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Starts with a brief overview of early schooling and physics studies at Università di Pavia in the 1940s, and a two-year visit to University of Illinois to work with Frederick Seitz. Building up and organizing solid state physics studies at Gruppo nazionale di struttura dela Materia; collaboration with Italian industry (Olivetti, Segesto); research funding difficulties. Comments on involvement with the Center for Theoretical Physics in Trieste (J. Ziman and N. Marsh); comments on solid state physics in other European countries.
Family background, early education with Carlo Perrier in chemistry and physics at Università di Genova; theoretical inclinations, study abroad, impressions of a research world (U.S.) "on a different scale" from Italy; catalytic role of Giovanni Polvani and Piero Caldirola of Università di Milano in helping to establish solid state theory in Italy. Scientific activity in close connection with Frederick Seitz and the Urbana school, as well as with Nevill Mott. International recognition of the new Italian "school" at the International School of Physics "Enrico Fermi" in 1958.