About us

The DES at Sapienza University of Rome was formally born in 1985, by joining of the institutes of Geology and Paleontology, of Mineralogy and Petrography and of Geochemistry. In spite of this, it can be considered one of the oldest department of Earth Sciences in Italy since its roots can be dated back to the setting up of the chairs of Mineralogy and Natural History by Pope Pio VII on November 13th, 1804.

The study of Earth Sciences at Sapienza University of Rome has seen the succession of distinguished scientists such as Gian Alberto Blanc, first professorship of Geochemistry in Italy (1928) and Federico Millosevich, first professorship of Petrography in Italy (1938). Outstanding scientists are also Ettore Onorato, who early studied minerals by X-ray diffraction (1926), Felice Ippolito, who established the magazine “Le Scienze” (1968), Mario Fornaseri, who studied the geochemical and petrographical characters of the Alban Volcanic Complex (1963), and Bruno Accordi, who first studied the dwarf elephants (1972).

The DES is proud to host the rich collections of the historical museums of Mineralogy, Geology and Paleontology, which forms the most significant academic collection of Earth Sciences in Italy.

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