From the soft r, which has never given him great problems and which indeed gives him "a recognizable accent", to the red of the sunsets from the windows of the house, and then the ability to understand mathematics experienced as a personal secret, and again 1968, the meetings with the protagonists of 20th century physics and the fundamental role they played in research, up to the Nobel Prize: Giorgio Parisi is satisfied with the way he talks about himself in his biography.
"I see it well, I think it's something that can make people understand the scent of the things I was doing", he told ANSA, recounting how the book "Steps that never end. Daily life of a Nobel Prize" was born, written with the my lifelong friend Piergiorgio Paterlini (The ship of Theseus, 304 pages, 19 euros).
"I have known Piergiorgio Paterlini for 42 years, he is a friend with whom we meet every year and in August last year, on my birthday, he asked me to write an autobiography together. I would have said no to anyone else, but with him I was sure that something well done would come out".
Thus began a long series of telephone interviews, in all about 50 hours of recording in which questions and answers ranged from the most distant family memories, seen through the eyes of a child, to the many places that marked the stages of the his research and the many moves, and the fundamental presence of his wife Daniella.
He had found himself talking to her, while walking one evening, about the complexity of the flight of flocks that inspired a crucial strand of her research.
There are more descriptive memories that alternate with short and effective images, such as the music he listened to when he was a student at the scientific high school, his favorite films and those that disturbed him, the endless battles and appeals to enhance scientific research, giving it adequate means and funding.
"The result is very lively, it's a good portrait that shows the passions and interests of a person who deals with science, it's a good portrait", said Parisi.
On the other hand, he added, "I found myself talking about things that were a bit personal, that you only tell friends."
He did it with a "great spontaneity" that transpires in every passage of the story of his life.
Even the style is lively and conversational, whether it's his handwriting ("a friend of mine said I could get bad handwriting even when I was typing") or the research on complexity ("I didn't understand everything, but I remember the emotion
The result is a vast gallery of portraits, of many colleagues and friends, of important figures in his life, such as his "teacher" Nicola Cabibbo, and effective portraits of his family members, from the oldest memories of parents and uncles, to those of his children and grandchildren.
"The family welcomed the book, but I wanted them to read the drafts first. Everyone was very happy, especially the children, who didn't know many things".
For Parisi, "the most delicate thing was mixing scientific and non-scientific things, so as not to do something that was dissemination: we wanted to insert science into a novel".