Information on Urban History and Urban Historical Research in Italy

by Rosa Smurra


1. Associations and Societies on Urban History

  • AISU – Associazione Italiana di Storia Urbana (Italian Association of Urban History). The AISU aims to promote the study of urban history, develop scientific research in Italy, organizing scientific meetings (conferences, conventions) and publishes the editorial series «Studi di Storia Urbana».
  • Associazione Storia della Città – Centro internazionale di studi per la storia della città, fonti d’archivio e patrimonio architettonico-ambientale (History of the Town. Association International center of studies on history of the city, archive sources and architectural-environmental heritage), Rome.

2. Studies’ Centers on Urban History

The following study Centers are dedicated exclusively to urban history:

  • Centro interuniversitario per la storia delle città campane nel Medioevo (Interuniversity Center for the history of Campania’s cities in the Middle Ages ), Università di Napoli Federico II. The Center produces numerous volumes dedicated to the Naples history and the cities of Campania (“Quaderni”).
  •  Centro “Gina Fasoli” per la storia delle Città  (Studies Centre “Gina Fasoli” for the Towns history), University of Bologna. The Center dedicates its activities to the towns history, carrying out national and international projects; puts online some archival collections not yet available. It is also dedicated to the virtual reconstruction of urban areas that no longer exist.
  • CROMA – Centro per lo studio di Roma (Centre for the study of Rome.). University of Roma Tre. The Centre develops its research activities on the city of Rome, with particular reference to the transformation of the city, the recovery of the building heritage, the redefinition and development of the role of capital city in contemporary Italy.

The following study centers are dedicated only partly to urban history:

  • CISAM – Fondazione Centro Italiano di Studi sull’Alto Medioevo (Foundation of the Italian Centre for Mediaeval Studies) – Spoleto. Since 1952 the Centre has been organizing every year the national and international conferences, known as the “Settimane di studio” (The study weeks), and others conferences in places that are particularly suitable due to historical and artistic memories and references.
  • ISIME  – Istituto Storico Italiano per il Medioevo (Italian Historical Institute for the Middle Ages), Rome. Publish historical sources (“Fonti per la storia d’Italia”, “Fonti per la storia dell’Italia medievale”, “Repertorium Fontium Historiae Medii Aevi”), the studies: “Studi Storici”, “Nuovi Studi Storici, and the journal  “Bullettino dell’Istituto Storico Italiano per il Medio Evo”.
  • OSM – Officina di Studi Medievali  (Workshop of Medieval Studies ), University of Palermo. Association and publishing house dedicated to research and promotion of the Middle Ages studies.
  • SAAME –  Centro Interuniversitario per la Storia e l’Archeologia dell’Alto Medioevo (Interuniversity Center for History and Archaeology of the Early Middle Ages), promoted by  Departments of History and Archaeology of Universities of Siena, Padua, Venice and Bologna.
  • Centro di Studi sulla Civiltà Comunale – (Center for Studies on Communal Civilization) University of Florence.

3. City Archives, or general information about city Archives

  • The State Archives are present in every provincial capital city (100 locations). Preserve archives of the central and peripheral administrations of the Italian pre-unitary States (until 1861). See Guida generale degli Archivi di Stato italiani.
  • The individual cities (large and small) also have their own Municipal Historical Archive, which preserves documents from the post-unitary period (after 1861).

4. Journals for Regional History including relevant contributions on Urban History

  • Storia della città. Rivista internazionale di storia urbana e territoriale (Town’s History. International Review of Town planning History), nn. 1-56, 1976-1990, Electa publisher, Enrico Guidoni director.
  • Storia urbana. Rivista di studi sulle trasformazioni della città e del territorio in età moderna  (Urban History. Journal of studies on the transformations of the city and territory in modern age), Franco Angeli publisher, Milano, 1977 -… .
  • Città e storia (Towns and History), University of “Roma Tre”, 2006 – …, Publishers: University of “Roma Tre” – CROMA.
  • Storia dell’Urbanistica.  Annuario Nazionale di Storia della città e del territorio (History of Urban Planning, National Yearbook of Town and Land History), Edizioni Kappa publisher, 1981- ….

5. Journals for Regional History including relevant contributions on Urban History

  • In Italy are active at least 14 main regional “Deputazioni di Storia Patria” (Deputations of Homeland History) and more than 17 “Società di Storia Patria” (Societies of Homeland History), coordinated by Giunta Centrale per gli Studi Storici. Almost all publish journals sometimes with topics of urban history.