Passions & Places

Musei scientifici di Villa Vitali


Scientific Museums at Villa Vitali
The City of Fermo

Le Marche

Just outside the medieval walls of Fermo, on Viale Trento, the street that connects the city centre to the sea, you will find Villa Vitali, a three-floored, nineteenth century building that was erected in 1827 as the aristocratic seat. The land upon which the villa stands was home to a temple in the past: this is reason that in the nineteenth century, Count Barnaba Vitali built a small chapel inside the house, which remained the district’s parish church until the Seventies. Acquired by municipality in the following years, the elegant structure is now home to the Scientific Museum of Fermo.

The Silvio Zavatti Popular Ethnographic Museum
The five polar expeditions led by Silvio Zavatti between 1959 and 1969 make up the treasure that this museum originates from; it was founded in Civitanova Marche by Zavatti himself. Acquired in 1985 by the municipality of Fermo, the museum was inaugurated at Villa Vitali eight years later. It contains collections of specimens of Arctic and Antarctic flora and fauna, instruments for work, objects of daily use, ethnographic materials and sleighs used during the expeditions, as well as being the only institute to preserve Inuit exhibits. A large space is also dedicated to the history of the explorations and to the specialist library, which boasts 3,000 monographs and 15,000 journals.

Tommaso Salvadori Natural Science Museum
Born in Porto San Giorgio in 1835, Tommaso Salvadori was one of the most illustrious ornithologists of the 19th century. He was Vice-Director of the Natural Science Museum in Turin and also worked at the British Museum. The museum keeps his enormous personal collection, including important, thematic contributions on exotic, Italian avifauna and an ornithological collection of around 500 specimens, some of which are extremely rare or even extinct, like the Hazel Grouse, the White-headed Duck or the Black Vulture.

Matacotta Cordella Camera Collection.
Housed in Villa Vitali’s oval studio, the collection of cameras donated to the museum by Ambassador Alfredo Matacotta Cordella includes 166 pieces, amongst them cameras and accessories. The fourteen precious twin-lens Rolleiflexs are of particular interest, as are the Leica and the rare Contaflex. The collection bears witness to the progress of photographic techniques, from the first years of the 20th century until the arrival of digital. The donation is in memory of the photographer from Fermo, Nicola Cordella, whose great-grandson is the ambassador.

Nicola Rizzi Pipe Museum
Roman doctor Nicola Rizzi, champion of the ‘slow smoke’ and a passionate collector, is the principal donor to this collection, which includes 450 pipes, amongst which ancient examples of quality stand out, like those carved out of briar root or solidified sea foam. Given that there is an opportunity for enthusiasts to donate or cede their pipes and related accessories, the museum is constantly expanding.

The Meteorite Room
On 26 September, 1996, a meteorite weighing exactly 10kg falls onto Fermo countryside: it is the beginning of a fascinating journey into knowledge of the cosmos that has still not reached a conclusion. Fermo, which is the name of the meteorite, because of the uniqueness of its dimensions and weight, is of extremely important value to the study of the relationship between the earth and the sun, magnetism and alloys. Twelfth among the meteorites that fell in the 20th century, it is kept in a room whose well-lit ceiling suggestively reproduces the northern hemisphere.

Opening Times:
Winter Timetable
1 September – 31 May
Monday to Friday: 9.00-12.30 / 15.30-18.30
Closed Tuesday and Thursday afternoon.
Saturday: 15.30-18.00
Sunday and Public Holidays: 15.30-19.00

Summer Timetable
1 June – 31 August
Monday to Friday: 9.00-12.30 / 15.30-18.30
Closed Tuesday and Thursday afternoon.
Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays: 16.00-20.00

Special thanks to

Municipality of Fermo


Municipality of Fermo, Department of Tourism


Copyright Liberation Ventures Ltd.

 | Map  |  Print  |