Maria was considered to be self-confident, optimistic and greatly interested in change. As a child Maria had a daily quota of knitting she was to meet. Maria learned very easily and did exceptionally well on exams.
Maria graduated from technical school in 1886. She managed to get high marks in all of her subjects with a final score of 137 out of 150. After that she attended Regio Instituto Tecnico Leonardo da Vinci from 1886 to 1890. There she studied modern languages and natural sciences. By the time she was ready to graduate, she had decided she wanted to go into the biological sciences. Her family, mostly her father, was shocked and disapproving. It was considered impossible for a woman to be accepted into a medical school. Her father actually stopped just short of forbidding her to study medicine.
She checked first with the University of Rome. Not surprising, however, they did not admit women into the medical program. She decided instead to enroll at the University of Rome to study physics, mathematics and natural sciences. In 1892, she passed her exams with an eight out of ten and received a Diploma di licenza that made her eligible to study medicine. The problem of course was she was a woman. During the time she was at school, she lived at home and had very little campus life experience, however, gradually other students began to accept her. Her and her father did not talk a lot because he was still upset about her studying medicine. Her mother continued to support her and sometimes helped her study.
In 1896 she had to present her thesis to a board of ten men. They were highly impressed with her work and granted her the degree of doctor of medicine. This made her the first woman to graduate from medical school in Italy.
Shortly after, she was chosen as a representative of Italy at two... [continues]
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