Mulazzo, Massa-Carrara, Italia


Year 2, no. 2                       January 25/2001

Edited by Dario Manfredi, translated by John Black


Pontremoli, villa Dosi Delfini.
Meeting between the director of the Centro di Studi Malaspiniani and Prince Diofebo VI Meli Lupi di Soragna.
Photograph by Maria Clotilde Pucci Fiori.

1.    At Pontremoli, in the villa Dosi Delfini, a cultural exhibition took place, in the course of which the director of the Centro di Studi Malaspiniani met with Dr. Diofebo VI Meli Lupi, Prince of Soragna. Dr. Diofebo Meli Lupi, who belongs to the maternal family of Alexandro Malaspina, clearly has a lively interest in the Spanish branch of his family: Felice Meli Lupi, a cousin of Alexandro, moved to Spain, where he did military service in the Royal Navy, married a noblewoman of Irish origin Isabel Bryant and died, as did his son-in-law de Castaños, in the Battle of Trafalgar (1805).

To learn more about the Meli Lupi family and about the fairy-tale castle of Soragna (in the Province of Parma), visit: http://www.quiinternet.com/soragna/index.html

2.    On January 18 a meeting took place between Dr. Paola Bordigoni, representative of the
Dante Alighieri Society (Honduras Chapter), the Mayor of Mulazzo, Prof. Roberto Malaspina, and the director of the Centro di Studi Malaspiniani. Its purpose was to examine the possibilities of establishing a cultural exchange between Central American artists and Lunigiana. The attempt will now be made to organize an exhibition of painting and sculpture in Mulazzo next summer. In conjunction with the exhibition, there could also take place a study day devoted to the comparison of the popular sculpture of Lunigiana and that of the Maya.

3.    The statue-stele discovered at Groppoli di Mulazzo (see the preceding issue - 2001/1 - of this newsletter) has been transported to the Soprintendenza Archeologica della Toscana. Of these important ones prehistoric finds we will still speak to one of the next news-bulletins.


- Actas II Simposio de Historia Marítima y Naval Iberoamericana, [Viña del Mar]. Universidad Marítima de Chile, 1996, 430 pp.

We have only just received this volume, which contains, among 39 papers, some with Malaspinian themes, as follows: The author illustrates the patient work of Bauzá exiled in England in correcting
various cartographic errors made by the officers of the Malaspina Expedition. For this task the author employs the rich correspondence of Bauzá with Martín Fernández de Navarrete, preserved in the archive of the marquises of Legarda. We take the opportunity to point out that photos of Bauzá's letters are also kept in the Museo Naval in Madrid.
This paper illustrates the political-strategic motives which, rather than considerations of public order, induced England to found the colony of Sidney. Alexandro Malaspina understood that this was so.
  • Dario MANFREDI, "Alejandro Malaspina y sus trabajos en Chile" (pp. 268-274).

  •        This work was written on the basis of the diary of José de Bustamante at

  •         that time still unpublished. Now that the document has been published in the
            collection La Expedición Malaspina, by the Museo Naval in Madrid and
            Lunwerg Edicciones, the account  is no longer important.
  • Josephine H. SCHULTE, "La expedición científica de Malaspina: un asunto internacional" (pp. 286-296).
  • This paper has the ambitious aim of re-evaluating - in the space of very few pages - the whole significance of the Malaspina Expedition and the life of its principal protagonists. Since the author appears unaware of anything published in Italy since 1984, one is hardly surprised by the fact that there are in this work a number of errors and omissions of various types. But there is one point, above all, which  requires repeated comment, and that is the claim that Malaspina fell from favour because of his "defence of the cause of liberty in Latin America." Well: no! Alexandro certainly had many good points, but one cannot also attribute to him that of being a forerunner of the liberty (or independence) of Spanish America. It is true that he developed a plan for the decentralization of the Spanish Empire, but that plan was proposed in order to keep the American territories and the Philippines under the Bourbon crown, and certainly not to promote their independence. To become convinced of this, one need do no more than read with attention the Axiomas Políticos, which the same Malaspina wrote even before setting off on the Expedition.
          The author whose great precision, and, it might be said, punctiliousness, is known to
          all Malaspinistas offers here a short but useful biography of Bustamante.  Sadly
          (because the author is also a dear friend), we have to express two criticisms:

      #     that there is a lack of any archival reference, which would have proved very useful to anyone who wanted to engage in further research on this noteworthy character;

      #     that there appears once more, on the surface at least, the implication of an alleged "conspiracy" by Malaspina. Yet Beerman who has written a superbly documented and crucial volume on this matter should know better than anyone that it cannot be maintained that Malaspina had accomplices: his only error consisted in being naive enough to develop a plan to change the government and to propose it to the weak sovereign Charles IV.


    This magazine - official publication of the Programma de Investigación Geográfico-Político Patagónico - deals with history, economy, anthropology and other aspects of Patagonian society.  We draw your attention here to the article by María Marta Orfali Fabri "El padre Nicolas Mascardi" (pp. 17-20). The Jesuit missionary Niccolò Mascardi born in Sarzana lived for many years in Chile and in Patagonia, converting the population and exploring part of the region. On p. 140 there is an historical picture of the villa Malaspina in Caniparola. Return to AMRC Homepage                                                             Italian Original