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A monument to one of Barga’s most illustrious sons, Antonio Mordini (1819-1902), who was one of the architects of the Italian Unification and an astute and distinguished politician.

In his time he was Minister of External Affairs and then Minister of War in the provisional government in Florence (1849), Garibaldi’s representative in Sicily, Prefect of Naples and finally, Minister of Public Works (1867) in the government of the Kingdom of Italy.

The monument dedicated to him is the work of Raffaello Romanelli from Florence, and the epigraph written by Giovanni Pascoli reads:

SENATOR, FOURTEEN TIMES THE PEOPLE’S REPRESENTATIVE AND EVEN ONCE, DICTATOR FOR GARIBALDI.
IN THE YEAR IN WHICH THE THOUSAND FOUGHT, THE MOST ELOQUENT IN THE CREATION A NEW ITALY FROM THE MEMORY OF ITS ANCIENT PAST LISTEN TO HIM CITIZENS. HIS IMMORTAL WORDS ENGRAVED IN BRONZE EXHORT YOU STILL:
I SAY TO YOU, CLOSE RANKS AND UNITE – PASCOLI

Antonio Mordini (Barga 1819 – Montecatini 1902) is certainly one of the most important celebrities in the history of Barga.
This Risorgimental figure constantly demonstrated innovative and progressive ideas, which forced him to lead a nomadic life, yet one that was rich in high-profile political experiences.

Forced to forsake Tuscany (in 1848) having opposed the government of the grand duke, he came back in 1849 to support
Guerrazzi – Mazzoni – Montanelli triumvirate as its leader, replacing the grand duke for a short period.
A new ‘exile’ drove him to Corsica, followed by Piedmont and Liguria. From here he took part in the expedition of the Mille alongside Giuseppe Garibaldi, to whom he was very close. After disembarking in Marsala, he was appointed chairman of the War Court as a colonel. Garibaldi himself presented him to the Sicilian people as deputy dictator, giving him a leading role, considering that it was Mordini who organised the plebiscite of
21 October 1860.

With the unification of Italy, he began his parliamentary career, which culminated with his appointment as senator by King Umberto I in 1896. Minister of Public Works in the government of Menabrea III (1869), he also held the office of the Prefect of Naples.

The palace of the Mordini family in the centre of Barga is now home to one of the most important Risorgimental archives in Italy, with documents relating to the intense 1830-1902 period, which was fundamental in reconstructing the events of the unification process, but also the first few years of parliamentary life of the Italian state.

The Fosso must have looked very different before the plane trees which separate it from the street were planted and when the ancient well was still there, near the Porta Mancianella, which the women used to draw water for their houses. And it was certainly more attractive before it was asphalted and full of cars, when it was used for lively ball games played with arm bands or with tambourines, as can be seen from old photographs or from the charming picture by the Barga painter Alberto Magri, whose works nearly all depicted some aspect of Barga.

 

Antonio Mordini (Barga 1819 – Montecatini 1902) rappresenta
di certo una delle personalità più importanti nel panorama
della storia di Barga. Questo protagonista del periodo
risorgimentale dimostrò costantemente idee avanzate e progressiste
che lo costrinsero ad una vita nomade, ma ricca di
esperienze politiche di altissimo livello.
Costretto ad abbandonare la Toscana (1848) in quanto oppositore
del governo granducale, vi fece ritorno nel 1849, per
sostenere da protagonista il triumvirato Guerrazzi – Mazzoni
– Montanelli, che per un brevissimo periodo si sostituì al
Granduca.
Un nuovo “esilio” lo costrinse in Corsica e poi in Piemonte e
Liguria. Da qui prese parte alla spedizione dei Mille a fi anco
di Giuseppe Garibaldi, cui era molto vicino. Dopo lo sbarco
a Marsala fu nominato Presidente del Tribunale di guerra
come colonnello, e lo stesso Garibaldi lo presentò al popolo
siciliano come Pro-dittatore, assegnandogli un ruolo di primo
piano, considerato che Mordini fu in prima persona organizzatore
del plebiscito del 21 Ottobre 1860.
Con l’Unità d’Italia iniziò la sua carriera di parlamentare
che culminò con la nomina a senatore da parte del re Umberto
I nel 1896. Ministro dei Lavori Pubblici nel Governo
Menabrea III (1869), ricoprì anche la carica di Prefetto
di Napoli.
Il Palazzo della famiglia Mordini nel centro di Barga ospita
oggi uno dei più importanti archivi risorgimentali d’Italia,
con documenti relativi all’intenso periodo 1830 – 1902, fondamentali
per ricostruire le vicende del processo di unifi cazione,
ma anche i primi anni di vita parlamentare dello stato
italiano.
Nella località di Albiano è poi la Villa Mordini, edificio del
XVIII secolo costruito nel cuore di una splendida tenuta.

 

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