Giovanni Battista Amici and Giovanni Battista Donati joined together in 1862 to establish a precision-instrument manufacturing firm in Florence. The plan was temporarily halted when Amici died. With the help of Professor Angelo Vengi, Donati asked the Ministry of Agriculture, Industry and Commerce to set up in the work-shop of the Instituto Tecnico in Florence. Donati and Vengi also secured the services of a mechanic, Giuseppe Poggiali. This was the beginning of the Officine Galileo (Galileo Works).
In 1896 the firm was acquired by Giulio Martinez, an engineer who launched a major diversification into the production of periscopes, searchlights and telemeters for the navy. Today the firm specialises in optical instruments for military use and in space technologies.