Fun_People Archive
15 Jun
Trip report - Sicily

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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Thu, 15 Jun 100 15:51:22 -0700
To: Fun_People
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Subject: Trip report - Sicily

X-Lib-of-Cong-ISSN: 1098-7649  -=[ Fun_People ]=-
From: "Joshua W. Burton"


The Erice schools (nominally US$600 for a ten-day session, but if you Know
Someone or are willing to take and transcribe notes you can get that waived)
are certainly the greatest perq in academic physics, and perhaps in all of
science.  Antonino Zichichi, once a first-rate and productive physicist at
CERN, happens to be a younger scion of one of the more prominent families
in the Siciliano branch of the Mothers' And Fathers' Italian Association.
So when he reached a certain age and it became unsafe for him to travel
(kidnap risk, I assume), his family very generously called in some chips
and had the Institute established and funded by the Italian government.

Gorgeous medieval walled town, atop a 2000-foot pinnacle overlooking Trapani
and the sea (all the way to Tunisia on a clear day).  Revamped monastery
dorm rooms, with outstanding room service.  T1 internet connectivity in
1992 when I was last there---surely better now.  Free food at every
restaurant in town, if you're wearing your badge...and they aren't stingy
about it; I remember turning away fifth and sixth courses twice a day just
to survive.  And at least a hundred of the world's outstanding physicists
stopping through for at least one session, any given summer.  Someday some
bean counter is going to find out and put a stop to it, I'm sure, but I
came home with my view of the Mafia somewhat mellowed.

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