Environmental sociology is one of the youngest sub-disciplines within the field of sociology. This paper examines the development of this new area of study in our country, in occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the foundation of the first departments of environmental sociology in Italy. In the first part of the article we give an overview of its historical development. In the second part, we focus on the debates, key questions and issues that the young discipline deals with. We conclude reflecting on essays by Italian environmental sociologists who, through their theoretical and empirical work, have contributed to the development of environmental sociology in our country.