It’s gotten a bit cooler and even more overcast today. Not only Mucrone but all of the hills below are completely out of sight. It rained a little this morning but the sun seems to want to make an appearance.
We had a new arrival here at the villa yesterday, a skilled painter from Poland who has discovered and restored some frescos in various rooms. When I walked past his work area this morning, I happened to notice the newspaper he had placed along the floor beneath his ladder: copies of last week’s La Stampa. It was just a little reminder of how current Pier Giorgio’s story really is.
If you have read anything about him, you will have learned that his father Alfredo was the founder of the newspaper La Stampa. Mrs. Josephine Frassati, Alfredo’s mother, gave him all of her savings to help launch this venture. Later, Alfredo became the youngest senator for the kingdom of Italy and was eventually appointed to the position of ambassador to Germany. When Mussolini rose to power in 1922, Ambassador Frassati was unwilling to support the fascist political regime. He immediately resigned his position and returned to Italy from Berlin. In 1926, he was forced to sell La Stampa for a paltry sum.
Here in Pollone in 2007, it’s nice to see that La Stampa is as much a part of daily life as it was when Pier Giorgio was alive. It is still delivered to the house and read by those here. And, despite all its noble history and tradition, it’s no surprise to see that it is still finding ways to be of use to the family – such as catching falling plaster on a chilly sort of day. ///cmw