The Georgofili Academy
Founded in Florence on 4th June 1753 on the initiative of the Lateran Canon Ubaldo Montelatici, the Academy was the first public body in Europe dedicated to agrarian studies aimed at improving agricultural production by means of the rational use of the land.
In 1829 it promoted the institution of the Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze savings bank and in 1831 the Georgofili Chairman, Cosimo Ridolfi, founded the first agrarian school in Italy. After the First World War, the Academy focused on the problems relative to the causes of the peasant uprisings, colonial relations, economic conditions in the rural areas of the Apennines, the colonisation of the landed estates and other problems linked to land ownership. In the disastrous flood of the 4th November 1966, the library, which contained ancient volumes of inestimable value, suffered most of all. Unfortunately, on the 27th May 1993 a mafia attack which killed and wounded several people, also seriously damaged the seat of the Academy.
In 1996, after lengthy restoration works, the building was returned to its original form and the Library was almost completely restored to its original state. Today it is a very active institution, above all in the IT field, and deals mainly with the relationship between agriculture and the environment, renewable and green energy sources in the defence and restoration of the environment. It still houses the extremely valuable Library (with around 70,000 volumes) and an important Archive.