Son of the astronomer Antonio Abetti, Giorgio was born in Padua in 1882. He studied first in Rome and then in Padua, where he was awarded a degree in Physics. He then travelled to the United States and Germany for study and research. Returning to Italy, he worked first at the University of Naples and then, as astronomer, at the Collegio Romano. In 1920 he moved definitively to Florence, and the following year succeeded his father as director of the Arcetri Observatory. Here he devoted himself to modernizing the instrumentation, promoting among other things the construction of a solar tower similar to the one he had seen at Mount Wilson, in the United States. He was an organizer of astronomical exhibitions and a member of several scientific associations. In addition to research and teaching, Abetti was actively engaged in disseminating knowledge of the history of science. He directed the Observatory until 1957 and died in Florence in 1982.