The Department of Economics and Business Studies has a long tradition and a lasting connection with the history and economy of the City of Genoa.
Established in 1885 as a School for the Application of Commercial Studies on the initiative of both public institutions and private enterprise, it has always aimed to provide individuals with a range of cultural values and professional skills to enable them to succeed in an ever-changing economic context. The Department has remained committed to this aim over time by increasing the quality and scope of the courses offered.
In 1996 the Faculty of Economics was relocated to the Old Port of Genoa (Porto Antico, Darsena), at the heart of long-established trade routes.
With the reform of the Statute of the University of Genoa, the Department of Economics and Business Studies underwent a reorganisation of the scientific and didactic structures. Since 1 May 2012, the Department groups together most of the professors and lecturers of the former Faculty of Economics and all the degree courses on offer.
In the 1990s, a new site for the Department was established in Imperia where the Bachelor's in Management Tourism Sciences: Territory, Culture and Business is available.
The Department of Economics and Business Studies is situated in the Porto Antico (Old Port), in the area that was once occupied by the Docks and the Arsenal of the Republic of Genoa. The former was the berth for the coast trade and considered a safe haven for merchant and war ships; the Arsenal was used to build galleys and as a deposit for their armaments. With the establishment of the free port in the 17th century, new warehouses were built to store goods and the Docks underwent important changes.
The most important restructuring of the area, however, did not occur until the end of the last century when the Municipality signed an agreement with the government for the purchase of the Docks in 1867.
A plan for redevelopment was approved in 1889, which included the building of multi-storey warehouses.
The new “districts”, or warehouses, each with the name of one of the old Genoese colonies (Caffa, Cembalo, Metelino, Tabarca) were completed in 1895 and added to the existing Famagosta and Galata warehouses. The Department of Economics and Business Studies is situated in the Scio district, the largest facing the sea. This was completed in 1898 and up to the second half of the 20th century played an important role in the storage of merchandise that was loaded and unloaded in the port. It was the largest “industry of the city” and of vital importance to its economy.
The entrance to the current building is from Via Vivaldi through a courtyard, central to the entire complex.
On the ground floor, at the east end of the building, called Moschea, the imposing pillars, which support vaulted ceilings, create a particular atmosphere.
This area today houses the Library (Centro Servizi Bibliotecari – C.S.B.) and is directly accessible from the porticoes of Via Vivaldi, which connects the Scio district to the Galata district.
The opposite side accommodates the technical rooms and a large canteen area (managed by E.R.S.U.).
Above, on the mezzanine, to the west of the courtyard, the modern book depository of the S.B.A. extends for about 500m2.
On the two first floors are the main administrative offices of the Department, the graduation hall with 80 places: the archive and research centre for the History of Economics – Doria Archive, with an adjoining reference room; the SBA room on the second level and, opposite, the new study room with Wi-Fi connection. These can be accessed from the straight, partly open-air walkway, which runs along the north side.
The long windows of the large communal areas used by the Department give on to the metal walkway, which is 115 metres long and 3 metres wide. There are two of these areas per floor, all similar in size. Behind these, there is a 135 metre-long corridor, which runs lengthwise, crosses and provides a network for the entire building. All the studies enjoy natural daylight thanks to the installation of corner windows, which allow two rooms to share one window at the same time and benefit from the light. Finally, the intervening innermost space is set aside for the Department with its appurtenant reading rooms.
The teaching areas are located on the two floors above. These frequently go by the name of the aforementioned “districts”. The lecture rooms are accessed from a porticoed walkway. The skylights of this barrel-vaulted walkway allow for a view of the port and the city. On the east side of the third level, the architect created a space, which he called “Plaza”, for students to meet and relax.
The entire building has wifi access through the cable network of the University. Thanks to this, with the required authorisation, students, professors, lecturers and the administrative and technical staff of the University of Genoa can access the resources of the network and Internet.
How to reach us
The Department is in the centre of Genoa, 500 metres from Principe Railway Station, 800 metres from Piazza Caricamento. It is near the metro stops of Darsena and Principe and adjoins the recently opened Galata Maritime Museum.
Dipartimento di Economia
Via Vivaldi, 5
16126 Genova (GE)
By car: exit at Genova Ovest, follow the signs to the city centre (Aquarium - Porto Antico – Darsena).
By train: the Faculty is in easy reach of Principe Railway Station on foot. From the Station go in the direction of the sea, crossing Via Gramsci.
By metro: the suggested stops are Principe, Darsena.