1 February 2019

1 February

Teresa Mattei - partisan and politician

Former Communist who led Women's Union

The politician and former partisan Teresa Mattei, who was the youngest member of the Constituent Assembly that formed Italy’s post-War government and later became a director of the Unione Donne Italiane (Italian Women’s Union), was born on this day in 1921 in Genoa. Mattei. who was expelled from the Italian Communist Party for opposing Stalinism, was implicated in the murder of Fascist philosopher Giovanni Gentile. Read more...


Renata Tebaldi – opera singer

Performer with a beautiful lirico soprano voice

Opera singer Renata Tebaldi, once described by the conductor Arturo Toscanini as possessing ‘the voice of an angel’, was born on this day in 1922 in Pesaro.  She became a star of her era despite a difficult upbringing. Her parents split up before she was born, leaving her to brought up by her maternal grandparents. At three years old she was stricken with polio, yet recovered to discover music by singing in the local church choir. Read more...


Corradino D'Ascanio - engineer

Aeronautical genius famed for helicopters and the Vespa scooter 

Corradino D'Ascanio, the aeronautical engineer whose design for a clean motorcycle turned into the iconic Vespa scooter and who also designed the first helicopter that could actually fly, was born on this day in 1891 in Popoli, a small town about 50km inland of Pescara. His scooter would have been built by Lambretta had he not fallen out with the company. Instead, he took his plans to Enrico Piaggio. Read more...


Francesco Maria Veracini – violinist

Virtuoso performer was prolific composer

One of the great violinists of the 18th century, Francesco Maria Veracini, was born on this day in 1690 in Florence. Born into a musical family - his grandfather had been one of the first violinists in Florence - he became famous throughout Europe for his performances and for a while he was Handel’s biggest rival as a composer. Later in life, he became established in Venice. where he played in church orchestras. Read more...

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