Probably, the long-term monitoring of the solar atmosphere started in Italy with the first telescopic observations of the Sun made by Galileo Galilei in the early 17th century. His recorded observations and science results, as well as the work carried out by other following outstanding Italian astronomers inspired the start of institutional programs of regular solar observations at the Arcetri, Catania, and Rome Observatories.
These programs have accumulated daily images of the solar photosphere and chromosphere taken at various spectral bands over a time span larger than 80 years. In the last two decades, regular solar observations were continued with digital cameras only at the Catania and Rome Observatories, which are now part of the INAF National Institute for Astrophysics. At the two sites, daily solar images are taken at the photospheric G-band, Blue (λ = 409.4 nm), and Red (λ = 606.9 nm) continua spectral ranges and at the chromospheric Ca II K and Hα lines, with a 2″ spatial resolution.
Solar observation in Italy, which benefits from over 2500 hours of yearly sunshine, currently aims at the operational monitoring of solar activity and long-term variability and at the continuation of the historical series as well. Existing instruments will be soon enriched by the SAMM double channel telescope equipped with magneto-optical filters that will enable the tomography of the solar atmosphere with simultaneous observations at the K I 769.9 nm and Na I D 589.0 nm lines. In this contribution, we present the available observations and outline their scientific relevance.