/5

19. Matera

Matera

The city of the famous and very special Sassi, a Unesco Heritage of inestimable value, is also a university seat. The small and recent University of Basilicata counts 7094 students (2016 data). This year, it took third place as the best small Italian university.

If you don’t like crowdedness, but love admiring or photographing incredible landscapes as well as traditions and folklore, Matera could be the right choice for your higher education.

Quality of university services: 4/5
Quality of urban services: 1/5
Fun and entertainment: 1/5

18. Bolzano

Bolzano

 

Bolzano is a double city, heavily Italian but also heavily Austrian. The city university is young (founded in 1997) and trilingual: the teaching here is in Italian, German, and English. In addition, the Faculty of Education also has a section in the Ladin language (no, it is not Latin).

Bolzano is a city full of castles and noble residences that offers numerous green areas as well as buildings and equipment for practicing many sports. It’s the perfect choice for those looking for a university location that is polyglot, peaceful, and immersed in the silence of the mountains.

Quality of university services: 4/5
Quality of urban services: 5/5
Leisure and entertainment: 4/5

17. Verona

Verona

The romantic Shakespearean city of Romeo and Juliet is also currently home to the most renowned university in Italy. Founded in the early 1980s as a branch of the illustrious University of Padua, the Veronese university offers excellent advanced training courses and research paths.

Furthermore, Verona is a wonderful city, full of activities and entertainment. It has its famous Arena, home to numerous concerts of international and local stars every year.

Quality of university services: 5/5
Quality of urban services: 3/5
Leisure and entertainment: 4/5

16. Modena

Modena

The University of Modena is the fourth oldest in Europe, now joined to the Reggio Emilia pole. Modena is a beautiful city, lively and not too far from the hectic Riviera Romagnola.

Emilia Romagna is a land of enjoyment, where people have always known how to have fun and live well and Modena is no exception. Although little less “known” and smaller than the nearby university city par excellence, Bologna, Modena will undoubtedly conquer you.

Quality of university services: 3/5
Quality of urban services: 3/5
Leisure and entertainment: 3/5

15. L’Aquila

L'Aquila
Credit: Pietro – commons.wikimedia.org

At the foot of the Gran Sasso, L’Aquila attracts a large number of students. It’s a historic city, unfortunately now much ruined by the earthquake. This culturally lively city is far from the chaos of the metropolis and offers students numerous departments scattered around the city and beautiful libraries. And, for the study-free time, it offers students many options for recreation and entertainment. Although the wounds of the earthquake have irremediably marked it, it does deserve a place on this list.

Quality of university services: 3/5
Quality of urban services: 2/5
Leisure and entertainment: 2/5

14. Padua

Padua

Here’s a fun fact about the city of Padua: It’s a city of the three “without-s”:

  • its saint is without a name – St. Antonio, the saint protector of the city is known as “the saint” for the citizens;
  • a lawn without grass – Prato della Valle (eng. Lawn of the Valley) is actually a square, not a lawn;
  • a Café without doors – the famous Caffè Pedrocchi is open 24/7.

But it’s not without university! Shakespear liked the Veneto and here he set “The Taming of the Shrew”, calling it “the cradle of arts”. Moreover, Padua offers any type of entertainment, day and night. Not bad, right?

Quality of university services: 5/5
Quality of urban services: 3/5
Leisure and entertainment: 3/5

13. Turin

Turin

Turin, the city of mysteries and magic, efficient in services and proliferating on a cultural level. Its beauty is in the details. Home to many faculties and the renowned Polytechnic, it also offers historic bars and chocolate shops, where you can enjoy moments of sweetness. Turin really knows how to make you study, entertain, and pamper yourself.

Quality of university services: 5/5
Quality of urban services: 4/5
Leisure and entertainment: 4/5

12. Palermo

Palermo

An ancient and renowned university in a wonderful Baroque city by the sea… what more can you ask for? The University of Palermo, founded in 1806, is one of the largest Italian universities in terms of the number of students.

Palermo offers you the warmth of Sicily, an excellent study course, the beach of Mondello (one of the most famous and fashionable in Italy), and fantastic culinary specialties. Do you still have doubts?

Quality of university services: 2/5
Quality of urban services: 2/5
Leisure and entertainment: 4/5

11. Naples

Naples

If there are many poems and songs dedicated to Naples, there must be a reason. And, yes, there is. It’s a city full of contrasts that knows how to strike at the heart. Sparkling and superstitious city, full of history and good food. Its historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Naples has several universities but the Federico II University, one of the oldest in Italy and the world, is the most famous. It actually holds a record of being the first state and non-religious university commissioned by the Emperor whose name it bears.

Quality of university services: 2/5
Quality of urban services: 2/5
Leisure and entertainment: 4/5

10. Trento

Trento

If you love the mountains and winter sports, Trento is the right city for you! It is a pleasant city, full of services and a university seat. It has been rated as the second-best state university for attractiveness to off-site students and has the oldest faculty of Sociology in Italy.

Fun fact: In 1968, it was the first occupied Italian university that became the cradle of the 1968 student movement and its protests. Trento is a city that has a lot to offer, very rich in art and traditions.

Quality of university services: 4/5
Quality of urban services: 5/5
Leisure and entertainment: 3/5

9. Rome

Rome

Rome has it all: art, history, culture, nightlife, entertainment, and leisure. Lying on the seven hills and crossed by the Tiber, the eternal city bursts with life. It also owns 4 universities, so the university choice is wide.

Quality of university services: 4/5
Quality of urban services: 2/5
Leisure and entertainment: 4/5

8. Pavia

Pavia

The beautiful Pavia offers peace and tranquility as well as numerous services. Its students can boast the monumental University Library, one of the oldest in Italy. Furthermore, the University has an enviable amount of cultural heritage, just like its city. If you are looking for a university that offers you a peaceful university life, Pavia will not disappoint you.

Quality of university services: 5/5
Quality of urban services: 3/5
Leisure and entertainment: 3/5

7. Florence

Florence

The Cradle of the Renaissance is so rich in art, history, and culture that it seems superfluous to underline it. A city that the world envies us for its beauty, peculiarity, and landscape profile. A city full of tourists and students from all over the planet that make it alive, modern, and sparkling. Its 14th-century university with its priceless library heritage awaits you for a study course immersed in beauty.

Quality of university services: 4/5
Quality of urban services: 4/5
Leisure and entertainment: 4/5

6. Siena

Siena

A small enchanting city, which comes alive in a crazy and almost anachronistic way during the famous Palio. If you are partygoers, you love party fans, but also art and history, Siena is the right city for you. Its historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is surrounded by a particular landscape that will fill your heart with emotions. It also has a specific university for foreigners and a beautiful state university dating back to 1240.

Quality of university services: 4/5
Quality of urban services: 3/5
Leisure and entertainment: 3/5

5. Pisa

Pisa

The University of Pisa is one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in Italy and Europe. Founded in 1343, it has a considerable size especially compared to the number of citizens of the city that hosts it. It’s no coincidence that it is the first university in Tuscany for the number of students.

Pisa is a pleasant city, known by all for its famous leaning tower and its Piazza dei Miracoli, rich in history and tourists. If you are looking for an illustrious university in a lively city of art, Pisa is for you.

Quality of university services: 5/5
Quality of urban services: 3/5
Leisure and entertainment: 3/5

4. Perugia

Perugia

Perugia has a lot to offer. It is the capital of green Umbria, the seat of an important university, a really beautiful city, and a multi-ethnic one. Many foreign students have chosen it and make it a stimulating environment far from the hectic metropolis. Hence, there is no lack of entertainment and making new friends is easy.

Quality of university services: 4/5
Quality of urban services: 3/5
Leisure and entertainment: 3/5

3. Venice

Venice

Venice is a unique and inimitable masterpiece Italians pride with. It has always been a crossroad of different cultures and it is no coincidence that its university has an international vocation. Of course, moving to Venice is not exactly like moving to other cities, but its charm is unbeatable. Those who have studied it, describe it as a unique life experience in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Well, we don’t have a hard time believing him!

Quality of university services: 5/5
Quality of urban services: 3/5
Leisure and entertainment: 4/5

2. Milan

Milan

The Milanese city is famous for its various and renowned universities, both, state and private. Milan doesn’t need a big introduction as it’s the busiest and most frenetic city in Italy which offers a lot: clubs, bars, luxurious shops within everyone’s reach, concerts, exhibitions, events, art, libraries, parks, and culture. It’s no coincidence that it’s the capital of one of the largest and most important regions of the beautiful country. It also becomes even more “business and fashion” during the fashion week. In short, Milan can offer you everything regardless of whether you are a nerd, a fashion victim, a nightlife lover, eager to live in an intercultural financial center, or just a student… well, it can offer you everything except the sea.

Quality of university services: 5/5
Quality of urban services: 3/5
Leisure and entertainment: 5/5

1. Bologna

Bologna

It is the university city par excellence. “La Dotta” boasts one of the oldest universities in the west. Bologna is unimaginable without students. Rich in life and culture, it offers entertainment for all tastes. Its center is alive, sparkling, stimulating, and full of activity. It’s no wonder it’s the queen of this ranking.

Quality of university services: 5/5
Quality of urban services: 4/5
Leisure and entertainment: 5/5