Agricultural universities are forms of management of ‘common goods’ i.e. collectively owned areas. They date from the Roman period and its decline. There was strong opposition to them in feudal times, but in some areas, they are still in operation. There are such examples in other countries like the Allmenden in Switzerland and the Mir in Russia.
At the end of the organization of the Roman municipalities, unassigned areas were grouped into ‘universitates hominum’ and residents were given collectively the power to sow, graze, cut firewood, collect grass, build huts, etc .. With the birth of Commons, some universities became part of the municipal assets while others retained the ownership of common land.
The University of Allumiere Agriculture is the largest in Italy (after Tolfa) and manages more than 5,500 hectares of woods, pasture and agriculture.