The “Citadel of Natural Sciences” was dreamed by Prof. Salvatore Furia (1924-2010) since the 1950s.
He was born in Sicily but for some reasons he reached Varese, in northern Italy, in 1940.
He was immediately fascinated by the local mountain, “Campo dei Fiori”, and since then he fell in love with it.
On 1956, he founded the “Società Astronomica G.V.Schiaparelli”, a place unique in Italy where volunteers of all ages, most of them very young, spend their free-time for the popularization of natural sciences, to “build a bridge between people and science“.
The Citadel is composed of:
– an astronomical observatory, named in honor of the great Italian astronomer Giovanni Virginio Schiaparelli;
– a botanical garden, named after “Ruggero Tomaselli”, an internationally famous botanist, who supported the garden from the very beginning, and a coldhouse for the safekeeping of local endemics and biodiversity;
– the “Centro Geofisico Prealpino” for the studies of the weather, climatic and seismic conditions in Lombardy.
Because everything was missing at those times, the necessary funds were the fruit of contributions of many people, who believed in the ideals of Prof. Furia.
Some of them donated money, some of them the land for the buildings, and some their free work for the completion of the place, which required years of hard work.
Now, we have a terrific heritage: to do our best in order to honor people who gave their lifetime for the construction of such a place.
For my part, observations never end.