An ovation that not even a rock star. And there were some rock notes, with the stadium refrain of “Seven Nation Army”. An army of best research youth, waits for him and greets him in chorus «Bella Gio ‘!». A real party is staged in front of the Physics Department. It is almost 7 pm at Sapienza, and there is an air of contagious emotion. Sweatshirts, caps, glasses and backpacks, the pride of being united by the professor’s “legend” Giorgio Parisi Nobel Prize for Physics. The banner above the lobby shouts “It’s coming Rome. Congratulations”. He looks out from the terrace and seems to hug them with a smile. The long afternoon began with the ceremony in the Aula Magna of the university city.
An institutional parterre together with the beautiful academic world. And to the family, children and grandchildren. The rector Antonella Polimeni, the minister of the University Maria Cristina Messa, the many colleagues, his pupils, but above all them, the students. Who has followed his lessons and done the exams directly with him, who has studied only on his manual. «A baptism of fire – Lorenzo Tortora defines it as a physics student – we can say that it contains all the knowledge of Physics». Giulia Venditti, 28 years old, PhD student, says: «When I heard the news I screamed like not even in the final of the European Championships! As a professor? Human. With him I took two exams, one even at the bar, Calculus of probabilities. He has exams taken on request, he agrees and then verbalizes. At the bar there were two students, he put us at ease. He offered us something, I didn’t take anything because I was upset. It went well, I got 30. But with him either you fail or you get 30 ».
E his daughter Lorenza: «We are all passionate about science thanks to him, he is a brilliant and creative father, inventor of bedtime stories and dancer. She loves the dances of the Greek islands. He also takes lessons. He says: since I’m pretty good in physics, I learn other things. Otherwise I am bored ». All up, a long applause, the entire Aula Magna is for him. “This is really an important day – declares Giorgio Parisi – because it is a recognition for the university, but also a lack of recognition in recent years. We have already seen a change in Italian science, and the hope is that in the Financial Law this change will be implemented in an appropriate manner. It is important that there are structural changes for Italy, so that Italy is an increasingly welcoming country for researchers ».
THE HIGH SCHOOL REPORT
Wisdom, yes. But also the San Gabriele scientific high school in Rome, where it all began for Giorgio Parisi. «Hello good morning is the San Gabriele institute? Congratulations, a former student of yours has won the Nobel Prize in Physics ». Surprise, disbelief. In the middle of the morning, the news arrives in the secretariat of the historic institute on the Via Cassia directly from the chroniclers. A few seconds, and the news explodes. «It is really effective – comments the principal Raimondo Pietroletti – the San Gabriele saw Giorgio Parisi graduate in the year ’65 / 66. At the time the headquarters was another, in Viale Parioli, right near the home of the Parisi family. Then in the mid-90s the complex moved to the Cassia. However, the same structure, nothing has changed: the same school setting, the same didactic rigor ».
Today in the Cassia site in the La Storta area you can even see pilgrims walking the Via Francigena that passes nearby. The principal Pietroletti, then, searches among archival documents, registers, yearbooks. there the 1966 baccalaureate register. The pages are yellowed, but perfectly ordered. We read “Giorgio Parisi” in beautiful elegant handwriting, the votes in sequence: a 7 in Italian, then all 8, obviously also in mathematics and physics, and a 9 in drawing. “What is certain is that the passion for physics was born on the high school benches, the first experiments were done in the laboratory of the Istituto in Viale Parioli: many of those tables, the cabinets were moved to the Via Cassia, and then largely modernized, ”he says Alberto Manodori Sagredo, professor of art history, historical memory of San Gabriele. On the register we find the names of Giorgio Parisi’s professors. It also stands out Ciro Galassi, mathematics. “Just think that during the war years he hid some Jews at the San Gabriele during the Nazi-Fascist occupation,” recalls Manodori Sagredo. The emotion is great. Next step, a telegram of congratulations for Parisi. And in the next few days? “It would be nice to organize a meeting here at the school with the students,” suggests Pietroletti. Outside, meanwhile, the mothers who are expecting their children claim a good dose of pride.