The History of the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences

Agricultural and Food Sciences

The history of higher agricultural studies in Lombardy dates back to 1774, when Maria Theresa of Austria ordered that the vegetable garden of the then suppressed Jesuit College of Brera be considered a Botanical Garden dedicated to the teaching of Medical Botany for “apothecary” students and doctors.

Until 1860, the University of Pavia had the only existing  Agronomy chair, while in Milan agronomic engineering diplomas were granted by the school that would later become the Polytechnic.

In 1871 the Royal High School of Agriculture was established in Milan. It was the first of its kind in Italy and granted a degree in Agricultural Sciences after a three-year training programme. The courses began in the same year, under the direction of Professor Gaetano Cantoni.

The School had its first seat in the former Military College of Porta S. Celso (today Porta Ludovica). It later moved to the ancient convent of the Incoronata in Via Marsala and then to the current headquarters of Città Studi, via Celoria 2, in 1926.

In 1888, the School went under the direct control of the State, and it increased both the number of subjects and the programme duration (to 4 years).

With the University reform of 1935, the School - which in the meantime had become the Royal Agricultural High Institute of Milan - fell no longer under the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests but under the Ministry of Education and became the University Faculty of Agriculture.

It has been expanding its area of expertise since the post-war period to include the food sector, and it was officially renamed Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences in 2012.