il portale dell'ebraismo italiano

A street named after Rita Levi-Montalcini, “She is the proof that women are a step ahead”

“An extraordinary woman that did difficult things in complex situations. She was a great scientist also because she took care of the people outside the laboratory. This is also what we want to remember today”. She is the pride of Rome, as Roberto Gualtieri, the mayor of the city, claimed welcoming in his city a street named after Rita Levi-Montalcini. “She is the proof that women are a step ahead. We want to honour her scientific and intellectual heritage in the best way possible” the mayor adds.
We are in the Municipality 4, close to Pertini Hospital. This is not a place bounded to the life of the scientist from Turin, winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1986, but it is still a symbol that reminds the capital of her heritage. In a symbolic date as March 8th, this is an homage to a great Italian woman that also went through the tragedy of the antisemitic persecution in her youth. This episode, paradoxically, paved the way to the highest grade of awareness.
Paradoxically enough, she told her story to Pagine Ebraiche during one of her last interviews, “I should thank Hitler and Mussolini that, in declaring me racially inferior, precluded me from any distraction, university life and condemned me to lock myself in a small room where I couldn’t do anything but study. The bed, the desk, the incubator, few rudimentary tools and the chicken embryos that I could hardly get… the first basic discoveries were born there. Isn’t it a miracle?”.
To represent the family was Piera, the niece, that recalled Rita’s constant dedication, not only in the scientific sphere, “in order to make the world a better place”. As already mentioned yesterday to Pagine Ebraiche, in her speech she had a special consideration for “The Trieste Declaration of Human Duties” of which her aunt was a supporter. It was inevitable, in these hours, a though to Ukraine. What is the strongest mark left by Aunt Rita? “A message: we women must not be afraid to take a path never taken so far. She taught us that we can do everything and reach any goal”. The president of the Union of the Jewish Italian Communities Noemi Di Segni and the president of the Jewish Community in Rome Ruth Dureghello also took part to the event, among the others.

From top, the ceremony held in Rome last week and he intervention of her niece Piera.

Translated by Alice Pugliese and revised by Gianluca Pace, students at the Advanced School for Interpreters and Translators of the University of Trieste, interns at the newspaper office of the Union of the Italian Jewish Communities – Pagine Ebraiche.