Giuseppe Occhialini (1907-1993) is an outstanding figure among the Italian physicists that characterised the scientific development of the last century. A great experimenter, tirelessly proposing and implementing new projects, his name is linked to the history of research into cosmic rays, which were, however, far from being his only sphere of interest. In 1987, the physics community in general, and in particular the circle of his colleagues and friends, decided to offer Occhialini a sign of their esteem and affection by organising a commemorative encounter for his 80th birthday. In view of the retiring and crusty character of the scientist it was decided to hold a Conference on other themes: a Seminar on the history of the European Space Agency, followed by a Round Table on the beginnings of the research into cosmic rays. Seen through today's eyes, beyond its delightful fascination, this also appears like an almost magical moment that brought together some of the greatest physicists, of international standing, in one of the most fertile periods of Italian physics.
University of Florence, Italy
INAF - Arcetri Astrophysical Observatory, Italy