On 12 November 2012, Lunigiana lost one of its greatest sons, Professor Loris Jacopo Bononi, doctor, professor of microbiology, distinguished scientist, and international businessman, as well as an intellectual, and one of the greatest Italian writers and poets of the 20th century.
In Lunigiana, he is remembered for restoring the Castle at Castiglione del Terziere, which he turned into a cultural centre. With his brother, Bononi established the Museum of Printing in Fivizzano and was involved in the restoration of Gavedo Castle, at Groppoli near Mulazzo. A multifaceted man, Bononi worked tirelessly to record and enhance the culture of Lunigiana, and was widely respected for his love of and dedication to the region.
Bononi spent four years from 1969 to 1973 lovingly restoring the castle at Castiglione del Terziere, where he established the private Centro di Studi Umanistici ‘Niccolò V’. The Centre includes an extraordinary library, part of the ‘historical memory’ of Lunigiana, containing works by authors from Lunigiana from the 15th Century to the present day, as well as other books, pamphlets, manuscripts and rare editions of works, including first editions of Dante. It also contains an archive that documents relations between Florence and Lunigiana from the 14th to the 18th Centuries, and pictures, portraits, pieces of art, antiques and archaeological finds that all contribute to the history of region. The Centre is used, not only for study purposes by students from Italy and abroad, but also for conferences, seminars, concerts, and exhibitions.
Everyone who met Bononi describes him as a truly great man, whose infectious intellectualism and love for Lunigiana never failed to inspire. Francesco Bola, Lunigiana’s foremost tour guide, tells the story of when one autumn evening up at the Castle of Castiglione del Terziere, while watching a beautiful sunset, Bononi passed him a note on which was written “NON OMNIS MORIAR”, translated as “Not all of me will die” and taken from Horace’s latin poem Ode 3.03, written between 27-24 BC. It is certainly true of the man who contributed so much to Lunigiana and left such a lasting legacy.
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Lunigiana says goodbye to Loris Jacopo Bonoi (1929-2012) appeared on Ciao Lunigiana on 14 November 2012. All rights reserved.