Le due culture delle sorelle Levi Montalcini
The two cultures of the Levi Montalcini sisters

published in July - December 2023 - pH - issue n.2
Pietro Calissano

Twin sisters Rita and Paola Levi Montalcini were born and grew up in the rich Jewish cultural atmosphere of Turin in the early 20th century (Cavaglion, 2021; De Chirico, 1939). A city distinguished in the last century by a kind of inclination to generate but often unable to retain its own creatures. Turin and its region saw the birth of the first automobile industry (whose operational headquarters are now in The Netherlands). The industrial genius of Adriano Olivetti wa established in the city of Ivrea , and the creative ferment of cinema and television developed (later completely engulfed by Rome), while many intellectuals moved away towards more welcoming shores (Cavaglion, 2021; Magrini, 2021). As Cavaglion (2021), an expert on Piedmontese Jewry, wrote about Rita’s autobiography In Praise of Imperfection, and the laboratory she created at home following the racial laws, “the house is the theater where the best scenes of this literature of the Jews in Piedmont go on stage. The writings of men of science prevail over those of the pure literates who take root badly in Turin, soon and willingly “lose the Piedmont character” (Giacomo De Benedetti the name of the most illustrious among these exiles)”.