Sito in Italiano
This page shows some of the
genealogical data that I have been collecting during the past few years.
My story, or actually my
great grandfather's story starts in a very small mountain village by the name
of Cune (di Borgo
a Mozzano) located in the province of Lucca, not very far from the well
known city of Pisa. There he, Jacopo Giusto Fazzi, was born in the year 1844.
His father, Amato Jacopo Fazzi, was married with Teresa Lazzaro Giannelli and
they had three children: two boys and one girl.
Jacopo was the youngest of the three,
and by the age of three years he lost his mother, who died in a hospital in Lucca. But his
father Amato remarried with Lucia Fancelli and Jacopo got another six half sisters. I
don't know if the death of his mother was an important event for the little Jacopo, but by
the age of 15 or 16, he left his family for good and never came back to Italy.
You must know that in those days, and
in these regions of Toscana close to Bagni di Lucca, it was common to make and sell
plaster figurines. Many people from the region of Bagni di Lucca
(Map) emigrated for a short or longer period to countries like France and Spain and to
a lesser extent, (and especially later in the beginning of the 19th century) to the other
countries of the North of Europe and the Americas. The people who traded these self-made
figurines of plaster were named figuristi di gesso and
were usually organized in small groups of five to eight persons, a so-called compagnia.
Such a compagnia consisted of one or two padrones, who knew how to make the
figures and a few sellers and/or garzones (pupils).
My great grandfather left his family to
join such a compagnia and started, according to the story that runs in my family, a
seven years long walk through Europe. He first went to Torino, in the north of Italy then
went to Toulouse in the south of France, after travelling through France, he came to
Belgium and visited cities like Liege, Gent, Antwerp and Leuven. It is possible that he
passed Maastricht (the city were I live in now) on the way to Germany, but I am not sure
of that. Anyway, he then travelled all the way through the north of Germany (Prussia in
those days) to Hamburg (the most northern part of Prussia) working in a factory which made
plaster figurines. By then his 7-year walk was finished, and he worked in Hamburg for a
couple of years. He met a Prussian young woman, by the name of Geeske Janssen, from Emden,
a city close to Hamburg. In the year 1869 they decided, strangely enough, to move to
Friesland, the northern province of Holland, and started a shop in plaster figures after they got
married in 1871. And this is the end of the beginning of the story. This point is the
start of the family tree of all the members of the Fazzi family in The Netherlands. The
Italian Jacopo and the Prussian Geeske had six children, two boys and four girls.
I am sure there must be people out
there who are descendants of Italian emigrants who made plaster figurines like my great
grandfather and grandfather did, but emigrated to other parts of the world. Especially for
those I have written this story hoping for additional information. Since my great
grandfather not only made plaster figurines, but also was probably the first (Italian) ice
cream maker in Leeuwarden (the capital of Friesland), I am also interested in Italian ice
cream makers from the Tuscany region.
Do you want to taste a
real FAZZI Pizza?
Go to one of the
restaurants when you visit Glasgow, Scotland.
Casa sul Monte
|Are you looking for
a place to stay very near Cune (Borgo a Mozzano)?
Check out this site from a friend of mine: Casa
Back to the Figuristi di Gesso page
You can write me by e-mail
Copyright © 1999 G.E.Fazzi. All rights reserved. This material
may not be
published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written permission
from the author.