The archives of the Italian astronomical observatories preserve written records of the activities of some of the oldest scientific institutions of our country.

Documents, rather than books, can be found inside the historical archives. Most of them are handwritten, and reveal the relationships of the astronomers with the scientific community, the politicians, and the society of the time.
The historical archives contain firsthand sources for historical research and are a precious and unique cultural heritage.

  • oa_arcetri

    Astrophysical Observatory of Arcetri

    The Observatory of Arcetri, built by Giovanni Battista Donati, was inaugurated 27 October, 1872. It replace the Specola of the Torrigiani Palace wich was opened since 1778. The hill of Arcetri, also, had a huge symbolic value: here, Galileo lived and died in the villa Il Gioiello. In 1925 G. Abetti built the first solar tower in Italy. It was used for observations until 1972. Archives

  • sp_bologna

    Specola of Bologna

    The specola is a facility of the Astronomy Department of the University of Bologna and is located in the tower built in 1712 by G. A. Torri on Palazzo Poggi. It houses the instruments of Count Marsili. Innocent XIII ensured that the work was finished for the Holy Year of 1725. On 29 April 1726, finally, the astronomer had the ease to come and live in the Institute....

  • oss_brera

    Astronomical Observatory of Brera

    Founded in 1764 by G. R. Boscovich, the Observatory of Brera is the oldest scientific institution in Milano. Since 1923, it, also, has a second site in Merate at Villa San Rocco. The Observatory, with its domes (one houses a Merz telescope), is historically linked to the observations of Mars made by Giovanni Virginio Schiaparelli since 1877.

  • oa_cagliari

    Astronomical Observatory of Cagliari

    In 1899 the astronomical station of Carloforte, on the San Pietro island, was one of the five sites of the International Latitude Service to measure the variation in the Earth's latitude. The current station was built in 1978, at the same latitude of Carloforte, in Punta sa Menta at Poggio dei Pini. In 2002, the station was renamed Astronomical Observatory of Cagliari. Archives

  • oss_capodimonte

    Astronomical Observatory of Capodimonte

    The Observatory of Napoli, opened in 1819, was built on the Miradois hill close to the Bourbon palace of Capodimonte. It is in an enviable position overlooking the splendid panorama of Napoli and its bay. The building, ...a magnificent architectural monument and a temple worthy of Urania, was conceived by F. Zuccari and designed by S. Gasse.

  • oss_catania

    Astrophysical Observatory of Catania

    The Observatory of Catania continues the studies on solar physics and astronomy that characterizes it since the foundation, in 1880, of the Vincenzo Bellini Observatory located at the base of the main crater of Etna, at 2,941 m. The geographical position of Catania has enabled almost 100 years of observations, still in progress, of solar activity.

  • oss_padova

    Astronomical Observatory of Padova

    On 21 May 1761, the Senate of Venezia established in Padova an observatory in the high tower of Castelvecchio, the prison of Ezzellino da Romano. The construction works began in 1767 and, due to the collaboration between G. Toaldo and the architect D. Cerato, in 10 years, one of the finest astronomical observatories of the 1700s was realized.

  • oss_palermo

    Astronomical Observatory of Palermo

    The Palace of the Normans, former royal palace of Ruggero II, houses the Observatory. The astronomer G. Piazzi obtained from Ferdinand III of Sicilia, in 1790, the permission to build an observatory on St. Ninfa tower. The observatory plan was reduced to just the essentials. The only valuable architectural element was a small marbled circular temple for the Ramsden circle. Archives

  • oss_roma

    Astronomical Observatory of Roma

    The Observatory of Roma was established in 1935 on Monte Mario in Villa Mellini. It replaced the observatories of the Campidoglio, built by Leo XII in 1827, and of the Collegio Romano, established by Clement XIV in 1774. A second site, created in 1939 at Monte Porzio Catone, should have housed a refractor. The plan was interrupted by the outbreak of World War II.

  • oss_teramo

    Astronomical Observatory of Teramo

    The Observatory of Collurania was built in 1890 on the personal initiative of Vincenzo Cerulli who wanted to show all his devotion to science and public education, ... and to put into effect one of the desires that the observatories... are not built in large cities but in places far from populated centres so that they then enjoy a perfect atmospheric trasparency.

  • oss_torino

    Astronomical Observatory of Torino

    In 1759 G. B. Beccaria adapted to the specola a tower on Via Po, making observations from 1761. In 1789, Vittorio Amedeo III established the first observatory in the Accademia delle Scienze. Plana decided to move it in 1822 to Palazzo Madama. In 1913, Boccardi shifted the observatory to its current site in Pino Torinese, which was already identified by Porro a decade earlier. Archives

  • Sample Work

    Astronomical Observatory of Trieste

    The first observatory was built in 1851 to become, in 1866, an Institute of Merchant Shipping. In 1898, the Observatory, directed by F. Anton, became autonomous and moved into the Basevi palace, between the hills of San Giusto and San Vito. In 1964, due to a great development of research, the new astronomical station of Basovizza was built on Trieste karst. Archives