CESPITA – Centro Interuniversitario di Studi sulla Pittura Antica

Director: Antonella Coralini


Year of foundation: 2018 

The Centro Interuniversitario di Studi sulla Pittura Antica (CESPITA) was started in 2018 on the initiative of the University of Bologna and eight other Italian universities (Torino, Trieste, Venezia IUAV, Parma, Modena and Reggio Emilia, Firenze, Napoli Federico II, Napoli l’Orientale).

The aim shared by the founding universities was – and remains – that of contributing to a broad approach to research on ancient paintings, as understood in the most inclusive sense, on all types of supports and in all techniques. At the Centre, all the competences involved in the study of paintings are represented, from archaeology to archaeometry, from documentation to restitution, from conservation to dissemination, and including the reception of the antique.

Each of the research units involved contributes to the activities of the Centre in a way and in a format suited to its area of specialization. Thus, the unit at the University of Bologna continues to focus on documentation and virtual restitution (its Laboratory for Survey and Restitution of Ancient Painting – il Laboratorio di Rilievo e Restituzione della Pittura Antica (LARPA), active since 2005), as well as working to establish a dialogue between archaeology and archaeometry, in close collaboration with the University of Parma and Reggio Emilia.

The University of Turin, in synergy with Turin’s Centro di Conservazione e Restauro di Venaria Reale, combines an interest in vase painting (shared with the University of Napoli l’Orientale) and a commitment to conservation and restoration. The University of Venezia IUAV is active on several fronts, from archaeometry to restoration and the study of the reception of Classical Antiquity.

Among the first results of the Centre’s activity there was the patronage of the XIVth Conference of the International Association for Ancient Mural Painting (AIPMA; September 2019) and the joint publication of the collection of studies in ‘Picta fragmenta. La pittura vesuviana. Una rilettura’ (2020).


The aims of the Centre are to:

promote, coordinate and implement research activity on, and valorization of ancient painting;

promote and encourage exchange of information and sharing of experiences between the institutes and departments of the affiliated universities, also within the framework of collaboration with other institutes or university departments, and with research centers – public as well as private – operating within the same sphere as CESPITA, not least internationally;

promote initiatives in scientific publication and interdisciplinary cooperation on both a national and an international level;

promote agreements on collaboration with institutions and associations working in similar fields, in Italy and abroad;

promote networks of collaboration with public and private organizations active in the protection and valorization of cultural heritage related to ancient painting;

support and promote organization of conferences, workshops, seminars and any other form of interdisciplinary scientific communication designed to valorize and disseminate the initiatives and results emanating from the Centre;

promote and implement specific research projects;

promote and support specific publication initiatives;

promote, undertake and support initiatives designed to mobilize financing of the Centre’s activities;

take steps to introduce technological ressources with the aim of improved storage and use of data achieved;

promote, undertake and support didactic initiatives and initiatives in higher education


Scientific Committee

  • Fabrizio Antonelli (Università di Venezia IUAV - LAMA)
  • Danilo Bersani (Università di Parma)
  • D'Acunto Matteo (Università di Napoli L'Orientale)
  • Paolo Liverani (Università di Firenze)
  • Rocco Mazzeo (Università di Bologna)
  • Emanuela Murgia (Università di Trieste)
  • Massimo Osanna (Università di Napoli Federico II)
  • Jan Stubbe Østergaard (Copenhagen Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek)
  • Emanuela Sorbo (Università di Venezia IUAV)
  • Paolo Zannini (Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia)


Excecutive Council

  • Antonella Casoli (Università di Parma)
  • Monica Centanni (Università di Venezia IUAV)
  • Antonella Coralini (Università di Bologna)
  • Paola D'Alconzo (Università di Napoli Federico II)
  • Anna Maria D'Onofrio (Università di Napoli l'Orientale)
  • Diego Elia (Università di Torino)
  • Federica Fontana (Università di Trieste)
  • Stefano Lugli (Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia)
  • Ilaria Romeo (Università di Firenze)