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:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • research project + basic bibliography
                                                                                                                                                                                                • 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.

Fondazione Giorgio Cini volumes research on OPAC

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

Prisco Bagni’s photographic collection: study, reorganization and inventory

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

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, Salvadori); illustrated books

Book illustration

Exchanges, relations and collaborations among typographers in 15th and 16th century-Venice

Modern antiques: the book trade through sales catalogs

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.

Digital technologies for the enhancement of Cultural Heritage
ARCHiVe | Analysis and Recording of Cultural Heritage in Venice, a project of the Giorgio Cini Foundation, Factum Foundation and EPFL’s Digital Humanities Lab intends to encourage research in the field of digital conservation and enhancement of Cultural Heritage (archives, book and art collections, architectural complexes and green areas) of the Giorgio Cini Foundation, but not only.
Applicants can apply with a freely chosen project relying on the support of the ARCHiVe team for in-depth study of the following topics:

Digitization of archival holdings in different media (paper, photographic, magnetic)
Digitization of bound bibliographic materials, ancient and modern
Automation of image post production processes
Data representation systems
Linked Open Data for Cultural Heritage
Online dissemination of content and sources: technologies, methodologies, opportunities, issues
Digital for accessibility and inclusiveness in the context of Cultural Institutions

History of European Seminar in Ethnomusicology

Editing audio visual documents to create video clips and texts with archival materials

Study of Alain Daniélou manuscripts

Revising and study of Bîrûn project. Seminars on Ottoman 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 at Fondazione Giorgio Cini has an invaluable endowment for any study of the Venetian composer: copies (microfilm, photographs, digital copies) of musical sources (manuscripts and prints of the period) of all Antonio Vivaldi’s compositions (plays, sacred and secular vocal music, instrumental music), preserved in libraries and archives around the world, modern music editions, and a complete collection of international Vivaldi literature (monographs and essays), audio and video recordings, and recordings.
Research projects on new lines of inquiry and as yet little explored aspects of Antonio Vivaldi’s biography, oeuvre, and compositional thought, including in relation to Venetian, Italian, and European composers contemporary with him, as well as research projects on the evolution of Vivaldi’s interpretation from the rediscovery of Prete Rosso’s music in the early decades of the twentieth century to the present day, are welcome.

Benno Geiger in dialogue with Italian poets and writers

Benno Geiger in dialogue with German-speaking poets and writers

Benno Geiger translator and poet

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

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

History of Egida Sartori Early Music Seminar from 1976 to these days


The theatre of Eleonora Duse

The life and art of Aurel A. Milloss

Luigi Squarzina as stage director and playwright

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