Newsletter of the Centro

New Series,  no. 1 –  April 25, 2004


edited by Dario Manfredi and Rossana Piccioli, translated by John Black

Italian Original


News from Mulazzo


ª  On November 9, 2003 the Municipal Library of Mulazzo was named after the publisher Emanuele Maucci. Tributes to this hard-working entrepreneur, who emigrated from Parana (Mulazzo) at the end of the nineteenth century and founded one publishing house in Mexico City and another in Barcelona, were given by Loris J. Bononi and by Dario Manfredi.


ª  On January 16, 2004, work began on restructuring our Centro (see Newsletter no. 3/2003). The project, co-financed by European Union, the Province of Mass-Carrara and the Mountain Community of Lunigiana, is projected to cost about €150.000,00. The work should be finished by next autumn and until then neither the library nor the archive will be accessible, although consultation by e-mail will continue.


Activities of the Centro di Studi Malaspina                                                                      


ª Under the aegis of the exhibitions promoted by the Region of Tuscany to commemorate Amerigo Vespucci, and with the patronage of the National Committee for the celebrations of the Fifth Ccentenary of the Voyage of Vespucci, the Centro di Studi Malaspiniani organized the following presentations:


  Bibliographical and Documentary Exhibition on the Theme of “The Voyage (November 1 – 25, 2003)



Original editions were on view of books concerning Christopher Columbus, Amerigo Vespucci, James Cook, La Condamine, Filippo Mazzei, Agostino Codazzi, Giacomo Bove, Giacomo Costantino Beltrami, Enrico M. D'Albertis, Adamo Lucchesi, Giovanni Capellini, Paolo Mantegazza and others. One showcase was devoted to the Malaspina Expedition and it contained, besides the oldest Italian publications on the Navigator, the unpublished autograph manuscript Diccionario Geográfico de América, compiled by Fabio Ala Ponzone. Another showcase contained volumes published by Emanuele Maucci, including report of the voyage toward the North Pole completed by Luigi Amedeo di Savoia in the ship Stella Polare





  Study Day on "Tuscan Voyagers to America" (November 15, 2003)


The following presentations were made during hte meeting:


Leonardo Rombai (Università degli Studi di Firenze), La controversa questione vespucciana. Nuove acquisizioni.

Chiara Lombardi (Università degli Studi di Firenze), Rassegna dei mercanti fiorentini in America fra Quattro e Cinquecento.

Rossana Piccioli (Centro di Studi Malaspinani), Un misconosciuto oriundo toscano nella Spedizione Malaspina: Juan Vernacci.

Dario Manfredi (Centro di Studi Malaspinani), Gli “Assiomi politici” di Alessandro Malaspina sull’America.

Luisa Rossi (Università degli Studi di Parma), Paolo Mantegazza “geografo” e i suoi scritti sull’America latina.

Fabio Baroni (Museo del Territorio di Casola Lunigiana), Da Montefegatesi al Paraná. I viaggi di Adamo Lucchesi in Sudamerica.

Giulivo Ricci (Centro Aullese di Ricerche e Studi Lunigianesi), Alceste De Ambris in Brasile.


Some of the presenters: from the left, Luisa Rossi, Dario Manfredi, Rossana Piccioli, Fabio Baroni.




ª This year marks the 250th anniversary of the birth of Alexandro Malaspina. Our Centro cannot allow this date to pass unnoticed, and so hs included in its plans a study seminar on the theme “2004-2014: Prospects for Malaspina Studies.” For logistical and climatic reasons this meeting will take place in the first week of September; if the Centro is not available by then, the study meeting will take place at a different site, but certainly one in Lunigiana and connected in some way to the name of the Malaspinas. In the next newsletters we will provide further information on the initiative, but for now we invite anyone interested in participating to get in touch with the Centro.


Pubblications Received by the Library of the Centro


ª Andres Galera, Ciencia a la sombra del Vesubio. Ensayo sobre el conocimiento de la naturaleza, Madrid, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, 2003, 250 pp.


This book, in which are revisited the fruits of the author's long research, over many years, in Naples and Florence, is not only interesting but also amusing. The strong bonds between the Kingdom of Naples and Spain are not always well understood and few indeed are those who can identify Charles VII, King of Naples, with Charles III, King of Spain. Galera asks himself why, and gives us the most ironic and most correct answer: because the question is not one for mere dabblers …


ª Andrew David, Felipe Fernández-Armesto,  Carlos Novi, Glyndwr Williams eds., The Malaspina Expedition 1789-1794. Journal of the Voyage by Alejandro Malaspina. Vol. II. Panama to Philippines,  London - Madrid, The Hakluyt Society, Museo Naval, 2003, 512 pp.


We greet with enthusiasm the publication of this second volume of Malaspina's journal and await with anticipation the third and final volume, in which there will also appear some useful bio-bibliographical appendices.


ª  Julia Ulloa Suárez, Malaspina. La derrota del rigor, Sevilla, Promociones Al-Andalus S.L., 2004, 284 pp.


This is an historical novel, written with great respect for historical truth. One can see throughout that the author, before beginning to write, took care to read everything which has been published on Malaspina in the last twenty years. And in certain passages it is also clear that the author has fallen in love with the character. It's our bet that, in composing the pages about the last days of the Navigator, Ms Ulloa was deeply moved. And this emotion is successfully communicated, like a contagion, to the reader too.


ª Ugolino della Gherardesca, La Lunigiana ed il suo territorio antico e moderno. Monografie riguardanti il territorio edite o riedite dal 1900 al 2000, Pontedera, Bandecchi & Vivaldi, 2004, 2 voll.


This review of authors and works dealing with our geographical area has just appeared. The work is presented as a tool for researchers and enthusiasts, but seems to us to lack clear, systematic criteria and careful verification, a failing that often leads the author into error. Among other things, although the chronological limit of the book is 2000, it leaves out of its bibliography many titles already published by that time. We hope therefore that such an exacting task is taken up again, integrating the numerous data missing. The compiler of this bibliography of Lunigiana, in fact, claims to have tracked down over 5,000 titles and this on its own reveals the existence of omissions. In the Library of this Centro alone can be consulted over 8,000 monographs on Lunigianese matters; in the C. Cimati Library in Pontremoli there are about 16,000, not to mention the rich catalogue of the U.Mazzini Historical Library in La Spezia. Certainly it is not easy to compile so vast a bibliographical survey, but the commendable intent to furnish the public with such a precious tool should be conducted with extreme scientific rigour.



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