Gypsum karst has been studied in Italy since the last decades of the l9th Century. In 1917 the geographer Olinto Marinelli published “Fenomeni carsici delle regioni gessose d’Italia”, a fundamental synthesis of the early research. He distinguished 56 different morpho-karstic gypsum units and/or areas, which are all different in size and character, and described them, paying special attention to their surface morphology and hydrology. Marinelli listed all the main gypsum units and only a few secondary outcrops were overlooked. After Marinelli’s synthesis, except for some discussion of archaeological caves, only a few papers about gypsum karst and environment were published until the nineteen-fifties. In the nineteen-sixties and seventies much exploratory work and documentation was carried out in the Emilia Romagna area, principally devoted to the gypsum caves, and undertaken by the local speleological clubs and university researchers. The chapters that describe gypsum karst surface landforms in this publication contain many references to examples of gypsum karst in Italy, and these supplement the descriptions provided in this article.