"Normal", so to speak

It the wake of a great tradition, Pisa today boasts the excellence of a university system and research that is second to none. The stones of the houses and medieval towers that overlook magnificent aristocratic houses along the Arno are sturdy shoulders to carry the weight of so many centuries of history and to hold high the name of a culture and a tradition of studies in this city very deep roots.

Do vunque, walking in the maze of alleys and streets of Pisa, you can see groups of students who enter and leave buildings and now the locations of libraries and university departments.
La presenza dell’Università e di importanti sedi di ricerca riscatta anche il nome di Pisa da quel torpore e da quella sindrome comuni anche ad altre città che, dopo una gloriosa e sfolgorante stagione vissuta nei tempi antichi, trasformano il proprio passato nell’alibi per un presente fiacco e indolente. It is the culmination of a slow change in a few decades has changed the face of the city and so, under the frescoed halls of times from which peep out bright and a little ‘cheeky little angels eighteenth century, no longer celebrate the glories of the aristocracy town, but is often open classrooms of universities and highly specialized laboratories where every day you break down the latest frontiers of scientific and technological research. It’s a little ‘this is the campus of Pisa, which is a modern city founded in the ancient city and memory, a built piece by piece through a "recruitment drive" performed by the university can also make the rescue and restoration of important buildings connected with the name and history of Pisa. The presence of important university and research sites redeems the name from that stupor of Pisa and the syndrome common to other cities, after a glorious and dazzling season lived in ancient times, transform their past for a present nell’alibi weak and listless.
T the power of the ancient Maritime Republic – defeated by the Genoese in 1284 in the naval battle of Meloria – indelible traces and testimonies from the white marble of the Square of Miracles, but the memory of the lost power has been turned into a dull and melancholy macerated architectural, monumental, even human, which for centuries has accompanied the slow flowing waters of the Arno.
The birth of the University of Pisa – dating back to 1343 with the papal bull In supremae dignitatis – has helped to redeem, at least in part, on this.
The University og gi is structured in 11 faculties and 57 departments for a total of over 48 thousand students, but in his first term has certainly not been an easy life, resulting directly involved in the political events of the time. Suffice it to say that after the rebellion of Pisa to the Florentine (1494) ended with a long siege and subsequent conquest of the city (1509), the university is transferred first and then in Prato to Pistoia.
It’s ol with the Grand Duke Cosimo I de ‘Medici (1519-1574) that the University gets new funding was becoming one of the leading centers of research and teaching at the European level: these were the years of the Pisan scientist Galileo Galilei (1564 – 1642) who formulated the theory of the pendulum dell’isosincronismo observing the oscillations of a chandelier in the cathedral. He also founded the sixteenth century the Botanical Garden (1544), an initiative of the doctor Luca Ghini: is the oldest in the world together with that of Padua.
Do some renewed interest and momentum created at the University in the second half of the eighteenth century by the Grand Dukes of the new dynasty, the Habsburg-Lorraine, during the Napoleonic period the university is transformed into the Imperial Academy, but also born (1810) Scuola Normale Superiore, modeled after that of Paris. The most prestigious school of Italian excellence is located in the palace of the Caravan, which owes its present (1562) and hand the genius of Giorgio Vasari. Il portone dell’abitazione è sempre quello conosciuto dal poeta e ancora oggi, ogni settimana, una mano gentile vi depone un mazzolino di fiori freschi in omaggio al cantore di Recanati. Ne lle stanze che ospitarono Leopardi si trovano alcuni dei laboratori più moderni della Scuola Normale. So no le frontiere avanzate della ricerca, sia in campo scientifico che umanistico, quelle in cui si gioca una grande scommessa: vincere la competizione della conoscenza e del sapere, sfida strategica per una Università che voglia essere all’avanguardia. We are in Piazza dei Cavalieri and here stood the ancient palace of the Elders of the people and stands a tower of the Gualandi family, notorious for the fact there was locked up and starved to death (1289) Count Ugolino della Gherardesca with his two sons and grandchildren, all immortalized in a famous passage in Canto XXXIII of Dante’s Inferno. No, no very far, in the Faggiola, a few dozen meters from the square, stands the house where Giacomo Leopardi in 1828, during his stay in Pisa, composed Jabberwocky. The door of the house is always known by the poet and even today, every week, lays a gentle hand you a bouquet of fresh flowers in tribute to the singer of Recanati. It lle rooms that housed some of the laboratories Leopards are the most modern of the Scuola Normale. I know no frontiers of advanced research, both scientific and humanistic, the ones where you play a big bet to win the competition of knowledge and learning, strategic challenge for a university that wants to be at the forefront. In a new reality that demands more and more technology, information and an even closer relationship between industry and research, the Normal School has no intention to close in upon itself. Og ni anno la selezione per entrare è molto severa, ma in quasi due secoli questa Scuola ha sempre tenuto fede alla sua tradizione e continuato a formare una bella fetta della classe intellettuale e dirigente italiana. In un ex monastero benedettino del XIV secolo, immerso nel cuore del centro storico, completamente ristrutturato e circondato da giardini e spazi verdi, ha invece sede l’altra scuola di eccellenza pisana, la Scuola Superiore di studi universitari e di perfezionamento Sant’Anna, nata nel 1987 dalla fusione della Scuola Superiore di studi universitari e di perfezionamento con il Conservatorio Sant’Anna, due istituzioni eredi di una lunga e consolidata tradizione di studi. In questa Scuola, che ha dato la laurea, tra gli altri, all’ex presidente del consiglio Giuliano Amato e agli ex ministri Enrico Letta e Antonio Maccanico, si entra superando una selezione che verifica potenzialità, attitudini e curiosità intellettuali dei candidati. La Scuola ha accresciuto negli anni la propria offerta formativa con l’obiettivo di sperimentare percorsi innovativi nella ricerca e nella formazione ad altissimo livello, per rispondere alle crescenti istanze di modernizzazione e innovazione della società. With its two centuries of history and its glories framed (Joshua Carducci, Carlo Rubbia and Enrico Fermi, to mention only the Nobel Prize), it shall adopt a precise pattern to form students, scientists and citizens. Ba is the scroll list of all students, from 1810 to today, to be impressed: In addition to the three laureates, will include the names of two presidents (Carlo Azeglio Ciampi and Giovanni Gronchi), physicists, mathematicians, linguists, and great writers. Og ni year selected to enter is very strict, but in almost two centuries, this school has always been faithful to its tradition and went on to form a slice of Italian intellectual and ruling class. In a former Benedictine monastery of the XIV century, in the heart of the historic , completely restored and surrounded by gardens and green spaces, on the other hand the other school of excellence based in Pisa, the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna and advanced university, founded in 1987 by the merger of the School of graduate studies and masterclasses with Conservatory St. Anne, the two institutions inherited a long tradition of studies. In this school, which gave a degree, among others, former Prime Minister Giuliano Amato and former ministers and Antonio Maccanico Enrico Letta, is a selection that goes beyond testing capabilities, skills and intellectual curiosity of the candidates. The School has increased its training over the years with the aim of testing innovative ways to research and education at the highest level, to meet the growing demands of modernization and innovation of the company.
But Pisa, a city of science, also has another first: the shadow of the Leaning Tower is in fact born the CEP – Pisan Electronic Calculator, the first computer designed and built in Italy. Fe rmi suggerì di utilizzare la maggior parte di quel finanziamento per progettare e dar vita a un calcolatore elettronico, la Cep appunto. Il gruppo di ricerca che l’aveva ideata confluì poi nel Csce – Centro studi calcolatrici elettroniche del Cnr – Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche che oggi a Pisa ha uno dei suoi più importanti insediamenti: ben 15 istituti per un centro di ricerca che è incubatore di tecnologie e professionalità che ne fanno una struttura di assoluta eccellenza a livello nazionale e internazionale. It all started for a hint of Enrico Fermi. Er in 1953 and the provinces of Pisa, Lucca and Livorno placed at the disposal the sum, significant for those times of 150 million lire for the construction of a synchrotron (which was later built Frascati). Fe rmi suggested to use most of that funding to design and create an electronic computer, the CEP precisely. The research team had created and then fill the CSCE – Centro Studi CNR electronic calculators – Council National Research in Pisa, which today has one of its major settlements: some 15 institutes in a research center that is an incubator of technology and professionalism that make a structure of excellence nationally and internationally.
In addition, the city of Pisa as a genius, art and culture over the centuries has captivated young lovers and demanding professors, scientists and scholars disenchanted narrators, inspiring writings and memories passed down many of whom remained indelibly on the pages.

Guglielmo Vezzosi, a journalist of The Nation

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