Evolution and Involution of Carbonatite Thoughts

During my doctoral studies, in the late 1980s, I realised that the Italian kamafugites (kalsilite melilitites) had to be related to carbonatite magmatism. I started a detailed study of the kamafugitic sites, and I explored remote areas deep in Italy’s Apennine mountains. When I found the Polino carbonatite, I put a few drops of acid on it, and the rock reacted. I have a vivid memory of my heart beating faster. I had found it! My fellow geologists were somewhat sceptical, but the late Professor Giorgio Marinelli (1922–1993) encouraged me and predicted many new carbonatite discoveries. He was right. Overcoming my Latin temperament, I focused on the concept that carbonatites, however unusual as rocks, cannot be dismissed as simple geological oddities but require detailed and comprehensive study. I am fond of all the history that marked my latest 40 years of life, and it reminds me of the many friends and mentors that I have had, especially when I was a young researcher. Sadly, some of them are no longer with us. I am so grateful to them, and I consider it a life-changing experience to have met them.

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