Peculiar research structures

Arctic Station ‘Dirigibile Italia’

Base artica ‘Dirigibile Italia’The Italian Arctic Station Dirigibile Italia is a multidisciplinary research facility located in Ny-Ålesund in the Norwegian Archipelago of  Spitzbergen (Svalbard). The station is managed by the National Research Council of Italy (Cnr) and the activities are coordinated by the Polar Support Unit of the Cnr Department of Earth and Environment: POLARNET.

The station was opened in 1997, in memory of the Airship Italia expedition of Umberto Nobile, and supports interdisciplinary research: chemistry and physics of the atmosphere, marine biology, technology research, oceanography, environmental studies, human biology and medicine.

The research station runs also the Amundsen-Nobile Climate Change Tower, measuring atmospheric parameters. In addition, the ‘Gruvebadet Laboratory' for sampling aerial pollutants and particles is part of the station's facilities. The station has a membership in the Ny-Ålesund Marine Laboratory consortium, an experimental laboratory for research in marine ecology, physiology, and biochemistry.

Documentary ‘A nord di Capo Nord’


Mario Zucchelli Station and Concordia Station

Stazione ‘Mario Zucchelli’ Cnr partecipates to the National Programme of Antarctic Research (PNRA) started in 1985. The Programme has brought to the construction of the coastal Station Mario Zucchelli, opened during the austral summer, and the construction (together with the French Programme) of a permanent year-round Station, the Concordia Station.

Mario Zucchelli Station is build on the coast of Terra Nova Bay, on the granite rock of the coastal belt of the Northern Victoria Land. The station has a surface of 7100 m2 and its research topics are: offshore marine biology, terrestrial biology, oceanography, geomagnetic observations, geodesy, onshore geology, glaciology, meteorological observations, ionospheric/auroral observations, cosmic ray observations, seismology and environmental monitoring. 


Base Concordia

Tra cielo e terraThe Concordia Station, which opened in 2005, is a French-Italian research facility that was build 3233 m above sea level at a location called Dome C on the Antarctic Plateau, Antarctica. E' GESTITA DA PNRA E IPEV (Institut polaire français Paul Émile Victor).

The Dome C site is already being tested for future studies on Astronomy and Atmospheric Science.

Video  "Tra cielo e terra: panorami dell’Antartide"


The Pyramid – Ev-K2-Cnr Committee

The Pyramid International Laboratory/Observatory high altitude scientific research center is located at 5,050 m (16,568 ft.) a.s.l., in the Khumbu Valley, Sagarmatha National Park, at the base of the Nepali side of Everest. 

Laboratorio ‘Piramide’It has been offering the international scientific community a priceless opportunity to study the environment, climate, human physiology and geology in a remote mountain protected area.  The Pyramid is jointly managed by the Ev-K2-Cnr Committee.

It offers a unique opportunity for the study of climate and environmental changes, medicine and human physiology in extreme conditions, geology, geophysics and seismic phenomena.

It is totally self sufficient, using only renewable energy provided by a large solar power system.  Waste is managed in collaboration with the Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee according to local regulations.



Ex tonnara di Capo Granitola (Trapani)

The Cnr Institute for Coastal Marine Environment (IAMC) is composed of 6 Support Units of Work (UOS) traditionally involved in the marine environment issues, with particular regard to geological, chemical, physical and biological aspects. The IAMC-CNR Support Units of Work of Capo Granitola carries out activities and national and international research projects aimed at studying the functioning of marine ecosystems, with particular reference to interactions between environmental variables and renewable resources of the sea, for their rational and sustainable exploitation.

The base of Capo Granitola is located in a restored tuna net building, on two acres 1,100 square meters of the total two acres are use as offices and laboratories located on the southeast coast of Sicily, in the town of Campobello di Mazara. Thank to its central position in the Mediterranean basin and to the use of sophisticated ICT technologies, it is proposed as a reference point for mesoscale observation of phenomena that characterized the Sicilian Channel and for the development of a Euro-Mediterranean cohesion processes based on sustainability and on the knowledge economy.  To that end, are already active many collaborations with scientific Bodies and management institutions of the Mediterranean Basin and other European countries and beyond.

The research activity is integrated with an experimental technology component closely related to the scientific issues addressed. The UOS of Capo Granitola, in particular, makes investigations on the marine environment with a strong interdisciplinary approach, carrying out research aimed at the knowledge in terms of physical, biological, chemical, geological and ecological point of view. UOS of Capo Granitola’s laboratories were born to meet the need of creating an oceanographic research house in an interdisciplinary perspective. Therefore, competences based on the four fundamental scientific roots of Physics, Biology, Chemistry and Geology are merged into them (UOS). The last three scientific "souls" of the structure, in turn, are blended together in certain aspects, giving rise to a Bio-Geo-Chemistry soul, susceptible to represent the main response to the need for qualitative and quantitative compositional characterization of an ecosystem.

Source: IFI (Internationalization of the Sicilian ichthyic supply chain)

Ex tonnara di Capo Granitola (Trapani)












Villa ‘De Marchi’ (Verbania-Pallanza)

Marco De MarchiThe Verbania section of Institute of Ecosystem Study (CNR-ISE), is the continuation of the formerly Italian Institute for Hydrobiology, founded in 1938, to study the biology of freshwater organisms, the physics and the chemistry of inland waters. The Institute is based in a wonderful 19th century villa directly on the waterfront of Verbania-Pallanza, that was donated to the State by Dr. Marco de Marchi (a well known naturalist from Milan), and the Institute named in his honour.

A number of world famous researchers directed the Institute in this 75 years: during the war Edgardo Baldi, was able to keep the Institute active not only ensuring funds, but also inviting and hiding researchers that because of their political ideas were in danger in their own places. A number of outstanding studies in microbiology, in genetics, and in very early microbial ecology were performed during or just after the war: Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza and his brilliant teacher Adriano Buzzati Traverso were able to obtain impressive results on the study of bacterial recombination, and by using E. coli to come to a early mathematical model of the crossing-over. Vittorio and Livia Pirocchi Tonolli, who directed the Institute after the war, up to the ‘70s, were science philanthropists, investing a lot of their own funds in supporting the research at the Institute.

Nowadays about 40 people, including researchers, technical and administrative staff, are dealing with studies on basic and applied research in freshwater ecology and limnology, working on unsolved problems from antrophization to climate change, from ecological theory to studies on atmospheric depositions.

Source: Cnr-ISE Verbania

Brochure "Storia della sede di Pallanza"


Thalossographic Institute “A.Cerutti”

The Thalossographic Institute “A.Cerutti” is the operative unit in Taranto of the Institute for Coastal Marine Environment of the National Research Council (IAMC-CNR).

Its most representative research areas are: marine biology, marine ecology, marine chemistry, oceanography, microbial ecology.


Data source: Office Information Communication and URP

Last update: 26/04/2021