Rendiconti Online della Società Geologica Italiana - Vol. 62/2024

Torquato Taramelli (1845-1922), pioneer of the glossary and the series of formations for modern geology in Italy between 1867 and 1881

Claudia Lupi1, Fabiana Console2 & Filomena Severino2
1Department of earth and Environmental Science, University of Pavia.
2Italian Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (ISPRA), Rome, Italy.
Corresponding author e-mail:

Volume: 62/2024
Pages: 118-129


In this work, the fundamental role of Torquato Taramelli as a scientist in the nascent field of geology in Italy is highlighted through some unpublished writings dating from 1867 and 1881. Crucial elements for the affirmation of modern geological science in Italy were the recognition of the essential role of geologists and paleontologists in the creation of accurate geological maps of the country, the development of a standardised stratigraphic sequence and the adoption of a uniform glossary. Here, published and unpublished documents preserved in the library of the Higher Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (ISPRA) were used to reconstruct the crucial stages of Taramelli’s career. Along with a meticulous process of reading and interpretation, the study offers new perspectives and valuable insights for reconstructing the history of science. In particular, it has revealed Taramelli’s concept of a geological service and his contributions, both in the field and in discussions among scientists, towards the publication of the first geological map of Italy.


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