Da Torino all'Oceano Indiano, passando per le Alpi. Vitaliano Donati scienziato e viaggiatore, alle origini della scienza moderna
On the third centenary of the birth of Vitaliano Donati (1717-1762), a tribute to his scientific position in the history of the Piedmontese sciences is due. He was born in Padua, where he obtained his doctorate in medicine under the guide of Giambattista Morgagni and was fascinated by the naturalists A. Vallisnieri jr. and G. Pontedera. Following his professor G. Poleni, charged by the pope Benedict XIV to consolidate St. Peter dome, he met the pontifex archiater Leprotti, who invited him to explore South Italy for collecting naturalistic samples. Stopped by the plague, Donati returned back and made some explorations along the Dalmatian coast where he made very important discoveries about the Adria Natural History. Well known in the European scientific community, Donati was called by Carlo Emanuele III to the chair of Botany at the Turin University (1750). After his explorations in the Western Alps the king entrusted him a scientific expedition through Egypt, Middle East and Far East. In spite of political difficulties and problems caused by the participants, this voyage led to important results not only in botany and zoology, but also in archaeology. The array of evidence constituted the first nucleus of the Egyptian collections of the Kingdom of Sardinia. Unfortunately Donati died during the crossing of the Indian Ocean and was buried in Goa.
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