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The University for Foreigners

They were inaugurated in 1917 as a tribute to the cattedra di Toscana favella founded in 1588 by Grand Duke Ferdinand I Medici at the University of Siena.
The Italian language and culture courses for foreign university students attract over 2,000 students yearly to Siena. The degree courses in Italian for Foreigners and Linguistic and Cultural Mediation are primarily attended by Italian students. Special courses in Italy and abroad are especially intended to train and update teachers of Italian for foreigners. A centre of excellence has been created to study the spread of foreign languages throughout Italy. The university also offers two specialized degrees: one in Editing and Media Skills, and another in Linguistics for Intercultural Communication. Siena’s University for Foreigners is both a window on the world and a focal point for its nostalgic admirers scattered about the globe.



Un futuro dal cuore antico 

Universitas Scholarium era già attiva nel 1240. Con decreto dell’Imperatore Carlo IV di Lussemburgo, nel 1357 nacque lo Studio Generale. Nel Quattrocento, ha scritto Judith Hook, “particolarmente per quanto riguarda Legge e Medicina la sua reputazione in Europa non era seconda a nessun’altra”.






The Universitas Scholarium was already operating in 1240. With the decree issued by Charles V of Luxembourg, Siena’s university proper was born in 1357. Judith Hook wrote that in the 15th century, “Its reputation was unsurpassed in Europe, especially in the fields of medicine and law”. 



Santa Maria della Scala 

Built facing the stairway to Siena’s cathedral, from which it took the name Santa Maria della Scala, this structure began to accommodate pilgrims travelling along the Via Francigena and aid orphans and the poor at the end of the first millennium.





The fabulous tapestry of multicoloured, etched marble on Siena’s cathedral floor stretches right up to its main altar. According to popular belief, it was first conceived by Duccio di Buoninsegna. Its sumptuousness is without rival. It covers the entire surface of the cathedral with 52 rectangular depictions in etched, coloured marble. 




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