Vittore Branca Center - Fondazione Giorgio Cini Onlus

Vittore Branca Center

Since 2010, young and expert scholars from Italy and abroad can plan research residencies on the Island of San Giorgio Maggiore, staying in the Vittore Branca Center Residence and working in the Fondazione Giorgio Cini libraries.


The International Center for the Study of Italian Culture named after Vittore Branca – a world-renowned Italianist who was Secretary General of the Fondazione Giorgio Cini – is a residential resource for Humanities studies, open to research projects in the field of art history, history of Venice, literature, music, drama, early printed books, comparative civilisations and spritualities.


Who can attend the Vittore Branca Center?


University students, PhDs, post-docs, professors, writers and artists willing to pursue some research work in Venice libraries.

To plan a research residency, it is necessary to apply via email to: .


How to apply to the Vittore Branca Center?


Every applicant shall send:



via email to:


Each application will be examined by a panel of specialists.

The Fondazione Giorgio Cini offers co-financing and scholarships to reduce scholars’ cost of stay.


The Residence


Situated in the grounds of the Island of San Giorgio Maggiore, the Residence can accommodate up to 90 scholars in single and double rooms with private restrooms, featuring telephone and wi-fi Internet connection. Self-catering facilities enable residents to economize on food expenses.

The Residence is also equipped with reception, surveillance and cleaning services plus a Laundromat and food dispensers.

To encourage social life and exchanges of ideas, there are a number of shared spaces for use by all guests, such as the living room, the music room, the fitness room and the terrace.


Services connected to the Residence


Research topics


Here are some research guidelines suggested by the Fondazione Giorgio Cini Research Institutes and Centers.

Applicants could elaborate an independent research project, possibly focused on the materials held in the Fondazione libraries and archives.


Art History

Vittorio Cini as art collector and the Fondazione Giorgio Cini art collections


Emilian drawings of architecture, perspective, quadratura and decorations: study and cataloguing of the Antonio Certani collection in the Fondazione Giorgio Cini


Drawings for the decorative arts in the Fondazione Giorgio Cini collections: study and cataloguing


Landscape drawings: study and cataloguing of the works in Fondazione Giorgio Cini collections


Sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Emilian and Bolognese figurative drawings: study and cataloguing of the works in the Antonio Certani collection in the Fondazione Giorgio Cini


Nicolò Cipriani’s “Italian Photo Library” in the Fondazione Giorgio Cini: study, reordering, inventorying (and cataloguing) of a section of the photo library


Giuseppe Fiocco’s photographic collection in the Fondazione Giorgio Cini: study, reordering, inventorying (and cataloguing) of a section of the collection


Rodolfo Pallucchini’s photo library: study and cataloguing of a section of the photo library


Twentieth-century art galleries and collecting: study of the documentary archives of the Cardazzo galleries in the Fondazione Giorgio Cini


Manlio Malabotta’s twentieth-century graphic art collection: drawings, prints and illustrated books: research and cataloguing


N.B. Candidates are invited to contact the Institute ( to view the collections and archives involved in their chosen research themes.


Ancient and rare books

Ancient book collections in the 20th century


Illustration and mise en page of Venetian 15th and 16th century books


17th century printed books held in the Fondazione Giorgio Cini: personal libraries (Munoz, Dudan, Savadori); illustrated books


Chivalric and courtly topics in the illustrated early printed books collection at Fondazione Giorgio Cini


Religious treaties for popular use: Arte del ben morire and Imitatio Christi from the Fondazione Giorgio Cini early printed books collection. Exchanges, relations and collaborations among typographers in 15th and 16th century-Venice


Comparative Studies of Cultures and Spiritualities

The Centre focuses on the study of different cultures, religions and spiritualities from a comparative perspective. This comparison is intended as an instrument for promoting dialogue between civilizations, in order to discuss ideas, but also political, theoretical and aesthetic experiences.


Among the projects we intend to develop:


Mysticism, esotericism, spirituality and popular religion are elusive concepts, which, as Michel De Certeau states, “haunt” the epistemology of contemporary social sciences. We welcome interdisciplinary works on these concepts, connecting philosophical reflections, social sciences and theologies. Scholars are invited to work in the library of the Centre, which host a rich collection on Orientalism, colonial literature, exotericism, and comparative religions.


The boundaries between science and religion are often blurred. Some historians, orientalists and psychoanalysts of the 20th century, such as Mircea Eliade, Henry Corbin, and Carl Gustav Jung, have been called “religionist”; they have, in fact, mixed conceptions and experiences of the sacred together with historical and scientific descriptions. A current within the new religious movements and the New Age culture, called “Quantum Mysticism”, has been adopting the narratives of the natural sciences.

Completely different is the “ontological turn” described by contemporary anthropology, which opens up for the possibility of other realities and dimensions. We invite scholars to explore the boundaries between science, culture and religion.


The relationship with the Other. Almost every religion faces otherness, and problematizes the border between “us” and “them”. The border could be cultural, ethnic, linguistic, or linked to sexual orientation and gender identity. We ask scholars to discuss religious boundaries. How is perceived the Other? Who is the infidel? How do these borders move according to the political and social context?


Between New and Old Age. The social sciences tried to describe changes in religious practices in contemporary societies by employing new categories, such as “religious modernity”, “bricolage”, “post-secular”, and “new age”. The risk is to fall into presentism, ascribing all the characteristics of religious phenomena to the so-called modern turn. We therefore propose to investigate the relationships between old and new trends within religious phenomena.


Phenomenology of the religious body: perceptions, emotions, sensations and construction of the body. We invite scholars to describe and understand the intertwining of body, perception, understanding and culture.


Projects dedicated to the study and valorisation of the Tiziano Terzani Archive, donated by the family to the Giorgio Cini Foundation, containing personal documents and photographs.


Studies on the manuscripts of Indian music theory kept in the Giorgio Cini Foundation


Alain Daniélou and research into Indian music


The Intercultural Institute of Comparative Music Studies at the Giorgio Cini Foundation and the popularizing of Indian music in Italy: a history of forty years of courses, seminars and concerts


For a history of IISMC: birth and development of a new idea of popularization and research on world music


History of the Venetian State and Society

The Archive of the History of the Venetian State contains not only a microfilm library of over 2 million slides reproducing material on the Venetian Republic kept in non-Venetian archives, but also collections of Italian and international books and periodicals on the history and culture of territories influenced by Venetian culture. It thus provides opportunities for detailed, multifaceted studies on the role played by Venice in European diplomacy.


Examples of specific themes that may be referred to are:


The “ego-documents”: papers of a lifetime. The “Tenenti” Bequest. Reconstructing Alberto Tenenti’s profile from a historical, intellectual and networking perspective.


Mixing and sharing ideas: arrivals, departures and in loco elaboration


The relationship between the Serenissima and the Holy See


The knowledge of the territory ruled by the government of the Republic – both on land and at sea – at Palazzo Ducale


Venice’s perception of the world “expanded” by discoveries, as a privileged observatory of changing horizons and therefore as an “eye on the world”


Venice defensive works between 16th and 18th century: Western Stato da Terra – Stato da Mar


The Murazzi sea defense


Enrolling convicts


Relics obsession


Religious places and builiding permits


Between persistence and innovation


Inquiries on Toponymy


Mercenary Eros


The pater familias


Cult of the dead


Self-celebration among noble families


Culture, arts and social differentiation


Venice and the Ottoman Empire


Istituto Italiano Antonio Vivaldi

The Istituto Italiano Antonio Vivaldi of the Giorgio Cini Foundation is an indispensable resource for any kind of research on the Venetian composer, comprising microfilms and photographic copies of manuscripts and coeval compositions by Antonio Vivaldi (instrumental music, sacred and secular vocal music) preserved in libraries and archives worldwide; all modern editions of music; literature (books and articles) on Vivaldi from all countries; and a large collection of audio and video recordings and discs.


Research projects exploring new lines of enquiry and still little known aspects of Antonio Vivaldi’s life and works are welcomed, for example a comparison with Venetian, Italian and European composers of Vivaldi’s time. Specifically, in order to increase the value of the recently acquired Veniero Domini Collection – made by over 1400 recordings (LP, vynils, CDs, videocassettes and DVD) of Antonio Vivaldi’s music works – a special attention will be paid to research projects focused on the evolution of Vivaldi’s interpretation, from the re-discovery of his music in early 20th-century to these days.



The artistic-literary debate in the years of early Futurism, based on documents in the Botta Bequest


Venetian scholarly journals in the mid-18th century


The 18th-century Repubblica letteraria from Ludovico Antonio Muratori to Angelo Calogerà


Giovanni Pascoli and Vittorio Cian: the correspondence between a poet and an intellectual in the early 20th century


Gabriele D’Annunzio and the “Fiume exploit,” based on the documents in the Frumi Bequest


Art and literature in Italy, Germany and the rest of Europe in the mid-20th century, based on the documents in the Geiger Bequest


Italian literary circles in the early 20th century, based on the documents in the Nardi Bequest


The “Veneto tradition” in 20th-century culture and the role of Diego Valeri



The Institute of Music promotes historical and philological research projects aimed at studying its musical archives: see



The theatre of Eleonora Duse


The life and art of Aurel A. Milloss


Luigi Squarzina as stage director and playwright


The artworks of Titina Rota


Theatre theory and practice in Arnaldo Momo’s works


History of drama, based on opera librettos in the Ulderico Rolandi’s Bequest – specifically focused on Veneto and Venetian opera production


Studies on scenic space (space stage) by Elena Povoledo


Stage design in the Veneto from 17th to 20th century


20th- century Italian author’s set design in cinema and theatre Pierluigi Samaritani’s and Mischa Scandella’s set design


Theatre and Movie Direction in the archives of Maurizio Scaparro, Giovanni Poli and Arnaldo Momo


Iconography as a study source for the history of theatre


The iconography of the 19th-century actor