Newsletter of the Centro


New Series,  no. 13 – April-May 2006

edited by Dario Manfredi and Rossana Piccioli


Activities of the Centro

ª  Pontremoli - Mulazzo (Massa- Carrara)                                                                                                


The Centro di Studi Malaspiniani recently assisted in the organisation of the international conference: “La casa che la vostra casa onora”. La Lunigiana e i Malaspina nella biografia e nell’opera di Dante Alighieri a 700 anni dal soggiorno lunigianese (1306-2006), which took place in Pontremoli and Mulazzo from May 25 to 27.

The following took part: Paola Allegretti (University of Perugia), Anna Maria Babbi (University of Verona), John C. Barnes (University College, Dublin), Marcello Ciccuto (University of Pisa), Giuseppe Indizio (L. Bocconi University, Milan), Luca C. Rossi (University of Bergamo), H. Wayne Storey (University of Indiana at Bloomington), Michelangelo Zaccarello (University of Verona).

Greetings were received from Marchese Giacomo Malaspina di Frassi and Count Pieralvise di Serego Alighieri. One session of the conference was held in the Centro itself, and at the end, in the main piazza of Mulazzo, a plaque was unveiled to commemorate Dante's taking refuge in Lunigiana. At the request of Sandro Donati, Mayor of Mulazzo, the honur of unveiling the plaque was given to the scholar who had travelled from the most distant country, the United States, Wayne Storey.


To mark the occasion, our auditorium housed a bibliographical and documentary exhibition: “La presenza di Dante in Lunigiana nella poesia e nella tradizione”, which will remain open until August 15.


On the final day there was a book-launch for the republication of Vasco Bianchi's Scritti danteschi e malaspiniani (Edizioni Paolo Savi, Pontremoli 2006, 140 pp.), undertaken on the Centro's initiative.


 News of the World


ª  Madrid

On May 9 and 10 the Istituto Italiano di Cultura in Madrid hosted the cultural celebration “Malaspina-Haenke 2007”. During the next year a number of similar events on this theme will be put on by the Foreign Ministries of Spain and the Czech Republic.


In the course of the two days, three books were launched:


M. Palau, E. Soler, J. Opatrný (eds.), El paraíso ilustrado. Malaspina y Haenke en el Nuevo Mundo. Siglos. XVIII y XIX.

A. Malaspina, Carta crítica sobre el Quijote, (D. Manfredi and B. Sáiz eds,), Alacant, Universidad de Alacant, 2005.

A. Malaspina, Lettera critica sul Chisciotte, (trans. D. Manfredi), Edizioni Paolo Savi, Pontremoli 2005.


The celebration was also attended by Mike Maquinna, chief of the Mowachaht-Muchalaht First Nation, who introduced the project to build a Cultural Centre at Yuquot on Nootka Island.



Publications received by the Library of the Centro


M. Palau, E. Soler, J. Opatrný (eds.), El paraíso ilustrado. Malaspina y Haenke en el Nuevo Mundo. Siglos. XVIII y XIX, Madrid, Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores y de Cooperación et al., 2006, 232 pp. Contains contributions byJ. Opatrný, M.A. Puig Samper, E. Soler Pascual, M. Palau, D. Manfredi, F. Muñoz, E. García Guillen, M.C. Velasco, M, Alfonso, C. Martínez-Shaw, V. Rogozov, P.E. Mamou. The inclusion of an essay by the last writer will arouse perplexity in more than one reader.


Ciencia y técnica en Latinoamérica en el período virreinal, Grupo Cesce, 2005, 2 vols. 732 pp.

We make particular mention of the folowing articles: José Celestino Mutis padre de la ciencia colombiana (J.L. Peset); Viajeros ilustrados y expediciones científicas en Cuba (M.A. Puig Samper); La circumnavegación Malaspina y la historia natural (A. Galera Gómez).


M. Black, HuupuKwanum Tupaat. Out of the Mist. Treasures of the Nuu-chah-nulth Chiefs, Canada, Royal British Columbia Museum, 1999, 160 pp.

Notizie di viaggi lontani

Cristóbal Colón y el mito colombino, Madrid, Museo Naval, 2006, 214 pp. This is the catalogue of the exhibition held at the Museo Naval in Madrid to commemorate the 5th centenary of the death of Colombus. Contains contributions from Anunciada Colón de Carvajal and Nieves Rodríguez Amunátegui. 


J. Ortiz Sotelo, Perú y Gran Bretaña: política y economía (1808-1839) a través de los informes navales británicos, Lima, Asociación de Historia Marítima y Naval Iberoamericana, 2005, 294 pp.


J. Ortiz Sotelo, La Cañonera Amèrica: cien años en Amazonía, Lima, Asociación de Historia Marítima y Naval Iberoamericana, 2005, 98 pp.


C. López Urrutia, J. Ortiz Sotelo, Monitor Huáscar: una historia compartida, Lima, Asociación de Historia Marítima y Naval Iberoamericana, 2005, 192 pp.


G. Benelli, M. Zaccarrello, N. Michelotti, Relazioni tra Pontremoli e Milano durante il dominio spagnolo, Pontremoli, Centro editore, 1997, 124 pp.





Il Polo. Rivista dell’Istituto Geografico Polare Silvio Zavatti”, LXI (2006), n. 1.

We make particular mention of the facsimile reproduction, by G. Frinchillucci, of A. Crocco's short work, Contributi alla verità su la spedizione polare dell’«Italia»  (pp. 15-75).


Derroteros de la Mar del Sur”, XIII (2005), n. 1.

We make particular mention of: La última palabra sobre las “Islas Aurora” (D. Manfredi); Expediciones peruanas a Tahití, siglo XVIII (J. Ortiz Sotelo).


Pedant's Corner



Fernando García de Cortázar, teacher of modern history at the University of Deusto (Bilbao), is also a prolific and well-known writer. In his last book, Los perdedores de la Historia de España (Barcelona, Planeta, 2006, 618 pp.), one chapter is devoted to Alexandro Malaspina.

In the pages dedicated to our navigator we are forced to read, once more, that he was born in the Duchy of Parma (whereas it is well known that the marquisate of Mulazzo was a direct dependency of the Holy Roman Empire), that when he entered the [Spanish] Royal Navy he was assigned to the detachment of Cádiz (whereas in fact he was assigned to Cartagena), and that he conspired against Godoy (whereas the opposite is the case).

In short, Alexandro Malaspina, who was certainly beaten in life, a loser, is losing once again: this time not at Godoy's hands but at those of the later historiographer.

Fernando García de Cortázar writes very well, but, at least this once, is guilty of choosing his sources wrongly.

Further, the book contains a gross error concerning Dante Alighieri, namely that he was imprisoned by the Malaspinas, that they locked him up in a tower for several years ...  (in reality the poet was the honoured guest of the Malaspinas, and so esteemed by them that they entrusted him with the delicate mission of making peace with the Bishop-Count of Luni).

Unfortunately this is not the first time such rubbish has been published in Spain. Thomas of Lampedusa would say: “Another shovelful of earth thrown on the grave of Truth”...


Centro di Studi Malaspiniani “Alessandro Malaspina”


Piazza Malaspina, 2  MULAZZO , Massa-Carrara, Italy

Tel. e fax +39.0187.439712