The European University Institute
The European University Institute or just EUI is a unique international centre for doctorate and post-doctorate studies and research and one of Europe’s leading social science research institutions. The idea for the research facilities were developed as early as 1948 as the institutions we know as the European Union were beginning to form. However, the idea of a shared research institute which would “foster the advancement of learning in fields which are of particular interest for the development of Europe” did not open until 1976. Since then the EUI has spearheaded studies into European affairs and brought together researchers from across Europe. It does, however, also hold seminars for young and aspiring grad students.
The institute lies not far from Florence tugged into the Tuscan hills. It consists of several old Tuscan villas – many of which date back to the Renaissance. As such, visiting the EUI is not only a chance to explore where some of the top research on European affairs takes place, but also a step back in time.
The European University Institute lies the in the vicinity of the small and picturesque town Fiesole. The town lies seven kilometres from Florence on a hill top overlooking Val d’Arno and Florence. Since the 14th century it has been a getaway for the rich and influential upper class.
Florence is a magnificent city and the birthplace of the Renaissance. It has been a cultural epicentre through centuries of European history and it remains one of the most beautiful and majestic cities of the continent. However, it is also as so many similar places a tourist hotspot and it is nearly impossible to enjoy the city with the hoards of similar minded tourists and the massive amounts of souvenir shops and entire markets full of souvenir stands.
I am happy that I have seen this wonderful piece of European history, but I miss the peacefulness of the Tuscan hills and the pleasant Fiesole.
Evening stroll in Florence