The Headquarters of the Global Campus and of GC Europe/the EMA Programme are located in the Monastery of San Nicolò, on the Venetian island of Lido next to the Church of San Nicolò. As testified by fragments of byzantine mosaics, the complex was built in the XI century, although the current layout of the Monastery was built by Benedictine monks in 1530.

The monks took care of the Monastery until the dissolution of their order in 1770. The management of the Monastery was then entrusted to Franciscan friars who used the facility as an educational centre until they left in 1997. At that point the Municipality of Venice entrusted it to the University of Padua, then coordinator of the European Master’s Programme in Human Rights and Democratisation. In 2002 the EIUC (European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights and Democratisation) assumed responsibility, and since 2019 the Global Campus of Human Rights. We continue to carry out the core educational, training and outreach activities in these ancient premises.

The Monastery is built around a charming central cloister (1530) that hosts a fine well-head (vera da pozzo) with curved wrought-iron top dated 1710. The same ancient space was joined by modern art in 2017, when the Belgian artist Koen Vanmechelen donated the installation “Collective Memory”. Made of Carrara marble, “Collective Memory” depicts a pensive child, inspired by an ancient Greek model, sitting on the Encyclopaedia of Human Rights. It represents human rights as the foundation of civilizations, and in the words of the artist, communicates the message that “every new-born has the right to a life worth living with respect for human rights”.

The Monastery of San Nicolò features a broad range of rooms and facilities which accommodate our varied activities.

  • The Antonio Papisca Hall where EMA students attend most of their classes and present working group results in plenary sessions
  • The specialised multi-disciplinary human rights library and reading room
  • The Mahatma Gandhi Room and the Eleanor Roosevelt Room which host seminars, meetings, workshops, group activities and extra-curricular events
  • The Madres de Plaza de Mayo Room, a particularly attractive venue especially designed for meetings
  • The Anna Politkovskaja Room with its ancient chimney
  • The soundproofed Nelson Mandela Room which hosts meetings, classes and training seminars

For more information on the premises spaces and activities they can host, please contact

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