The University for Foreigners Perugia is the oldest and most prestigious italian institution involved in teaching and research activities as well as in the diffusion of the Italian language and civilisation in all expressions. Its story began in 1921 when a lawyer by the name of Astorre Lupattelli, who had dedicated much of his life to the project, set up the first courses in high culture in his home town. His eventual aim was to heighten people’s awareness of the central Italian region of Umbria - whose chief town is Perugia - both throughout Italy and abroad, to describe its history, its institutions and its natural and artistic history.
Until 1926 the courses were held in the University of Perugia itself, one of Italy’s oldest and most celebrated universities, and in the Sala dei Notari inside the historic Palazzo dei Priori. In 1927 the University for Foreigners moved to its own premises, the Palazzo Gallenga, another ancient building, situated in the center of the city.
Today, along with the Palazzo Gallenga, the University also occupies four smaller buildings, the Prosciutti, Lupattelli, Orvieto and Valitutti buildings which, although they are set in the marvellous surrounding country side, are within walking distance of the main site. They form the center of a complex of buildings which enhances the teaching and research facilities available to the Institution. There is a further site, Villa La Colombella, an antique stately residence, which lies hidden in the green hills around the city. It has, however, recently been renominated a University in its own right, consisting of a Faculty of Italian Language and Culture and Departments of Science of Language and Comparative Cultures.