Famous Italian Scientists

Italy has a rich tradition in science and technology with Italians advancing the scientific community through the past several centuries. Italian inventors, discoverers and scientists have enriched the world’s understanding and knowledge in varied scientific fields like biology, physics, chemistry, mathematics, astronomy and the other sciences. Italy has produced some of the most brilliant minds since the Renaissance and the Roman era. Italian Galileo Galilei was called not only the "father of observational astronomy", but also the "father of modern physics", and the "father of science”. He was one of the major figures who played a significant role in the scientific revolution during the Renaissance. Polymath Leonardo da Vinci was another genius who epitomized the Renaissance ideal. Astronomer Giovanni Domenico Cassini, physicist Alessandro Volta, the mathematicians Giuseppe Peano, Lagrange, Fibonacci worked in Italy in the early modern era. Even though science and technology in Italy has predominantly been a male arena, women like Giuseppa Eleonora Barbapiccola, Maria Magdalena Petraccin, Caterina Scarpellini, and Anna Morandi Manzolini prove that Italian women have never been far behind men in terms of scientific accomplishments. This section provides you information about the life and works of famous Italian scientists.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite Italian Scientists

 1 Galileo Galilei

Galileo Galilei
34
Famous As: Astronomer
Birthdate: February 15, 1564
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: Italian
Died: January 8, 1642

An Italian astronomer, engineer, and physicist, Galileo Galilei is widely regarded as the father of observational astronomy, the father of the scientific method, the father of modern physics, and the father of modern science. He is credited with popularizing the telescope, which changed the course of history.

 2 Enrico Fermi

Enrico Fermi
0
Famous As: Nobel Laureate in Physics
Birthdate: September 29, 1901
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: Italian, American
Died: November 28, 1954
Italian physicist Enrico Fermi created the Chicago Pile-1, the world's first nuclear reactor. Known widely as the "architect of the atomic bomb," he was equally proficient in theoretical and experimental physics, and won the 1938 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on radioactivity and for discovering transuranium elements.
Recommended Lists:

 3 Maria Montessori

Maria Montessori
0
Famous As: Physician and Educator
Birthdate: August 31, 1870
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: Italian
Died: May 6, 1952

Maria Montessori was an Italian educator and physician best known for developing the Montessori method of education, a student-friendly method, which is being used in several public and private schools around the world. In 2020, she was nominated by Time magazine as one of their Top 100 Women of the year.

 4 Count Alessandro Volta

Count Alessandro Volta
0
Birthdate: February 18, 1745
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: Italian
Died: March 5, 1827
While Alessandro Volta was a count by birth and was supposed to become a lawyer or a priest, he became a scientist instead. His invention of the battery led to the SI unit of electric potential being named volt. He was also the first to isolate methane gas.
Recommended Lists:

 5 Alessandro Volta

Alessandro Volta
0
Famous As: Physicist, Inventor, University teacher
Birthdate: February 18, 1745
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: Italian
Died: March 5, 1827

 6 Amedeo Avogadro

Amedeo Avogadro
2
Famous As: Chemist and Physicist
Birthdate: August 9, 1776
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: Italian
Died: July 9, 1856

Son of a reputed senator and lawyer in Italy, Amedeo Avogadro was himself a qualified lawyer. However, he later delved into research as a mathematical physicist and is best remembered for laying down the Avogadro’s law, contributing to the molecular theory of gases. The Avogadro constant is named after him.

Recommended Lists:

 7 Leonardo Fibonacci

Leonardo Fibonacci
3
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: 1170 AD
Nationality: Italian
Medieval Italian mathematician Leonardo Fibonacci is remembered for introducing the Hindu–Arabic numeral system to Europe through his book Liber abaci. Son of an Italian trader, he interacted with merchants along the Mediterranean coast to learn about their system of calculations. The Fibonacci sequence, too, was invented by him. 
You May Like

 8 Jim Cantore

Jim Cantore
0
Famous As: Meteorologists
Birthdate: February 16, 1964
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: Italian, American

 9 Rita Levi-Montalcini

Rita Levi-Montalcini
0
Famous As: Neurologist
Birthdate: April 22, 1909
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: Italian
Died: December 30, 2012

Rita Levi-Montalcini was an Italian neurologist whose discovery of nerve growth factor earned her the 1986 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Throughout her life, Levi-Montalcini's work in neurobiology earned her several other honors and awards, including the Golden Plate Award from the American Academy of Achievement and the European Academy of Sciences' Leonardo da Vinci Award.

 10 Evangelista Torricelli

Evangelista Torricelli
0
Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: October 15, 1608
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: Italian
Died: October 25, 1647

Evangelista Torricelli, a student of Galileo, later made a name for himself as a physicist and a mathematician with his invention of the barometer. He also laid down the Torricelli’s theorem and discovered the Torricellian vacuum. The torr, a unit of pressure, bears his name.

 11 Luigi Galvani

Luigi Galvani
0
Famous As: Anatomist, Physicist, Physician, University teacher
Birthdate: September 9, 1737
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: Italian
Died: December 4, 1798

 12 Gerolamo Cardano

Gerolamo Cardano
0
Famous As: Polymath
Birthdate: September 24, 1501
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: Italian
Died: September 21, 1576

 13 Piero della Francesca

Piero della Francesca
0
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: 1415 AD
Nationality: Italian
Died: October 12, 1492

 14 Matteo Ricci

Matteo Ricci
0
Famous As: explorer, cartographer, writer, missionary, translator, priest
Birthdate: October 6, 1552
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: Italian
Died: May 11, 1610

 15 Ettore Majorana

Ettore Majorana
0
Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: August 5, 1906
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: Italian

 16 Francesco Redi

Francesco Redi
0
Famous As: Physician, Naturalist, Poet, Writer, Painter, Entomologist, Parasitologist
Birthdate: February 18, 1626
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: Italian
Died: April 22, 1698

 17 Carlo Rovelli

Carlo Rovelli
0
Famous As: Physicist, Writer
Birthdate: May 3, 1956
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: Italian

 18 Andrew Viterbi

Andrew Viterbi
0
Famous As: Engineer, Entrepreneur, Computer scientist
Birthdate: March 9, 1935
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: Italian, American

 19 Maria Gaetana Agnesi

Maria Gaetana Agnesi
0
Famous As: Mathematician, Philosopher, Theologian
Birthdate: May 16, 1718
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: Italian
Died: January 9, 1799

Italian mathematician Maria Gaetana Agnesi, daughter of an affluent silk trader, was well-versed in a number of languages as a child. Most of her work was regarding algebra, calculus, and the Witch of Agnesi. She was also the first female academic to write a math book and to teach math.

 20 Lazzaro Spallanzani

Lazzaro Spallanzani
0
Famous As: Biologist, Zoologist, Scientist, Naturalist, University teacher, Entomologist
Birthdate: January 10, 1729
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: Italian
Died: February 12, 1799

 21 Carlo Azeglio Ciampi

Carlo Azeglio Ciampi
0
Famous As: Economist, Politician, Banker
Birthdate: December 9, 1920
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: Italian
Died: September 16, 2016

 22 Giovanni Battista Belzoni

Giovanni Battista Belzoni
0
Famous As: Explorer, Antiquarian, Egyptologist, Archaeologist, Novelist, Travel writer
Birthdate: November 5, 1778
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: Italian
Died: December 3, 1823

 23 Franco Modigliani

Franco Modigliani
0
Famous As: Economist
Birthdate: June 10, 1918
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: Italian
Died: September 25, 2003

Best known for co-developing the Modigliani–Miller theorem, Nobel Prize-winning economist Franco Modigliani initially studied law. Son of a Jewish physician in Italy, he fled the fascist rule of his country and moved to the U.S., and later served MIT as a professor. He also laid down the life-cycle hypothesis.

 24 Fabiola Gianotti

Fabiola Gianotti
0
Famous As: physicist
Birthdate: October 29, 1962
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: Italian

 25 Federico Faggin

Federico Faggin
0
Famous As: Physicist, Inventor, Computer scientist, Engineer, Businessperson
Birthdate: December 1, 1941
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: Italian

 26 Giuseppe Peano

Giuseppe Peano
0
Famous As: Mathematician, Philosopher, University teacher
Birthdate: August 27, 1858
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: Italian
Died: April 20, 1932

 27 Alfonso Bialetti

Alfonso Bialetti
0
Famous As: inventor, entrepreneur, engineer
Birthdate: 1888 AD
Nationality: Italian
Died: December 31, 1970

 28 Marcello Malpighi

Marcello Malpighi
0
Famous As: Physician
Birthdate: March 10, 1628
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: Italian
Died: September 30, 1694

Marcello Malpighi was forced to take up grammatical studies by his father but later earned doctorates in philosophy and medicine. Malpighi revolutionized medical science by discovering things such as taste buds, red blood cells, and the pulmonary and capillary network connecting veins and arteries. Many physiological features bear his name.

 29 Mario Capecchi

Mario Capecchi
0
Famous As: Molecular Geneticist
Birthdate: October 6, 1937
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: Italian, American

 30 Laura Bassi

Laura Bassi
0
Famous As: Italian physicist, Academic
Birthdate: October 31, 1711
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: Italian
Died: February 20, 1778

 31 Giovanni Schiaparelli

Giovanni Schiaparelli
0
Famous As: Astronomer
Birthdate: March 14, 1835
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: Italian
Died: July 4, 1910

 32 Salvador Luria

Salvatore Edoardo Luria
0
Famous As: Microbiologist
Birthdate: August 13, 1912
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: Italian
Died: February 6, 1991

Nobel Prize-winning Italian microbiologist Salvador Luria is best remembered for his work on bacteriophages, or viruses that infect bacteria. He had also chaired Microbiology and later, the Center for Cancer Research at MIT. As a political activist, he was against nuclear weapon testing and was once banned from receiving funds.

 33 Emilio Segrè

Emilio Gino Segrè
0
Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: January 30, 1905
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: Italian, American
Died: April 22, 1989

 34 Girolamo Fracastoro

Girolamo Fracastoro
0
Famous As: Physician, scholar, poet
Birthdate: 1478 AD
Nationality: Italian
Died: August 8, 1553

Girolamo Fracastoro was an Italian poet, physician, and scholar in astronomy, geography and mathematics. He is credited with authoring a theory, which is regarded as a precursor to germ theory; his theory was influential for almost three centuries. He is also credited with inventing terms, such as syphilis. 

 35 Carlo Rubbia

Carlo Rubbia
0
Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: March 31, 1934
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: Italian

 36 Chiara Nappi

Chiara Nappi
0
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Nationality: Italian

 37 Niccolò Fontana Tartaglia

Niccolò Fontana Tartaglia
0
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: 1499 AD
Nationality: Italian
Died: December 13, 1557

 38 Riccardo Giacconi

Riccardo Giacconi
0
Famous As: Astrophysicist
Birthdate: October 6, 1931
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: Italian

 39 Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza

Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza
0
Famous As: Geneticist
Birthdate: January 25, 1922
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: Italian
Died: August 31, 2018

 40 Gregorio Ricci-Curbastro

Gregorio Ricci-Curbastro
0
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: January 12, 1853
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: Italian
Died: August 6, 1925

 41 Galileo Ferraris

Galileo Ferraris
0
Famous As: physicist, engineer, inventor
Birthdate: October 30, 1847
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: Italian
Died: February 7, 1897

 42 Giovanni Alfonso Borelli

Giovanni Alfonso Borelli
0
Famous As: Physicist, Mathematician, Astronomer, Historian of mathematics, Entomologist
Birthdate: January 28, 1608
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: Italian
Died: December 31, 1679

 43 Bruno Pontecorvo

Bruno Pontecorvo
0
Famous As: Physicist, Nuclear scientist
Birthdate: August 22, 1913
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: Italian, British
Died: September 24, 1993

 44 Renato Dulbecco

Renato Dulbecco
0
Famous As: Virologist
Birthdate: February 22, 1914
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: Italian, American
Died: February 19, 2012

 45 Giuseppe Piazzi

Giuseppe Piazzi
0
Famous As: Astronomer, University teacher, Mathematician
Birthdate: July 16, 1746
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: Italian
Died: July 22, 1826

 46 Bonaventura Cavalieri

Bonaventura Cavalieri
0
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: 1598 AD
Nationality: Italian
Died: November 30, 1647

 47 Gian-Carlo Rota

Gian-Carlo Rota
0
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: April 27, 1932
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: Italian, American
Died: April 18, 1999

 48 Giulio Natta

Giulio Natta
0
Famous As: Chemist
Birthdate: February 25, 1903
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: Italian
Died: May 2, 1979

 49 Giovanni Battista Morgagni

Giovanni Battista Morgagni
0
Famous As: Anatomist
Birthdate: February 25, 1682
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: Italian
Died: December 6, 1771

 50 Stanislao Cannizzaro

Stanislao Cannizzaro
0
Famous As: chemist
Birthdate: July 13, 1826
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: Italian
Died: May 10, 1910