The 2019 edition of the prestigious annual Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), by independent research organisation Shanghai Ranking Consultancy, named La Sapienza as Italy's top university.
The ranking is based on criteria including the number of alumni and staff winning Nobel Prizes and Fields Medals and the number of highly-cited researchers.
The top 30 places in the international table were dominated by US and UK universities, with the top three places once again taken by Harvard, Stanford and Cambridge.
The highest ranking universities in Europe included ETH Zurich (in 19th place) and the University of Copenhagen (26th).
Rome came much further behind in 153rd place, closely followed by Italy's University of Pisa and the Statale di Milano.
But it's an improvement on last year's ranking, where La Sapienza fell into the 201-300 range
The 2019 ranking was described by La Sapienza president Eugenio Gaudio as a “remarkable leap forward.”
ARWU ranks the world's top 1,800 universities – out of a total of 17,000 – publishing an annual list of the top 1,000.
A total of 46 Italian universities feature in the 2019 ARWU ranking.
Another international ranking released in June 2019 also put La Sapienza in the top spot, while an Italian survey last month ranked Bologna's historic campus as the best large university in the country.