Former Italian prime minister to teach at Stanford in Florence

Matteo Renzi
Matteo Renzi speaking at the inauguration of the new Stanford in Florence center in May 2013.

MATTEO RENZI, former prime minister of Italy, has accepted an invitation to teach at the Breyer Center for Overseas Studies in Florence this fall. Renzi served as prime minister from February 2014 to December 2016, and is currently secretary of the Democratic Party in Italy.

“We are truly very excited about this new addition to our fall quarter offerings and to the Stanford in Florence family,” said ERMELINDA CAMPANI, the Spogli Family Director of the Breyer Center for Overseas Studies in Florence.

Renzi’s course will be centered on the challenges and opportunities facing Italy and the European Union. In his classes, Renzi will discuss the public debate surrounding the many issues Europe faces, while also sharing his experience as a politician who has dealt with many of the questions still at stake today. Students in the course will attain a deep understanding of the inner workings of European politics from the unique perspective of a privileged insider. At the age of 39 when he took office, Renzi was the youngest person to serve as Italy’s prime minister.

Part of the Bing Overseas Studies Program, Stanford in Florence is the university’s longest continuously used center abroad. This fall, 35 students will spend 10 weeks immersed in Italian culture, history, art – and of course, food. The students live with Italian host families throughout their time in Florence and attend classes at Palazzo Capponi alle Rovinate, a 15th-century Renaissance building on the banks of the Arno River near the Ponte Vecchio.

“An opportunity like this one will benefit students in the Florence program immensely,” said RAMÓN SALDIVAR, the Burke Family Director of the Bing Overseas Studies Program. “It fits perfectly into the broad plan for all of our centers to offer courses that speak directly to the obligations of global citizenship.”

Renzi, who served as mayor of Florence from 2009 to 2014, is no stranger to Stanford. He has visited the U.S. campus on multiple occasions and spoke at the 2013 inauguration of Stanford’s new center in Florence. At that event, he spoke about how beneficial study abroad programs are to students and to the city of Florence, where they help foster a culture of academic exploration and innovation. “The presence of Stanford University in particular is an important opportunity for the city,” Renzi said. “Stanford is a part of our challenge to build a new vision for the future.”