University of Padua
World University Rankings 2014-15
For Italy's second-oldest university, established in 1222, the golden age of enquiry spanned the 15th to the 18th centuries, during which the Venetian Republic afforded it a modicum of independence from the Catholic Church. Galileo held the chair in mathematics between 1592 and 1610. The 21st-century university consists of 14 faculties serving 65,000 students.