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Francesco Tornabene, the founder of the Botanical Gardens
Francesco Tornabene and the founding of the Botanical Gardens

After Cosentini's death, Botany was taught by Gaetano De Gaetani, an expert on trees, until 1843, the year in which the teaching of this subject was entrusted to the Benedictine monk Francesco Tornabene Roccaforte (1813-1897).

Tornabene, educated in the school of Cosentini, began his cultural and religious formation in the Benedictine monastery of San Nicoḷ l'Arena. He was a particularly important figure in the history of botany in Catania.

He was the tenacious promoter of the founding of the botanical gardens. With patience and dedication he managed to overcome the inevitable difficulties which hindered its realisation.