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Study in Italy

Italy certainly has plenty of charms to tempt tourists and international students alike: a diverse landscape including mountains, islands and active volcanoes; an immense cultural and historical legacy; iconic historic and architectural sites including Rome’s Colosseum and the Pisa’s Leaning Tower; incomparable cuisine; an impressive history of inventions and discoveries… and, of course, universities in Italy include some of the world’s oldest and most prestigious.

Aside from the monumental legacy of the Roman civilization, Italy has a long history of being ahead of the game, with many significant discoveries, inventions and innovations originating in Italy. Notable Italians include explorers Christopher Columbus, Amerigo Vespucci, Giovanni da Verrazzano and Marco Polo; Leonardo da Vinci, who proved the world is round and not flat; Alessandro Volta, who studied electricity (recognize the term ‘Volt’?); and Galileo Galilei, who discovered four moons around Jupiter and invented the thermometer.

Other famous Italian inventors include Angelo Moriondo (espresso machine), Johann Maria Farina (eau de cologne), Francesco Di Giorgio Martini (automobile), Salvino Armati (eyeglasses), Bartolomeo Cristofori (piano) and Ambrogio Calepino (the first widely translated dictionary). The origin of the word ‘university’ is also attributed to Italy, and the University of Bologna is believed to be one of the very oldest in the world.

Italy is also known for famous fashion houses such as Gucci, Benetton, Armani, Prada, Versace and Dolce & Gabbana, and its luxury car brands, including Ferrari, Lamborghini and Maserati. Oh, and did we mention the food…?

If you’re keen to study in Italy, click on the tabs below to learn about Italian universities, student cities, costs, visas, applications and more.

Fast Facts

  • Official name: Italian Republic (Repubblica Italiana)
  • Capital: Rome (Roma), nickname “The Eternal City”
  • Unitary parliamentary constitutional republic
  • Head of state is the elected President (currently Sergio Mattarella), and the government is led by the Prime Minister (currently Matteo Renzi).
  • Borders with France, Switzerland, Austria and Slovenia
  • Italy has numerous islands, and the mainland is famously shaped like a boot.
  • There are two independent states within Italy, both enclaves: Republic of San Marino and Vatican City.
  • Italy has the only active volcano in mainland Europe: Mount Vesuvius. Of Italy’s 14 volcanoes, three others are active: Mount Etna, Stromboli and Vulcano.
  • Europe’s third-largest economy, eighth largest in the world
  • 49 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, more than any other country
  • Official language: Italian. Other recognized linguistic groups have co-official status including French, German, Ladin and Slovene.
  • Main religion: Roman Catholic
  • Currency: Euro (€)
  • Main exports: engineering products, textiles and clothing, machinery, motor vehicles, transport equipment, chemicals, tobacco, minerals, and nonferrous metals
  • Italy’s national football (soccer) team has won the FIFA World Cup four times, in 1934, 1938, 1982 and 2006 – only Brazil has been more successful.
  • Other popular team sports in Italy include volleyball, basketball and rugby.
  • There is a European law safeguarding the ‘traditional Italian pizza’.
  • The language of music is in Italian (for example mezzolentoandanteallegrovivace and presto).
  • Famous Italian cheeses include Parmesan, from the Parma area in Northern Italy and mozzarella, traditionally made using Italian buffalo milk.
  • Time zone: Central European Time (UTC+1), UTC+2 in the summer
  • International dialing code: +39
  • Internet domain: .it