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Reports from the past - The Gibigianna/2

23 agosto 2003

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anybody knows what kind of car this is?

The second and last part of our report from the Gibigianna. In the image you can see on your left, a car has been brought on stage. I wonder what kind of car this is (the year is 1928). update: I was fooled by the picture, looking at the .tif scanned from the original, the car is not a real car but a stage replica. Even more impressive. =)

A writing by my aunt on the back of one of the pictures identifies a few of the participants and sets a different location from the one given on the silver ashtray (my grandmother is the 4th from the right standing in the first row)

in Castellazzo di Bollate party at Marchesa Crivelli’s

in the 1st row grandmother, Marichette Valentini, with the mage’s hat Vico Sormani

below the panel on the wall Alberto Sormani, at the far right Donà dalle Rose

1928

It’s 1928 then, and the place is Castellazzo di Bollate not Rovellasca. Rovellasca is a small town near Como, where the Marchesi (marquis) Crivelli had their villa, villa Arconati-Crivelli. The Crivelli where cousins to my grandmother via her mother Beatrice Sormani.

Castellazzo di Bollate is a small town near Milano, where in the XVII century the Conti (counts) Arconati built their splendid villa. As was usual for rich noble families of the time, the villa had an impressive art collection and library, where for a time Leonardo’s Codice Atlantico (now at the Biblioteca Ambrosiana in Milano) was kept. In the villa gardens, one could find fragments of the funerary monument of Gastone di Foix, duke of Nemours and nephew of Louis XII, or the statue of Pompeo at whose feet Caesar was said to be killed.

It is in this impressive settings then that my grandmother’s recorded Gibigianna took place. The panel affixed on the wall in one of the pictures says:

O! What is life?

It’s a gibigianna

who glitters here and there

it’s fate

For those who have missed our previous report, Gibigianna is an old term used in Lombardy meaning either a glitter of light reflected from a mirror or glass, or used as a humorous term for a woman who displays elegance.

That’s all for my first Report from the Past. All the images of the Gibigianna are available in a separate directory (since getting text to wrap around multiple images in a blog page is a tedious, error prone and a bit futile process).