Luca Serianni's Sapienza
On behalf of herself and the entire University community, Rector Antonella Polimeni expresses her deepest condolences on the passing of Luca Serianni, Professor Emeritus at Sapienza University of Rome. Serianni was an illustrious linguist and philologist, a point of reference in national culture for studies on the Italian language.
He was a member of the Accademia della Crusca and the Accademia dei Lincei, vice-president of the Dante Alighieri Society, and editor of the Devoto-Oli Storia della lingua italiana dictionary for many years.
Internationally, he was awarded an honorary degree from the University of Valladolid and an honorary doctorate from the University of Athens.
He taught History of the Italian Language at Sapienza until his retirement in 2017. His students loved him so much that each course ended with a standing ovation. In 2014, after forty years of teaching and academic activity, he gave his farewell lecture entitled "Insegnare l'italiano nell'università e nella scuola" in a packed Lecture Hall 1 of the Faculty of Art and Humanities. On that day, Serianni stated, 'Those who have chosen to teach cannot grant themselves the luxury of being pessimistic'.
After his retirement, Luca Serianni supervised, together with his colleague Valeria Della Valle, the Sapienza manual "Scrivere con Sapienza - Manuale per testi chiari, corretti ed efficaci", signing its introduction.
The study of the Italian language was not only his profession but a great passion to which he dedicated his entire life. Very active on the cultural scene in the capital and in his native Ostia, where he lived for many years, he gave lectures and participated in television programmes, also bringing the general public closer to linguistics and languages and their link with culture.
On Monday, July 25, students, lecturers, staff and representatives of institutions gathered in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities for an emotional farewell. The Rector, colleagues, and former students recalled Luca Serianni's scientific stature and human qualities, thanking him for what he gave to the university community and the Italian culture and for the extraordinary legacy he has left behind.