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Luigi Solari

Marconi did not attend school regularly. He used to spend long periods in Tuscany with his mother Annie and brother Alfonso, where he studied fitfully in a series of different schools. For one year at the Cavallero Institute in Florence he had a friend, though in a different class, who would later become his right-hand man: Luigi Solari.

Solari was born in Turin in 1873. He became a Navy officer, but also cultivated an interest in the study of electricity. In July 1897 he attended Marconi's first demonstrations in Italy, which took place in the Gulf of La Spezia and where he was reunited with his old school friend. Several years later, in 1901, they would discuss a supply of wireless telegraphic equipment for the Italian Navy, where Solari worked. On 1902 Solari accompanied Marconi on the Carlo Alberto cruiser, working with him on a series of successful experiments.

From that moment on their partnership strengthened. Although Marconi dedicated much of his time to public relations and preferred to handle things personally, he used to send Solari in his place, when he was unable to attend a meeting or negotiation. They communicated directly with each other, even bypassing the company's management.

In 1903 Solari represented Italy at the first International Radiotelegraphic Conference in Berlin. The atmosphere was clearly hostile towards Marconi, but Solari spoke in his defence, as he would do on many other occasions. Representing the Marconi Company, he supervised the development of radiotelegraphic plants in Italy, in particular the large station at Coltano, near Pisa, which was opened in 1911. He also mediated successful agreements between the Marconi Company and various Mediterranean countries, in particular Portugal and Spain.

For over thirty years Solari worked as Marconi's representative, consultant and spokesman. He also contributed to the continuous development of technological innovations with his great knowledge and interest for the subject.

He was the last person to see Marconi before he died suddenly from an heart attack. Solari continued to hold new and important diplomatic and institutional positions and died in 1957, twenty years after Marconi. During his life Solari also wrote detailed memoirs which he eventually published, thus becoming Marconi's biographer.









"Luigi Solari: a life devoted to radiotelegraphy"



















Francesco Paresceparesce francesco

Marconi was the right man in the right place at the right time. He was the right man because he had the ideal combination of personal characteristics for the job: persistence, daring, technical ability, charisma and flair for public relations.


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