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Politecnico di Milano
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Politecnico di Milano

Established 1863
Staff 1,264
Students 38,343

Piazza Leonardo da Vinci 32
20133 Mailand, Italy

The Politecnico di Milano University is the largest technical university in Italy, with about 38,000 students. The incumbent rector of the university is professor Giulio Ballio. In 2009 the university was ranked as the 57th technical university in the world by Top Universities, in a research conducted on behalf of Times Higher Education. This was a 6-positions growth from the 63rd position in 2008. In 2009 an Italian research ranked it as the best in Italy over indicators such as scientific production, attraction of foreign students, and others.

There are three Politecnico (Technical Universities, where only engineering and architecture are taught) in Italy (Milan, Turin, Bari), and they are all colloquially known as the Poli among their own students. The logo of Politecnico di Milano is a sketch of Raffaello’s School of Athens, an affresco which is located in the Vatican Museum, Vatican City.


Founded on November 29, 1863, Politecnico di Milano is the oldest university in Milan. The original name was Istituto Tecnico Superiore (“Higher Technical Institute”), Francesco Brioschi the leader, and the location was in the very heart of the city (‘via Senato’). In 1865 Architecture, the second main line of study at Politecnico, was introduced. In 1927 the Politecnico moved to piazza Leonardo da Vinci, in the district now known as Città studi (City of Studies). Politecnico’s main facilities are still there today. At the time, it was named Regio Politecnico (“Royal Polytechnic”), but the word Regio was removed when Italy was proclaimed a republic at the end of World War II. The shadow after the letters REGIO, physically removed from the façade of the main building, is however still visible to this day.
In 1954, the first European centre of electronic computation was opened by Gino Cassinis and Ercole Bottani. In 1963 Giulio Natta received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his research on crystalline polymers, polypropylene in particular. In 1977, the satellite Sirio, jointly developed by Politecnico and other companies, was launched.
During the nineties, the Politecnico began a process of territorial expansion that would have resulted in the opening of its satellite campuses in Lombardy and Emilia Romagna. A university programme in industrial design was started in 1993. In 2000, the politecnico’s faculty of design was created with new courses in undergraduate and postgraduate programs of graphic & visual, fashion and interior design along with the already existent industrial design.


Professor Ingrid Paoletti

School of Architecture
Dipartimento Di Scienza E Tecnologie Dell’Ambiente Costruito (Best)
ICAR/12 – Architecture Technology


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