Ecology Awards of Varese city

Initiative dedicated to the unforgettable teacher Salvatore Furia, founder of Società Astronomica G.V. Schiaparelli, center of Cittadella di Scienze della Natura, on top of  Campo dei Fiori, researcher, naturalist, journalist, scientific writer, example of high and unceasing diligence, humanity, professionalism and spirit of service whose recognitions for the human, cultural and scientific worths, which have contributed to raise in the world the name of Varese, his city of adoption.

The project foresees the Ecology Award of Varese City, founded in 1986 by Comune di Varese according to professor Furia, that had founded it in 1973.  It’s one of the first awards in Italy dedicated to ecology, and maybe one of the first in Europe, also. A visionary recognition that anticipated  the times and  which it was interrupted during the years ’90 .

The prize will be assigned to a researcher of environmental and naturalistic sciences of international fame, he will be chosen by a special scientific committee composed by representatives of: Comune di Varese, Astronomic Society “G.V. Schiapparelli”, European Commission. Joint Research Centre Ispra, University of the Studies of the Insubria, ARPA Lombardy.- Regional  Agnecy for the Protection of the environment.

In 2017, the prize  will be assigned to Professor Stefano Mancuso




He was born in November,24 1924 in Catania, Salvatore Furia reached Varese when he was 16 years old :he told that, the first October 1940, arrived at the station of the city in which he would have spent all of his life, he was  captured by Campo dei Fiori’s mountain, illuminated by the sun in distance.

His passion for  astronomy and nature marked deeply his existence and it brought him to make true his dream, that became larger in the time, began in  1956. In this year he founded in Varese an association for passionetes, the “Group Astrofili varesini”, become then the Astronomic Society G.V. Schiaparelli, where it began to spread the scientific interest for the stars and the celestial bodies. The first center of the association was the eighteenth-century oratory of Villa Mirabello, center of the Civic Museums, where the professor Furia involved the public with open meetings, and subsequently the Tower littoria in center city. Member of the Italian Astronomic association from 1953, for many years as student, it devoted him to the celestial observations near the Astronomic observatory of Brera.

Fascinated by Campo dei Fiori, of which  he well understood the great potentialities as place of observation, of study and of naturalistic safeguard, Savior Fury realized his ambitious project, thanks to some benefactors that believed in him giving life to the Citadella delle Scienze: in the 1960 Adele and Sai Vita gave him the funds for the construction of the first observatory and in 1963 Sofia Stringer Zambeletti destined to the structure wooded grounds destined to the safeguard of the enviroment. In 1965 the observatory was inaugurated entitled to the astronomer Giovanni Virginio Schiaparelli, to which it was added in the years the Centro Geofisico Prealpino, the Centro Studi Botanici and the Serra Fredda. In 1981, thanks to the generosity of brothers Mascioni, it was realized the construction of the observatory seismological and, thanks to Bernard Mascioni in 1997, the erection of the second dome destined to the study of the sky. In  2004 Regione Lombardia and Provincia financed the construction of the third dome and the construction of the new Centro Studi Botanici.

But its dream  was realized above all him thanks to his obstinacy, to his enthusiasm and also to his personal work and of his collaborators: all these passionate boys that, they for instance realized with means of fortune the road that brings to Porta Paradiso or the botanical garden “Ruggero Tomaselli.” And we have to underline that from great communicator and scientific researcher, Furia knew how to involve numerous young people that found in the Citadel of the Sciences a perfect place to stay.

Between the numerous attestations and awards he received, we have to remember about him: in 1971 the Diploma and the gold medal as Benemerito della Cultura, della Scuola e dell’Arte, released by the President of the Republic, in 1982 he has been named Commendatore della Repubblica Italiana, in 1982 the Rosa Camuna conferred him, by Regione Lombardia, in 1989,the degree honoris causes in Natural Sciences at the university of Albany in the United States, in 1992 the San Francesco Award for the communication and the education received to Assisi, in 2001 the Martinella del Broletto, maximum city honor, in 2002 the Premio Provincia di Varese for its activity for the guardianship of the territory.

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