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Trento Summer School in Adaptive Economic Dynamics is a yearly program promoted by prof. Axel Leijonhufvud with the aim of fostering education and training on subjects centered on a view of economic behavior as an intrinsically dynamic and adaptive process.

The goal of program is to develop those subfields and methods that we envisage will enable economists 10-15 years hence to more adequately address questions and problems that are not satisfactorily treated today.

The Trento Summer Schools aim to recruit some of the best young talent now entering economics into these areas.

We look for prospective students motivating their application by stating: “This subject is not taught at my university.”

Although the program can accept only highly qualified applicants, we try to ensure that a large group of universities and nationalities are represented in each School.  

We hope in this way “to seed” new approaches to economics in faculties around the world.

The School is free of tuition fees.

The program is sponsored by:


Program Directors:    

Axel Leijonhufvud Trento Summer School

XX Edition:
June 3-14, 2019

How it works

A subject and one or more directors are chosen each year by a Scientific Committee.

Students, mostly PhD candidates, are selected on the basis of an open application, according to an evaluation of their cvs, motivation and the subject of their research topic.

Students are involved in three activities: main lectures, given mostly by school directors, aiming at giving a systematic view on the topic; special lectures, offered by guest speakers that  present current advancements of the research; students’ work and presentations: participants are encouraged to discuss their own work with other participants.

A plan of social activities and the location of the school, in a quiet hill resort on, favor intense interactions and the creation of long lasting research ties among participants.

Participants are fully hosted by the School.

The Scientific Board

About Us

Professor Axel Leijonhufvud. Credits: www.ineteconomics.org

Professor Axel Leijonhufvud in 1995 was appointed Professor of Monetary Theory and Policy at the University of Trento, serving until 2008. He is the founder of our Summer School and in  the following  interview he describes the principles inspiring him in running the school:

"This year's summer school is the 18th of a series of intensive courses in Adaptive  Economic Dynamics offered with the financial support of the Latsis Foundation (Geneva)  [...]

Adaptive economic dynamics deals with market or social interactions of numerous  agents and we study these interactions as on-going processes. Traditional economics  has concentrated on equilibria of the process; we are studying the processes for their  own sake and not all of them converge on an equilibrium.

The First Summer School had as its subject Computable Economics  and was offered  in 2000 by Professor Vela Velupillai with guest lecture appearances by Professors  Daniel Heymann, Scott Kelso and Francesco Luna. Several students have travelled a  long distance to come to Trento from Australia, New Zealand, India, Taiwan, Vietnam,  Syria, Argentina, Peru, Mexico, Brazil, the USA, and Canada. Naturally, European  Countries are well represented: Italy, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, the  Czech Republic, Spain, Portugal and Greece.


People who have directed or been guest lecturers in our Summer Schools  are generally well known internationally in their field. The most famous of them are the Nobel Prize Awarded Reinhard Selten (2001's edition) and Joseph Stiglitz (2016's edition): year after year, it is the calibre of the faculty  that explains why we attract applications from all over the world [...]

Here the students learn new methods and are shown how to address research problems that very often are not part of the curricula at most universities. We are giving them an advanced graduate course in subject areas that they can not get at their university and we expose them to some of the best people in the field [...].

They get to discuss with the lecturers, work with them, ask them questions, and so on. Also the Visiting Lecturers stay around for at least five working days and are available to the students throughout their stay in Trento. We get people who are very well-known in their field but we definitely do not invite the kind of academics who fly in, give a talk, and fly out again. The students in our Summer Schools often  maintain contact with the professors also after returning to their home universities [...]."

Professor Joseph Stiglitz

Professor Joseph Stiglitz (Nobel Awarded - 2001) directed the 2016 edition of the Trento  Summer School in AED. He talks about his experience in Trento in this interview:

"I have come to Italy in different occasions and various times. I have been to Siena,  Rome, Florence. This is my first time in Trento for the Summer School (as Director ndr)  but I think this is an excellent one: every year they focus on one topic, which is very  useful. In many Schools you have one topic but then you don’t get any serious deep  discussions. Here, having the whole people whose focus is on the issue for two weeks is  for both the students and for the faculty a very good way for organizing it ... "


Learn more from our current and previous Professors: Daniel Friedman, Anna Grandori and Enrico Zaninotto provide their impressions. 

Visit our Youtube Channel!

How to reach us

‪How to reach Trento‬

Trento is located in the Adige Valley and does not have a major airport. The closest airports are Verona (1 hour by car), Venice (2.5 hours by car) and Innsbruck (2.5 hours by train). Further away are Milan (3 hours) and Munich (5 hours by car). It is possible to rent a car at the Italian airports and leave the car in Trento (notably Sixt has done this, not sure about other rental agencies), but most students arrive by train.

By air plus train: 

  • Verona (approx 60 miles) is the closest airport for Trento, though not all major airlines fly directly into Verona. There is a shuttle bus that connects the airport to the train station. Once on the train, it takes approximately 1 hour. Trains are fairly frequent.
  • Venice (approx 120 miles) does handle many international flights from the US and Asia. There is a shuttle from the airport to the train station. The train trip is about two hours not counting a change in Verona. The wait between trains can be 5 minutes but frequently is around an hour. There is also a local train that goes through and requires a change in Bassano di Grappa. This may be cheaper.
  • Innsbruck (approx. 150 miles) takes connecting flights from international airports. This is a small airport however and connecting services are not as frequent as Venice or Verona. There is a train from Innsbruck to Trento, about 2.5 hours. You have to bus or taxi from the airport to the train station (note: the airport website says that train is available but not having taken it, we cannot confirm if this train exists. The EasyJet site, for example, does not mention trains at last check).
  • Munich (approx 200 miles) handles all major airlines and has links to an express train that stops in Trento - but still figure 5 hours not counting the airport wait. Usually one or two people take this route and so far all have lived to talk about it.
  • Milan (approx 180 miles) has three airports (including Bergamo with different difficulty levels in reaching the train system from the airport. Once on the train, it is about 3 hours for an express and possible more if changing is required in Verona.

There are some other airports in between the major ones such as Brescia or Bolzano. Train service would be shorter but connecting flights are difficult to find and no information is given on these choices.

Foreign travelers need to know that train tickets must be stamped at the station before getting on the train. The stamp is just a date and time stamp that effectively prevents the rider from using the ticket for any other journey that seems unreasonable given the date and time stamp. The machines are little boxes about the size of a shoe box and are mounted on the platforms. If by some chance you forget to stamp your ticket and the conductor is coming, using a pen, write the time and date on one end of the ticket. It may get you out of a fine.

Public transport :
Trentino Trasporti Spa


Radio Taxi

How to reach Villa Madruzzo

Villa Madruzzo is located to the east of Trento on one of the small slopes that surrounds the city. It is about a 45 minute walk downhill to Trento. It is rather longer in the other direction. However, sidewalks are hit or miss in Trento and buses or taxis are suggested.

A quick note: There are two bus routes that run from Trento to near Villa Madruzzo and back. The hotel recommends the number 9 on their website even though the stop is a bit further to walk to. This is an urban bus and uses a different ticket than the extra-urban line. The extraurban buses, on the other hand, are closer and so a quicker route to Trento but those buses do not travel as frequently since they are extra-urban lines. The ticket for these can be purchased on the bus (according to the hotel last year but I am not promising this!). To get to the this stop, follow the route in red in the following map: exit the hotel and turn right, going downhill. The stop is at the first intersection. However, be warned that this information about extra urban may be outdated as things have changed recently. Directions for the number 9 stop are given in further detail below.


Public transport (i.e. the bus company):
Trentino Trasporti Spa (the main site)

The page for the urban bus lines (extraurbans are on the same site)


Radio Taxi

Assuming arrival at the main train station, the directions by bus are easy according to the hotel: take the number Nine bus and get off at the stop called 'Scuole' - which means "School". Sticking with the 'easy' theory of the hotel for a moment: tickets for the buses are available in the station of course and in general at any place with a large black 'T' (which means Tobacco shop) or some newstands. Once on the bus, the rider is required to validate the ticket by sticking it in a machine that writes the date and time on the ticket. Once stamped, the ticket is good only for 70 minutes ( I think ).

Ok, so now you are on the number 9 bus and going up the hill to the hotel. How to know what stop to get off at? The best way is to talk to the driver. No Italian is necessary, just say 'Villa Madruzzo?' at each stop. Or if you prefer 'Ciao signore, qui è Villa Madruzzo?' (Chow, seen_or_ay, kwee  ay Villa Madruzzo?). The drivers are all nice and will tell you the stop.

Then, however, there is about a 800 yard walk to the hotel. It is one of those deals where it is easy to get to if you know where to go. Signs in Italy are also hit and miss. Streets are usually indicated on the sides of buildings rather than on poles in intersections. However, this is mostly true for the cities and signs are skipped a lot elsewhere.

Should you want to attempt walking from the bus stop (where 'A' is the bus stop and 'B' is Villa Madruzzo, hopefully the following helps:


Step by Step:

Get off the bus.
Turn around to face the roundabout, traffic circle (you have just driven through this):



Go to the roundabout.
Hang a sharp left. (by car this would mean traveling 270 degrees around the traffic circle and then making a right).

This road is called 'Ponte Alto' which means 'High Bridge' in Italian as the road ends in a bridge over a canyon of sorts. There is also a lower bridge over the same canyon, in case you wondered.

In order to get to Villa Madruzzo, follow 'Ponte Alto' for quite some distance (best guess 800 yards, but I've never walked it). After this distance, on the right will be a sort of low castle wall. Just before this wall is the entrance to Villa Madruzzo. (You can continue on the Ponte Alto if you wish to come in the front, however you will have to go down a hill and then go back up the same hill to get to the same spot as the back entrance takes you).

Previous intensive courses

Previous intensive courses were offered in:

Free Time

The festival of Economics:

Festival economia

The most important Italian event on Economics is in Trento. The whole city becomes the theater for seminars, debates and entertainment. Economists and politicians, experts coming from the best universities in the world will meet in Trento for the festival that already hosted Joseph Stiglitz, Micheal Spence, Enrico Moretti, Tito Boeri, Daron Acemoglu and many others in the previous editions. The 2017 edition is about health inequalities within and among countries and social classes. Get the chance to partecipate to the Festival and to the Trento Summer School in June 2017!

Free Time: Trento and Surroundings


Trento is a city in the Northeast Italy: one of the most importan regions as far as turism and art are concerned. Surrounded by Dolomite mountains, Trento is near to some of the most visited italian destinations. From the Arena of Verona to the modern Renzo Piano's masterpieces, from Romeo and Juliet to the beauty of Venice: don't miss Trento, Bolzano, Verona, Venezia, Rovereto, the MART, the lakes, the mountains... the beauty. In one word: Italy! Download thebrochure and start planning your amazing week-end after attending our guest stars' lectures.

Visit our Youtube channel!



Summer School Secretariat
Department of Economics and Management
University of Trento - Italy