A Pure Soul pp 209-215 | Cite as

The Last Exam

  • Andrea Parlangeli


It was 12 September 1996, a Thursday. In the ancient town of Cortona, a conference of the National Institute for Advanced Mathematics was drawing to a close. Among the participants was a blue-eyed young man with brown hair, called Paolo Tilli. At the end of his civil service duties could be opted for as an alternative to mandatory military draft [Translator’s note], he had gone to Cortona on leave. He was carrying out research under the guidance of Ennio De Giorgi, and that same morning he had to return home, making a stop in Pisa. He arrived at Timpano College close to midday and parked his car. He met the doorman, who informed him that De Giorgi had been taken that very morning to the Santa Chiara hospital. “I left my bags and went to look for him—remembers Tilli.—I found him in a bed, inside a ward. He was alone, disrobed, and wearing a vest. A sheet covered his legs. It was a nice day, but the air was chilly. I was surprised that the window was open, as there was a draught. I was there and wanted to enter the room, but I was embarrassed at the same time, and stopped by the door for a couple of minutes. De Giorgi opened his eyes and recognized me.” “Can I do something?” I asked. “Yes, maybe you can let me have some clean clothes.” So, I went to the laundry room of the college, I took his washed clothes and I brought them to him. When I saw him again he seemed to be faring better.”


  1. 1.
    Carlino, L.: Ennio De Giorgi. Lions Club Lecce, Lecce (1997)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Bassani, F., Marino, A., Sbordone, C. (eds.): Ennio De Giorgi (Anche la scienza ha bisogno di sognare). Edizioni Plus, Pisa (2001)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Pallara, D., Spedicato, M. (eds.): Ennio De Giorgi—tra scienza e fede. Ed. Panico, Galatina (2007)Google Scholar
  4. 7.
    Dossier Ennio De Giorgi. In: Guerraggio, A. (ed.) Lettera Matematica Pristem, pp. 27–28. Springer (1998)Google Scholar
  5. 8.
    Per Ennio De Giorgi. Lecce University, Department of Mathematics, Liguori (2000)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrea Parlangeli
    • 1
  1. 1.MilanItaly

Personalised recommendations