Paolo Savi

Paolo Savi, memorial sculpture in the Orto botanico di Pisa.

Paolo Savi (11 July 1798 – 5 April 1871), was an Italian geologist and ornithologist.


Savi was born in Pisa, son of Gaetano Savi, professor of Botany at the University of Pisa. The younger Savi became assistant-lecturer on zoology at the university in 1820, was appointed professor in 1823, and lectured also on geology. He devoted great attention to the museum of the university (Museo storia naturale di Pisa), and formed one of the finest natural history collections in Europe.[1]

Savi was regarded as the father of Italian geology. He studied the geology of Monti Pisani and the Apuan Alps, explaining the metamorphic origin of the Carrara marble; he also contributed essays on the Miocene strata and fossils of Monte Bamboli, the iron-ores of Elba and other subjects. With Giuseppe Meneghini (1811–1889) he published memoirs on the stratigraphy and geology of Tuscany (1850–1851) [2]

Savi also became eminent as an ornithologist, and was the author of Ornitologia Toscana (1827–1831) and Ornitologia Italiana (1873–1876). In the autumn of 1821 he obtained specimens of an unstreaked, dark, rufous-brown warbler which was new to science. He published a full description of the bird in 1824, and it became commonly known as Savi's warbler.


Savi was buried in Pisa cemetery and his statue now stands in the Orto botanico di Pisa.

Major works


  1. Woodward, Horace Bolingbroke, 1911 History of geology London, Watts &
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