INAF is working on the construction of large research infrastructures like the SRT (Sardinia Radio Telescope), with ASI, and the LBT (Large Binocular Telescope) in Arizona, with the Americans and Germans. It maintains, and makes available to the community, the Telescopio Nazionale Galileo in the Canaries, has completed the construction of the VST (VLT Survey Telescope) that has started to operate at the ESO observatory in the Chilean Andes, and contributes to the upgrade of scientific instrumentation at the Very Large Telescope. INAF also contributes to ESA's Cosmic Vision with participation in all the projects currently selected. INAF is also busy in programs that will define the future of astronomy and astrophysics: E-ELT, a gigantic 42 metre telescope, SKA (Square Kilometre Array), a system of over 1,500 radio antennas that together will make the largest radio telescope ever constructed, and for which the government has proposed Rome as the project headquarters. The agreement for the construction and installation of HARPS on the Galileo telescope is currently being drafted. HARPS is the most powerful "hunter" of extra-solar planets, and currently operates only in the southern hemisphere. Italy would then have an extremely precious instrument in the search for Earth-like planets in the northern hemisphere. The search for such planets in the habitable zone of their stars is among the most promising and exciting fields of research for the near future.