The Bologna observatory was established in 1712.  Its peculiar, roughly 45 degree rotated observation tower makes it easily recognized.

Bologna Observatory obverse

The set up of the Specola of Bologna thanks to Luigi Ferdinando Marsili and his family, who donated his scientific equipment to the city. The Bolognese Senate recognized the opportunity and promised that "a place would be found them that was big enough and suitable enough to house them; a chemical laboratory would be set up; there would be enough rooms for a sizeable library; an observatory tower would be put up; stipends put aside for the professors; funds provided for the purchase of books, and machines for physics experiments"1.

The consent and financial support of Pope Clement XI was also necessary to realise the Bologna observatory hátlapplan, and finally, on January 11, 1712, the notarial act was drawn up for the donation to launch the Istituto delle Scienze di Bologna. The place that was chosen to house it was the family mansion of the Poggi family which was at that time far enough out of the centre of the city to make its price reasonable and far enough away from the hills to get a good view of the sky for astronomic observations. The Academy and the Institute of Science were inaugurated on 13 March 1714 and soon became famous throughout Europe.

On the obverse the peculiar building of the Specola is visible. The 100 lire commemorative coin was made of silver and was issued in 1988. Legend around is: "ALMA MATER STUDIORUM SÆCULARIA NONA".

On the reverse a day-dreaming faced student of the university is visible. The name of the medalist can be seen under the desktop: "E. L. Frapiccini". Legend around is: "REPUBLICA ITALIANA".