Gilberto Bernardini (1964-1977)


A physicist and a student of the Scuola Normale from 1923 to 1927, Bernardini started an expansion process with an increase in the number of lecturers, students and disciplines, and through the acquisition of properties.
Under the directorship of Bernardini, scholars of great prestige became lecturers at the Scuola Normale: Arnaldo Momigliano, Mario Fubini, Gianfranco Contini, Giovanni Nencioni, Paola Barocchi, Eugenio Garin and Giovanni Pugliese Carratelli.
During the years in which Bernardini was Director, Count Lorenzo Passerini donated the Palazzone to the Scuola Normale; the imposing Renaissance villa on the outskirts of Cortona, in the province of Arezzo, was to become the venue for conferences and pre-university campuses. In Pisa, the Palazzo della Gherardesca, in Piazza dei Cavalieri, and the Collegio D’Ancona, in via Consoli del Mare were purchased: today the two buildings house the library and the students' lodgings respectively.
The Scuola Normale also opened up to disciplines until then not envisaged in its system of studies: Astrophysics and Biology, Chemistry-Physics and Economic History.
However, the project of a "Grande Normale" in which other faculties in Literature and Sciences were added, was set aside, and the didactic and administrative management of the College of Legal Medicine passed to the University of Pisa.
Gilberto Bernardini inaugurated in Erice, Sicily, the orientation courses of the Scuola Normale, with students from all over Italy attending university lectures before their final high school year.
1967 saw the first season of "The concerts of the Normale", a musical festival designed to enrich the cultural experience of its students, including, in this period, the future Prime Minister, Massimo D'Alema.