International School of Physics "Enrico Fermi"

Varenna, Lake Como

THE INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL OF PHYSICS "ENRICO FERMI", one of the most significant cultural activities of the Italian Physical Society, was founded in 1953 by the President of that time, Prof. Giovanni Polvani.

The Courses of the School, usually held in summer, by now have become a special and preciuos opportunity of meeting for scientists and young physicists from all over the world and have reached considerable international prestige.

Three annual Courses of one or two weeks each, normally held from June through July, are chosen by the SIF Council among numerous proposals arriving from either Italian or foreign groups of physicists or physics institutions. Considerable attention is paid to the cultural impact, the up-to-date scientific content, as well as a fair distribution and promotion among+the different fields of physics. Each Course has two or more Directors and a Scientific Secretary. The task of the Directors consists in choosing and inviting Lecturers and Seminar Speakers, taking into account their scientific competence. Participants are selected, upon application, by the Directors of the Course together with the SIF President on the basis of the information submitted, with regard also to a fair distribution of the available posts among various nationalities. Approximately 50 students attend each Course of the School.

At the end of the Course, all lectures and seminars are grouped and published in the prestigiuos series "Proceedings of the International School of Physics Enrico Fermi" of the Italian Physical Society.

The School has its institutional seat in the Villa Monastero at Varenna, on Lake Como.

Villa Monastero

Varenna is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and characteristic villages in the eastern bank of Como Lake. The mild climate and the picturesque surroundings guarantee a relaxing and peaceful stay. Villa Monastero, one of the most ancient and famous villas of the region with its impressive botanic garden, is one of the worldwide best known tourist attractions. Once a monastery, and then transformed into a residential palace, the Villa is now administered by the Province of Lecco.

From the beginning of the School in 1953 the Courses have been directed and attended by famous physicists from all over the world, among them several Nobel prize winners. Enrico Fermi here gave a series of lectures on "Pions and nucleons" in the summer of 1954, shortly before his death.

  • In addition to the official lectures, several seminars on related subjects will be held by visiting scientists.
  • The scientific organization and direction of the Course are entrusted to the Directors.
  • The School is intended for PhD students and young post-docs. The number of students at each Course is limited to about 60. Students are requested to attend all lectures and seminars.
  • Whoever may be interested in attending the Course and is not entitled - for his age or other reasons - to be considered a student, may follow the Course as observer. Registration fee charged to observers is € 500,00. Observers should provide for their board and lodging; if required, the School may take care of their hotel reservation.
  • Applicants will be informed of the decision on their admittance within 30 days from the beginning of each Course.
  • Owing to the limited number of places available in the lecture hall, it will not be possible to allow any person not selected by the Committee of the School to follow the Courses.
  • Students are requested to arrive at Varenna respectively on the indicated arrival days. Accommodation for the students will be provided in shared rooms with 2 beds in hotels/appartments at Varenna. Meals will be organized by the School.
  • Fees should be paid by students and observers following the instruction and within the date indicated in the letter of admittance.
  • Scholarships may be granted to deserving students, SIF Members, who need financial help. Such requests must be specified and justified in the recommendation letter. Scholarships will be assigned by the President of the Italian Physical Society.
  • Students should avoid being accompanied by relatives. In view of the holiday season local accommodation is very limited. Quite exceptionally the School could see to the accommodation of members of students' families in local hotels. Hotel expenditure for students' relatives will be payable separately and directly to the hotel management.

How to reach Varenna

From Milano

By train: Milano airports (Linate 10 km and Malpensa 46 km from Milano) and the Railway Stations in Milano are connected through frequent bus service.
The railway line on which Varenna is located is Milano-Sondrio-Tirano (see Trenitalia).
Trains to Varenna are leaving about every 2-3 hours from both railway stations of Milano Centrale and Milano Porta Garibaldi. The trip from Milano to Varenna is about 1 hour.

By car: from Milano take the road towards Lecco (SS 36), when you get to Lecco follow the road along the lake (S. Prov. 72) and then exit at Abbadia Lariana/Mandello/Varenna - Villa Monastero is placed along the main road leading to the center of the village where there are also parking places.

From Bergamo / Lugano

From the Bergamo airport (Orio al Serio) and Lugano airport (Agno): take the train to Milano, then follow the directions above.

Other information

Ferry boat service for cars and people.

Download the Varenna map.