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. Lack of interest of northern Italian industries. First move toward Gruppo nazionale di struttura della materia (GNSM), the group of solid state physics within the Consiglio nazionale delle ricerche (CNR); discussion of the relation between industry and academic world in Italy, especially concerning physics departments. Also prominently mentioned are: Giuseppe Bassani, Lina Buiatti, Careri, Vittorio Celli, Gianfranco Chiarotti, Roberto Fieschi, Lina Buiatti Fumi, Luigi Giulotto, Aldo Iandelli, Alfonso Merlini, Giuseppe Occhialini, Luigi Rolla, Mario Tosi; Atomic Energy Laboratory (Ispra), Carnegie Institute of Technology, Fulbright Program, Istituto nazionale di fisica nucleare (Rome), Institute of International Education, and Varenna Summer School.
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. Chiarotti's organizational work in Consiglio nazionale delle ricerche and the European Physical Society is mentioned. Views on the popularization of science in the Italian scientific community.