How many nuclear physics geniuses have you met? ;) Giuseppe Angilella has been a Koha user for ages, and his early participation spurred a tonne of other folks to adopt before OSILSs were cool. He probably doesn't consider himself a coder, but there are many people that now participate who certainly are. 
    I bet you'd uncover quite a number of Code4Lib type folks at the University of Pisa. A long time ago when animals could talk, and I was an undergraduate, if I were on IRC in search of nerdy discussion at odd hours, the person at the other end usually had a unipi IP. There was a seminar for Koha in Pisa last April that drew about 100 folks.

    Since you're in Rome, why don't you check out

    And that's just Koha. Surely Gli Azzurri demand cool code for sport. ;)