Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II


Founded in 1224 by Frederick II of Hohenstaufen, this is one of the world's oldest universities, its past students including St Thomas Aquinas, former Italian president Giorgio Napolitano, and journalist Roberto Saviano, writer of the internationally acclaimed Camorra exposé, Gomorrah.

This campus – home to the Faculty of Political Science – houses the Chiostro dei Santi Marcellino e Festo, a monumental cloister dating from 1567 and framed by elegant piperno-stone arches. The building's smaller courtyard is also worth a look for its theatrical double staircase, designed by the prolific baroque architect Luigi Vanvitelli.