Science, Technology & Academia

On this page you’ll find individuals who have made a noteworthy contribution to the fields of science, technology and/or academic research.

Lucia Beviglia

Lucia Beviglia, graduated in Biological Sciences at the University of Perugia, began her scientific career in Italy at the Mario Negri Institute in Santa Maria Imbaro, studying experimental models of hematological and oncology research. After receiving a “fellowship” scholarship from the Abruzzo Region and the Mario Negri Sud Consortium, in 1991 she moved to the United States to Temple University in Philadelphia, where she had the opportunity to deepen the study of tumor metastases, until she achieved the specialization diploma in Biomedical and Pharmacological Sciences. She later continued to work with passion at the prestigious University of California in San Francisco and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, until arriving in Silicon Valley in California in 2000, taking on leading positions at the pharmaceutical companies Celera, Corgentech and OncoMed and the Institute SRI. Since 1918 she has worked independently at Beviglia Cancer Models on important preclinical cancer immunotherapy projects, collaborating with other researchers throughout the United States. During her career she has received several awards and published more than 30 articles. She understood that the patience, perseverance and tenacity necessary in research work are all qualities that were given to her by the environment in which she lived, by her family, by the teachers of Torricella and by examples of Torricella life. In 2015 she won the Torricellana nel Mondo Award (see Chi’ssi dice? 33). Her father, Dr. Antonio Beviglia, originally from Borrello, was a resident and veterinarian of Torricella for years. Lucia often returns to Torricella with her Peruvian-American husband, Pedro Barrantes, an industrial and systems engineer who works as a Manager for the global networking company Cisco Systems.


Valeria Caiolfa

Valeria Caiolfa, born in Torricella Peligna, is a world-class researcher in the oncology field. She received her Master’s degree in Science and her PhD in Physical Chemistry from Ben Gurion University in Israel. From 1992 to 2000 she was a laboratory manager at Pharmacia spa in Milan. Since 2001 she has been a professor of bioinformatics at San Raffaele in Milan. Since 2005 she has also been a Visiting Scientist of the laboratory for dynamic fluorescence at the National Institutes of Health in Los Angeles in Irvine, California. She currently works between Madrid and Milan in the most important research laboratories. She is the author of many scientific publications together with her partner in work and life, Moreno Zamai. Valeria and Moreno got married in Torricella in 2008.

In 2011 she was the first woman to receive the “Torricellana nel Mondo” award.


Luciano D’Amico

Luciano D’Amico, born in Torricella in 1960, is a renowned economist with an enviable CV. He is rector emeritus of the University of Teramo, professor of business economics and former dean of the Faculty of Communication Sciences. He has carried out mainly institutional research on topics of business economics, finance and corporate auditing. He is the author of numerous monographs and articles published by prestigious publishers. His commitment and the value of his professional contribution were recognized by awarding him the honor of Knight of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic.
He spent his youth in Torricella and returns there often. In 2011 he participated as a speaker at the conference on renewable energies held in the Torricella Media Library. In 2013 he was awarded the “Torricellano nel Mondo” award.
Lately he has turned towards political activity, running for the position of president of the Abruzzo Region with a left-wing coalition, “Abruzzo Insieme”.


Luigi ‘Gigi’ Mancini


Mancini began his career in aviation in 1914, when he went to the First Civil School of Flight in Rome, and took part in 1915 in the Group of Voluntary Aviators, with the Honourable Montù, at Mirafiori. As a War Pilot, he flew a Caproni aircraft to one of the first attacks on enemy aircraft, using a rifle he’d carried aboard, to try and hit the adversary’s aircraft. As a Fighter Pilot he then faced up to many air battles for which his name was put forward for the Silver and Bronze Medals for Military Valour.

After the War his passion for flying pushed him towards air competitions, beating records and commercial air transport. For several years he was the Editor in Rome of the “Gazetta dell’Aviazione” (The Aviation Gazette),; he founded and directed the review “Aeronautica” (Aeronautics), “Orario Aereo” (Air Hours), “Ali d’Italia” (Wings of Italy), apart from special numbers dedicated to particular air-shows and manifestations etc. His last publication, that has been out for a number of years now, and still being published at the time of his death, was “La ruota diorama” (The Diorama Wheel).

There is one of Mancini’s publications that deserves special mention for various reasons: first and foremost because it was truly an original work for the era in which it was written, 1936; it is in fact the “Grande Enciclopedia Aeronautica” (The Great Aeronautic Encyclopedia), a juge volume with 660 pages of text, and innumerable illustrations. It might seem strange that Mancini’s Encyclopedia had no further editions or periodic updates. This lack of continuity, according to us, does not lie with the work itself, but can be attributed rather to something curiously lacking in Mancini’s temperament; a profoundly independent spirit and aware of his own capacities and accomplishments, he did not have one of the most secure levers of success, that of being able to call for the support of the powerful for own ideas. He did things himself and he cared about doing things himself, almost like continually throwing himself a challenge.

It is also for this reason, apart from all the events in his life as an aviator, that perhaps Luigi Mancini will not be remembered with spectacularly loud cheers, but he will certainly remain within the centre of the hearts of those who knew him. Finally, to those of us who were his colleagues and pupils, apart from Mancini the pioneer of flight, of aeronautics, and of commercial air links, we are deeply sorry not to be able to give a drawn-out description of the golden human attributes of his personality, his modesty, his generosity and the affectionate altruism which all made his sincere friendship an inestimable treasure. 


Loris Di Pietrantonio

Loris Di Pietrantonio grew up in Torricella where he attended elementary and middle schools and the Classical High School of Lanciano, a detached section of Casoli, graduating in 1992. He continued his studies at the University of International and Diplomatic Sciences of Gorizia and subsequently at the College of Europe in Bruges. His brilliant career has led him to work all over the world and now at the prestigious European Commission, where he holds the position of Deputy Director of the European Social Fund.

He remains constantly interested in the various initiatives concerning Torricella, also organizing events such as conferences and conventions in the town. On the occasion of his wedding party, he donated part of the wedding gifts to finance a scholarship for students at the University of L’Aquila relating to the feasibility study of a wind farm in the Torricella area. He does not fail to use the name of Torricella and be present during the holidays and summer holidays.

In 2017 he was awarded the “Torricellano nel Mondo” award.

Gianni Pugliese


Gianni Pugliese has achieved prestigious goals in his professional life. From an early age he witnessed innovations and patents in his father’s business in Rome. In 1993 he founded Telecom & Security based in Manoppello Scalo, province of Pescara. He was born from the experience of the parent company, FAIT, founded by the engineer Giorgio Pugliese, Giovanni’s father. The most important invention is the CaP, the Pressure Connector, which allows for a quick and economical connection and with which he has won numerous awards in world exhibitions and fairs. CaP is produced in Italy and exported to all 5 continents.

Gianni Pugliese was born in Rome but from Torricella in all respects. He was registered with the Friends of Torricella with no. 1, i.e. the first to get the association card. He participated in the amateur film “I promessi sposi” set in Torricella.

In 2008 he was awarded the “Torricellano nel Mondo” award.