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Photo courtesy and copyright - Lucia Simion.

The main Italian Antarctic Station is situated in the Ross Sea at Terra Nova Bay along the coast of the northern foothills south of Gerlache Inlet between the Campbell and Drygalski Glaciers. It is on a peninsula with a north south orientation providing access to the sea from both the east and the west. The Tethys Bay inlet provides hard pack ice suitable for aircraft operations including wheeled Hercules aircraft.

The Base was started in 1985 following the Italian Government passing a special law establishing the Programme.

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Terra Nova 1  1999 (January 5th) Polarogramme from Cape Roberts drilling programme.   Price US$6

Note: This Polarogramme shows the multi-national drilling project at Cape Roberts which the Italian Programme took part in. It shows the "Italica" doing preliminary work on the ice shelf.

The Polarogramme was carried by helicopter and posted through Scott Base using Italian stamps which have correctly been treated as Paquebot mail. The Postmark is the special Ross Paquebot postmark. The polarogramme has a Italian Cape Roberts cachet on its back.

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Terra Nova 2  1999 (January 5th) Postcard from Cape Roberts drilling programme.   Price US$8

Note: the above postcard was specially issued for the Cape Roberts drilling project. It has been autographed at top left by Fabio Florindo and Marco Taviani, two of the Italian Cape Roberts team.

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Terra Nova 3  1999 (January 5th) Polarogramme from Cape Roberts drilling programme.   Price US$6

Note: This Polarogramme has the special Italian Cape Roberts cachet at top middle.

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Terra Nova 4  1999 (January 5th) Polarogramme from Cape Roberts drilling programme.   Price US$6

Note: This polarogramme has a large Italian Antarctic Programme sticker on its back

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Terra Nova 5  1999 (February 12th) Envelope from Sea Ice Biology Group.   Price US$6

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Note: The above cover has the two cachets shown at left on its reverse.

The signatures are those of the Sea Ice Bilogy group, namely Olga Mangoni, Enzo Saggiomo and Guilio Catalano.

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Terra Nova 6  2002 (February 11th) Envelope marking Royal visit to Terra Nova Bay.   Price US$5

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Note: Princess Anne made a short visit to the Italian Terra Nova Bay Base during a visit to historic sites in the Ross Dependency for the Antarctic Heritage Trust. She returned by RNZAF Hercules aircraft to Christchurch on 11th February 2002. The envelope bears the RNZAF squadron cachet on its back flap as shown at left.

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Terra Nova 7  2003 (March 6th) Envelope from Terra Nova Bay.   Price US$5

Note: This envelope was brought back to Lyttelton from Terra Nova Bay on board the expedition ship "Italica"  and then posted through the Ross Dependency Agency in Christchurch as usual.

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Terra Nova 8  2004 (March 6th) Envelope from Terra Nova Bay.   Price US$5

The photo at right shows the OASI astronomical observatory laboratories and dome which is part of the buildings situated at Terra Nova Bay.

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In mid 2004 it was announced that the base was to be renamed "Statione Mario Zucchelli" in honour of Mario Zucchelli, the long standing and well known leader of the Italian Antarctic Programme who had died earlier in the year only months after relinquishing his leadership role.

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