About Us


The Italian Climate Observatory “O. Vittori” is a research infrastructure managed by the Institute for Atmospheric Sciences and Climate (ISAC) of the National Research Council (CNR).

The collaboration with the Italian Air Force Meteorological Service

The Italian Climate CNR Observatory “O. Vittori” has been housed in the infrastructure of the Italian Air Force Meteorological Service since 1981 when Ottavio Vittori, former commander of the Air Force Mountain Center at Mt. Cimone and subsequently director of the FISBAT Institute of the CNR of Bologna, signs a contract with the Air Force for the use of the first floor of the former Romualdi Refuge for scientific purposes [see the History session].


The “O. Vittori” Observatory is located on the top of Mt. Cimone (2165 m a.s.l.), the highest peak of the northern Italian Apennines and it is the only high mountain station for atmospheric research located both South of the Alps and the Po basin. Due to the completely free horizon, high altitude and great distance from major pollution sources, ICO-OV represents a strategic platform to study the chemical-physical characteristics and climatology of the free troposphere in the South Europe and North Mediterranean basin.


At the Observatory, continuous monitoring of climate-altering compounds (trace gases and aerosol), solar radiation as well as meteorological parameters are carried out since 1996. The Observatory "O. Vittori" activity can help to better monitor the changes of atmospheric composition, to investigate the processes influencing climate and to assess the contribution of short and long-range air mass transport to atmospheric variability. The Observatory is part of several international networks devoted to the long-term monitoring of atmospheric properties and climate change study. Data from different measures are also used to calibrate and verify data from satellites and model simulations.


The scientific activity is mainly supported by cooperative national and international research programs and the wide set of atmospheric measurements has been established thanks to collaboration of several research Institutions and Universities. The Observatory is one of the 31 Global Stations of the GAW-WMO program, the only existing in Italy and in the Mediterranean Basin, it is part of ACTRIS, ICOS and AGAGE projects and contributes to MACC-3 and WMO SDS-WAS by providing near-real time data of atmospheric composition.

Head of the research infrastructure

Paolo Bonasoni
E-mail: p.bonasoni -at- isac.cnr.it
Phone: + 39 051 6399590

Paolo Cristofanelli
E-mail: p.cristofanelli -at- isac.cnr.it
Phone: + 39 051 6399597