The Giovanni Angelini Foundation is established on the basis of a collection of ancient books, maps, prints and pictures assembled by renowned physician, writer, alpinist and C.A.I. (Italian Alpine Club) academic member Giovanni Angelini, who wanted to create a Alpine Research Centre that could also be of help to the people who live in the mountains. On this base, the City Council of Belluno, together with the University of Padua and the Angelini family, has constituted the Foundation in 1991, with a starting provision disposed by 14th municipalities of the Belluno Province, through the local Cassa di Risparmio (Savings Bank). The seat is located in Palazzo Monte di Pietà, offered by the Cassa di Risparmio (now Cariverona Foundation) for this purpose.
The Angelini Foundation, whose objectives are no profit, aims to promote scientific research in the field of mountain environments as well as to foster education and awareness in the same field from a number of points of view: geographic, geological, naturalistic, alpine, anthropological, linguistic, artistic and economic. Another goal is to enhance and protect the mountain environment (art. 2 of the Statute). The Foundation accomplishes these objectives with:
- periodic training courses for school teachers and students; specialised courses about mountain topics for professionals and technicians;
- educational summer courses (15 days) for students of the University of Padua and short specialisation courses for graduates of the same University (among which the Postgraduate course “Soil conservation and disaster prevention” 2002-2004);
- research projects and meetings on subjects of interest to the Foundation, followed by publications.
As a geographic institute of studies and since it attributes a broad meaning to the notion of Geography as a synergy between different sciences, a discipline that is interrelated not only with the physical and natural sciences, but also with the human ones, it annually keeps walking courses on the Geography of mountain landscapes, guided by renowned geomorphologist and professor of the University of Padua, now retired, Giovanni Battista Pellegrini, for school teachers and educators. Since 1991 it’s carrying on a research on mountain’s toponymy, and the results are published in a series of books with the title “Oronimi Bellunesi” (11 titles), regarding the province of Belluno and the nearest bordering zones out of Italy.
The scientific activities, supported by the important Association of Friends of the Angelini Foundation and by some volunteers, are decided by the Scientific Council, guided by the Rector pro-tempore of the University of Padua and is now composed by: Giancarlo Dalla Fontana (vice-Rector, delegated by the Rector Rosario Rizzuto), Luigi D’Alpaos (Hydraulics), Giovanni Battista Pellegrini (Geomorphology), Giovanni Leonardi (Archaeology), Paolo Mietto (Geology -Palaeontology), Davide Pettenella (Forest Appraisal and Economy) and Giuseppe Stellin (Real Estate Appraisal and Economy) for the University of Padua; Paul Guichonnet (emeritus professor of Geography at the University of Geneva), Ernst Steinicke (Institute of Geography at the University of Innsbruck) and Johannes Kramer (Romanistik, now retired of the University of Trier).
The Foundation accomplishes its aims also in collaboration with other research institutions of the Alps, through the international Association “Rete Montagna”, that has been established on November 11th, 2000 upon the initiative of Andrea Angelini: it is a light virtual network bringing together different Study Centres on mountain related topics, whose Secretary is the Angelini Foundation.
The Administrative Council operates according to the directives of the Scientific Council; it’s directed by the Mayor pro-tempore of the City of Belluno and formed by 7 other members representing the Angelini family, the University of Padua, the Italian Alpine Club, the municipalities of Zoldo Valley and two participants Institutions.
The Statute of the Giovanni Angelini Foundation, that has been approved and recognised by the Italian Ministry for Cultural and Environmental Heritage on 1997, September 22th and registered with n. 243, contains the fundamental principles of the foundation.
It outlines that: the seat of the Foundation is located in Palazzo Monte di Pietà, offered for this purpose by the Cassa di Risparmio (now Cariverona), at Piazza del Mercato 26, Belluno; the founding fathers are Prof. Giovanni Angelini, the City of Belluno and the University of Padua; the Foundation operates through the Administrative Council (guided by the pro-tempore Mayor of the City of Belluno) and the Scientific Council (guidede by the pro-tempore rector of the University of Padua). The starting patrimony of the Foundation is represented by the legacy of the library given by Prof. Giovanni Angelini to the City of Belluno and by the provision disposed by 14th municipalities of the Belluno Province, through the local Cassa di Risparmio.