Mario Zucchelli Station

Base in Terra Nova Bay

At the coast, Italy operates summer-only Mario Zucchelli Station, which accommodates 90 people. The station, a collection of blue buildings with orange trim, was established in 1986–87 and was known as Baia Terra Nova until 2004, when it was renamed to honor the longtime director of the Italian Antarctic program.

The base’s first building is known as the ‘Pinguinattollo,’ an imaginative conjunction of pinguino (penguin) and scoiattolo (squirrel). The interior walls are entirely covered with inscriptions, drawings and the signatures of dozens of visitors and staff over the years. The new Pinguinattollo is a large wooden chalet, with a granite fireplace fueled (somewhat surprisingly, given the extreme fire danger here) by wood scraps.

A sea-ice runway, opened in 1990, is used by about 10 Hercules flights per season.