Antonio Raimondi was an Italian-born Peruvian geographer and scientist. Born in Milan on September 19, 1826, Raimondi would immigrate to Peru in 1850 when he was 23. Before moving to Peru from Italy, Raimondi joined the many militiamen who fought in the bloody events that would go down in history as the “the five days of Milan.” It is the patriotic feat where Italian citizens of all social conditions united and successfully expelled the Austrian occupation.
Unfortunately, victory was short-lived as the Austrians returned. Raimondi would go on to volunteer all over the peninsula; however, at this point, the French troops were put in charge. In 1849, there were new attempts to renew the war which resulted in disaster as the rebellious Italian provinces ultimately returned to Austrian rule.
Antonio Raimondi and his work
In a short year after migrating to Peru, he would become a professor of natural history. And by 1856, he became one of the founding professors of the medical school at the National University of San Marcos.
However, what made Raimondi’s career so impressive was that he was much more than a professor who founded the analytical chemistry department at the National University. His passion for all things Peruvian led him to undertake at least 18 journeys to all the regions of Peru. He studied the country’s geography extensively, collecting findings on geology, zoology, botany, archaeology, and ethnography.
Raimondi collected more than just notes over his 19 years of traveling all over Peru. He also gathered minerals, stones, fossils, animals, plants, insects and so much more. He also drew maps and painted watercolors of the things he’d seen on his journeys.
Raimondi compiled all his detailed notes into an expansive piece of written work called El Perú: Itinerarios de Viajes. The first volume published in 1874; however, several more volumes were released along with numerous editions over the next four decades.
La Puya (Puya Raimondi), also known as ckara, titanca, ticatica, santón, púa.
The specific name of Raimondii commemorates the 19th-century Italian scientist Antonio Raimondi, who immigrated to Peru and made extensive botanical expeditions there. He discovered this species later in the region of Chavín de Huantar.
Museo Antonio Raimondi
Because of his love for Peru and his passion for discovering the country’s cultural, geographical, and natural value, Raimondi would be honored by the people of Peru by preserving and promoting his work long after his death. Raimondi passed away on October 26, 1890, and in 1981, the Museo Antonio Raimondi was founded to preserve his legacy and work as one of the most important naturalistic travelers in Peruvian history.
Museum Antonio Raimondi houses Raimondi’s findings, notes, collections, and even artworks. Museo Antonio Raimondi aims to promote and preserve the scientific work and legacy of Antonio Raimondi and inspire the Peruvian youth to take pride in their country’s history, art, archaeology, geology, zoology, and so on.
Address: Av. La Fontana 755, La Molina, City of Lima, Peru
People who wish to visit the Antonio Raimondi Museum can do so by appointment. This visit can be added while staying in Lima