Newsletter of the Centro

New Series,  no. 3 –  April 9, 2003

Edited by Dario Manfredi and Rossana Piccioli - Translated by John Black




The Passing of Augusto Cesare Ambrosi


Professor Augusto Cesare Ambrosi passed away on March 29, in Florence. He was born in Casola in Lunigiana in 1919. With him passes the last exponent of the great school of historiography which included Giovanni Sforza, Ubaldo Formentini, Ubaldo Mazzini, Manfredo Giuliani and Nino Lamboglia, and which, to its great credit, investigated the history of Lunigiana from the points of view of the most diverse disciplines.
        In over fifty years of fruitful intellectual activity, Ambrosi produced over one hundred publications (both articles and books) devoted not only to regional history but also to speleology, dialectics, folklore and ethnography, prehistory, ancient history and the history of castles. Of the most fundamental importance was his contribution to the systematic study of the statue-stele of the Vale of Magra.
         Of Alexandro Malaspina he wrote little, but knew a lot. And he was among the first in Lunigiana to encourage the resumption of Malaspina Studies and to enrich the library of our Centro with valuable publications. But here we want to remember him also for his deep humanity, his reserved and gentlemanly manner and his goodness, and for the affectionate attitude with which he knew how to fashion close ties with his collaborators and with young people. His passing leaves indeed an unfillable void.


          Malaspina-related Writings of A. C. Ambrosi:

-       Manoscritti del "Fondo Giovanni Sforza" nella Biblioteca Civica "Ubaldo Mazzini" di La Spezia, “Annuario 1985-1986” della Biblioteca Civica di Massa, Massa, 1990, pp. 57-67.

-     Gli studi su Alessandro Malaspina in Lunigiana, Giornale Storico della Lunigiana e del Territorio Lucense”, Nuova Serie, XXXIX (1988), La Spezia, 1991, pp. 143-151.



News from Mulazzo


ª The GAL (Lunigiana Development Leader), has published the list of projects proposed by public bodies for "Iniziativa comunitaria Leader Plus-Azione 2.5" under the rubric of programmes directed at the improvement of knowledge and the development of environmental and cultural resources (Proclamation no. 1.1, Measure 2, Action 2.5).
Available to be spent are around €400,000, of which 50% will be contributed by the body and the remainder by GAL.
The project "Archive-Museum of the Malaspinas," proposed the Commune of Mulazzo, has been accepted and judged suitable for financial support. The "Archive-Museum of the Malaspinas" - which will be created at the site of our Centro - involves, among other things, the planned development of new exhibition spaces and of the auditorium, and the acquisition of furnishings for the rooms housing the library, which will also be provided with modern multimedia stations.
To accomplish this end it is necessary only to get down to work. We are already doing so.



            World News



ª Nanaimo (British Columbia, Canada). John Black, who teaches at Malaspina University College in Nanaimo, will be visiting Mulazzo and our Centro with several colleagues on May 11. This visit – which falls on the 200th anniversary of  Alexandro Malaspina's return to Italy – has the further purpose of planning initiatives for 2004 (the 250th anniversary of the navigator's birth).


ª Madrid. On May 20, at the Istituto Italiano di Cultura, there will be a presentation of Enzo Rangognini's book L’istitutore aragonese. The "istitutore" is Ramón Ximénez de Cenarbe; the book includes letters written by him to Fabio Ala Ponzone. Ximénez retained friendly relations with Alexandro Malaspina just as much as did Ala Ponzone, and this suggests that the volume will throw new light on the biography of our navigator.



                  Activities of the Centro Malaspina


Explosion 1:  New


Our Website!

Finally, our Centro's own website is ready

The address is:


Naturally a lot of things are still to be added, and some pages will be modified. We will do this in the next weeks. We warmly thank our friend Roberta Giovannacci for his helpful and enthusiastic collaboration.

Come visit us, from time to time, and you will always find new and (we hope) useful things. 




On Sunday March 16, at 4 pm, in the series:


Tra Meridiani & Paralleli. Viaggi, Terre lontane, Culture diverse, 


Luisa Rossi, lecturer in the history of exploration at the University of Parma, gave a well-received lecture on A painter of butterflies among the Indians. Maria Sibylla Merian (1699-1701)



Publications Received


ª Ferruccio Sassi, La Lunigiana (Franco Orengo ed.), La Spezia, Accademia Lunigianese di Scienze Giovanni Capellini, 2002, pp. 86.

We mention this study – left unpublished for half a century since the death of the author – above all for its useful references to Azzo Giacinto Malaspina of Mulazzo.


ª Umberto Burla, Malaspina di Lunigiana, La Spezia, Luna Editore, 2001 pp. 240.

One chapter (pp. 53-62) is devoted to Alexandro Malaspina, and contains precise information drawn from the most recent literature. Not so, unfortunately, for many other members of the family.


ª Luisa Rossi, Per un contributo alla cartografia «minore» e alla toponomastica della Lunigiana: un grande «tipo geometrico» inedito di Matteo Vinzoni conservato nelle Archives Nationales di Parigi, Estr. da Claudio Cerreti e Annalena Taberini (Eds.), La cartografia degli autori minori italiani, Rome, Società Geografica Italiana, 2001, pp. 439-469.

We mention this work especially because it provides rich and “sumptuous” onomatological and toponymic information relating to the Lunigianese territory between the Vara and Magra rivers.


ª Giampietro Rigosa, Prestatori ebrei a Pontremoli tra XV e XVI secolo. Nei documenti

     dell’archivio ducale di Milano, Villafranca in Lunigiana, Associazione “Manfredo Giuliani, 2003, 108 pp.



Centro di Studi Malaspiniani “Alessandro Malaspina” – Mulazzo (MS)

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