In 1404 Prince Ludovico di Savoia-Acaja promoted the formation of a center of higher education, after the request of some “senior teachers” who had fled from the universities of Pavia and Piacenza; Turin, being an episcopal city, was chosen as venue. The birth of the studium generale was formalized by a bull of Pope Benedict XIII on October 27, 1404. The consolidation of the University was accompanied by the strengthening of the role of Turin as a subalpine capital, a fact that ensured almost a century of stability to the city. Erasmus of Rotterdam, who in 1506 obtained his degree in Theology in Turin, stands among the graduates of the University at the beginning of the sixteenth century.
In 1720 the University moved to the prestigious building in Via Po, the current venue of the Athenaeum. With Kings Emanuele Filiberto and Carlo Emanuele I, the University experienced a successful period, due to the presence of some renowned teachers and of a large and culturally motivated student body. Conversely, it had a long period of crisis around the middle of the seventeenth century due to epidemic pest, famine starvation and continuous wars.
King Carlo Emanuele III continued the policy of innovation and consolidation that Vittorio Amedeo II had inaugurated. In 1800, the adaptation to the French system led to the introduction in the French Piedmont of the new imperial order, which included that a Rector was to be placed at the head of each University. In terms of size, number of chairs, professors and students, Turin University was the second of the Empire, right after Paris university. From a branch of the University of Turin, the first nucleus of the Politecnico (Technical University) was established by Galileo Ferraris at the beginning of the 1900’s.
After the Reform of minister Gentile in 1923, Turin Athenaeum became one of the 10 Universities managed and financed directly by the Govenment. In 1930’s, the University of Turin was protagonist of an extraordinary cultural and anti-fascist season that saw illustrious personalities such as Norberto Bobbio, Alessandro Galante Garrone, Leone Ginzburg, Massimo Mila, Vittorio Foa, Giorgio Agosti, Dante Livio Bianco, Cesare Pavese. With the fall of fascism, many professors and students of the University of Torin took part in the liberation war.
Many of the leading exponents of the twentieth-century Italian political life studied at the University of Turin: Gramsci, Gobetti, Togliatti, as well as Luigi Einaudi and Giuseppe Saragat, two former Presidents of the Italian Republic.
The Department of Agricultural, Forestry and Food Sciences (DISAFA) is a research centre for the primary production and processing of plants and animals, as well as for the interactions of these activities with the territory and the environment. The Department, taking into consideration the economic and environmental aspects and also using the biotechnological approach, studies agrarian and forest ecosystems and agri-food supply chains in their biological, productive, ecological, technological, engineering and management aspects.
Among the characterising research fields, topics that deserve to be mentioned are: the genetic improvement and the physiology of cultivated vegetables and farmed animals; the relationships between soil, water, atmosphere and plants; the cultivation, rearing and processing techniques of primary goods in relation to the environment and territories, including those aimed at energy production; sustainable management and forest resource planning, crop protection; the characterization of food and agri-food chains; the productive organization of companies; the organization of productive infrastructures in their sectors of competence; the design, implementation and management of assets and systems instrumental to agricultural activities in a broad sense; the study of the agricultural landscape and the design, construction and management of parks, gardens and green areas; economic and evaluative analyses related to previous issues.
The mission of the Department of Veterinary Sciences (DSV) is to promote advanced teaching, learning and research in the field of Veterinary Sciences, for the benefit of life and health of animals, humans and environment, encouraging the mutual collaboration and plurality of thought according to criteria of equality, impartiality, continuity, participation, efficiency and in accordance with the foresight of the Quality Policy.
The primary objectives of the research activities are: to guarantee the health and well-being of the animals through preventive and curative measures; to guarantee the quality and safety of products of animal origin with the aim to prevent risks to public health and protecting the environment; to improve the knowledge concerning basic and vocational veterinary sciences (clinical, zootechnical and inspection disciplines, in order to ensure animal health and ensure safe production and products of animal origin, respecting the environment and animals); to guarantee the ongoing education of veterinary doctors, both involved in public health and self-employed professionals.
Within the DSV and DISAFA, a working group focused on poultry biodiversity has been active for several years, carrying out research aimed at the phenotypic and genetic characterization of local poultry breeds. The research activity is supported by the conservation activity of small populations of Piedmont poultry breeds (Bianca di Saluzzo and Bionda Piemontese) at the Centre for the Conservation of Local Poultry Genetic Resources established at the University Zootechnical Centre of Carmagnola (TO) in 2014 and recognized as reference centre for local poultry breeds by the Italian Breeder Association (A.I.A.) in 2016.
Project leader Prof. Achille Schiavone
Department of Veterinary Sciences
Largo Braccini, 2 – 10095 Grugliasco (TO)