I arrived in Trieste on a chilly Monday morning. I was in Ljubljana, Slovenia, the day before. I didn’t know how to get the bus ticket, so a friendly local shared his ticket with me to get to ICTP.
ICTP, the International Centre for Theoretical Physics, is named after Dr. Abdus Salam who was a Pakistani physicist awarded the Nobel prize in 1961 for his contribution to Physics. For me this place was of great significance as the school’s founder, Abdus Salam, belonged to the same region in Pakistan where I grew up. His figure was an inspiration to everyone in our community.
Trieste is located in the Eastern part of Italy, close to the Slovenian border. Right next to the ICTP campus there is the famous Miramare castle, on the bank of the Mediterranean sea. The campus is lush green and full of wildlife.
ICTP campus from outside.
I had informed the library staff that I would be visiting so they could give me a tour of the place. Right at the entrace there were some plaques of Abdus Salam and his peers.
Paolo Budinich was one of his peers who had helped in the creation of this school.
I then did a tour of the entire building, going through classrooms, etc.
I couldn’t make sense of these two (probably a joke among physicists).
ICTP cafeteria where I had lunch.
Finally I visited the library. I spent most of my day here going through his old speeches and writings. These were only accessible from within the ICTP network.
The library staff had preserved his belongings with great care. It included a room with Abdus Salam’s personal collection of books, awards, publications, letters people sent after his death, etc.
Around 10 PM, as I was about to head out, I surprisingly ran into the school’s director, Dr. Fernando Quevedo. He was inspecting the main auditorium with his wife before heading out. I introduced myself and told him where I was from. He said Abdus Salam was a great man and we had a chat for few minutes. Before leaving he gave me one of his documentaries.
Some more pictures of the library…