This building is now the official seat of the Torino University and it houses its Rectorate and the great hall.
“If you want peace, educate to peace. Refuse violence and do not collaborate with those using it.”
Among the reforms enacted by King Vittorio Amedeo II in the early decades of the 18th century, there was also the renewal of university education, bound to train the forthcoming body of public officers, which entailed building a corresponding new university seat, started in 1712 and inaugurated in 1920. The foremost court architects partook in its designing and building, such as M. Garove and F. Juvarra.
The building faces Via Verdi and Via Po, the latter street being the thoroughfare of the third widening of the baroque city, designed by A. di Castellamonte in 1673. The building stands around a rectangular courtyard faced with a great open gallery with a double column array. Two monumental staircases give access to a noble floor upstairs used in the past for the teaching. There hangs a memorial slab that the Torino University got in place on Dec. 31st 2001, in memory of the local professors who refused swearing allegiance to the fascist regime seventy years earlier. Out of a 1.200 strong teaching body all over Italy short of a score of them rejected their consent; and the slab reminds of the few who did so in Torino: Mario Carrara (criminal anthropology), a father of Italy’s forensic medicine; Gaetano De Sanctis (ancient history); Francesco Ruffini (ecclesiastical law), investigator of the historical origins of the religious freedom notion; Lionello Venturi (arts history), standing out for his political activity against the fascist regime from his Paris and New York exile, and the only one of this group to survive it – called back to Italy, he taught in Rome.
Quite some Torino University students also opposed fascism: among them, Antonio Gramsci and Piero Gobetti are dedicated a memory here, as being its victims as well.
Nowadays the University, as a hub of knowledge and culture building and conveyance, is a place where peace and nonviolence education may spread abroad. Such issues as sustainability and resources availability and access are being discussed within some curricular courses, and teachers often collaborate also with local organizations and movements.