The Science of Rome: a City's Past, Present and Future

October 12, 2021 > February 27, 2022

curated by Fabrizio Rufo and Stefano Papi

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The Science of Rome: a City's Past, Present and Future 12 October 2021__27 February 2022
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Rome has always been a crossroads of science; figures of the calibre of Galileo Galilei, Copernicus, Angelo Secchi, Enrico Fermi, Giovanni Battista Grassi, Stanislao Cannizzaro, Guglielmo Marconi and Vito Volterra, to name but a few, have breathed life over the centuries into a myriad well-known or lesser-known historical and scientific events imbued with humanity, curiosity and a passion for research. Aerospace, agronomy, anthropology, astronomy, biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, medicine and earth sciences: there is not a single discipline that has not found in the city of Rome the perfect stage for its development and indeed on many occasions even its founding moment - one has but to think of astrophysics and nuclear physics.

The exhibition sets out to illustrate the history of scientific ideas and their impact on society through the great scientists who have worked in Rome and the major discoveries that have been made here, the whole through a combination of different languages merging scientific stringency and aesthetic appeal, explanation and emotion. A pithy and intriguing textual narrative accompanies the visitor through the nine sections of the exhibition, alternating with the contemplation of exciting original scientific exhibits often never shown in public before, for example the watercolours depicting the phases of the moon painted by Galileo Galilei, the original skull of Neanderthal Man from Saccopastore, the original implements used by the “boys from Via Panisperna” or Athanasius Kircher's Sciateric Tables.

The exhibition layout is enriched with video exhibits and iconographical apparatus in a fascinating and gripping setting designed to integrate players of different kinds (students, citizens, tourists, students,) also through an approach based on science for the people, by the people. Devising the Rome of the new millennium means representing the image and identify of a unique history. A history in which science also plays a crucial role in addressing the dramatic challenges of the contemporary world.

The Science of Rome  | Photo M3S © 2021 Azienda Speciale Palaexpo
The Science of Rome  | Photo M3S © 2021 Azienda Speciale Palaexpo

The settings for the three exhibitions have been devised by the Formafantasma Studio – Simone Farresin and Andrea Trimarchi – two Italian artists and designers based on Milan and Rotterdam. Listed by the “New York Times” in 2011 as two of the most influential designers for the next decade, they won the Designer of the Year accolade at the Dezeen Awars in 2020.


Palazzo delle Esposizioni's exhibitions are promoted by ROMA Culture (

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