The Astronomical Copernican Museum of Rome

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Private tour of the astronomical and Copernican museum in Rome

Astronomical Observatory of Rome local tour

The Astronomical and Copernican Museum of the INAF – Astronomical Observatory of Rome (OAR) has a large and complete heritage that embraces a historical period that goes from the 16th century to the present day. The instruments, the ancient books, the archives, the original documents, the observation registers come mainly from the two main Roman astronomical observatories of the nineteenth century, the Specola del Collegio Romano (1787) and the Specola del Campidoglio (1827), in addition to the material more recent result of the activities carried out by the Rome Observatory in the twentieth century at the headquarters of Monte Mario. Added to this is the collection of Copernican works and memorabilia collected by the Polish historian Arturo Wolynski on the occasion of the celebrations of Nicolò Copernico (1473-1543) on the 400th anniversary of his birth held in Rome in 1873.

Astronomical observatory of Rome private tour

The historical path is spread over two locations. The oldest heritage, which corresponds to the original collections of the Astronomical and Copernican Museum, together with the ancient library, is located at Villa Mellini in Monte Mario, which is also the headquarters of the National Institute of Astrophysics (INAF). Also in Monte Mario there is the Solar Tower, which can be visited by schoolchildren by appointment every Friday. Thanks to an agreement with the Army General Staff, at the same time as the Solar Tower it is possible to visit the Tower of the Prime Meridian of Italy, which is located on the garrison of Belsito (in front of Villa Mellini) managed by the III Transmissions Regiment.

Astronomical Observatory of Rome - fascist architecture in rome private tour

The most recent history, starting from the second half of the nineteenth century and therefore from the birth of astrophysics, is housed in the headquarters of the Observatory in Monte Porzio Catone (Rome), where the works are distributed in various rooms and where the historical path is an integral part of the offer for the dissemination of science aimed at students and the general public, an offer that OAR has implemented in recent years thanks to structures such as Astrolab and initiatives such as Astrokids Night and scientific aperitifs.

THE ASTRONOMY AND ELECTRONIC MUSIC

Riccardo Bianchini astronomer and composer

Cipriani A. 2007. “Riccardo Bianchini and Electronic Music” in Musica/Tecnologia n.1, Firenze University Press (it contains the definitive catalogue of Riccardo Bianchini works) 

Riccardo Bianchini astronomer and electronic music composer

…01-16-1969. Sometimes it seems to me that the music I write doesn’t have a beginning or end but is simply the transference into our dimension of music that always exists without interruption in another dimension, something like an infinite tape that is always running which is attached to a loudspeaker every once in a while… I’m leafing through Riccardo Bianchini’s diaries; he wrote this thought when he was 23 years old… 5 years later, in 1974, he would begin teaching electronic music, first in Pescara, then in Milan and finally at the Conservatory of Rome, where he died unexpectedly on June 9, 2003, as he was getting ready to go into the classroom. Bianchini has always been linked to musical research, to passion for experimentation, to a profound knowledge of the relationship between science and music. As a composer, teacher, researcher he was very open, profoundly human, dedicated and vital. Looking at the diaries from his younger years that his wife Ambretta kindly showed me a few days ago, I discover many unknown aspects of a composer who was generally unaware of competition and power, from both political and human points of view. And perhaps it was for this that the newspapers wrote very little about him at his death (with the exception of a nice article by Nicola Sani in «Diario» N. 24).

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