Wednesday 6 April will be the 110th anniversary of Giovanni Pascoli’s death, the great poet. From 1895, he chose the little town of Castelvecchio, in the District of Barga, as his home, his nest, his safe place.

The first disappointments

Giovanni Pascoli, born on 31 December 1855, lived a troubled life, filled with sad events and disappointments. It all began with his father’s death, in 1867, killed during an ambush. Pascoli expressed his feelings related to this event in his writings: among his most famous poems, La cavalla storna remembers his father and his death. During the following years, his mother, older sister and two brothers passed away too.

Politics and teaching

During his academic years, Pascoli came into contact with extremists and was arrested, accused of subversive activities. After his graduation, Pascoli taught in many schools and at University. In Bologna, in 1905, he took over the office of his previous professor, Giosuè Carducci, who died two years later. During this period, Pascoli always flanked teaching with poetic production.

“Nest” in Castelvecchio and his death

The place Pascoli preferred for writing of his poems was his house in Castelvecchio, in the District of Barga. He lived there together with his sister Maria, who he affectionately called Mariù. Giovanni Pascoli was attached to our area and in particular to his house, which he identified as a safe place, where he could stay calm, surrounded by nature.

Giovanni Pascoli passed away on 6 April 1912, probably because of stomach cancer. The poet died in Bologna, but was buried in his “nest”, in his house in Castelvecchio. This little town was renamed Castelvecchio Pascoli, in his honour. Today, the house has been converted into a museum.

— Written and translated by Margherita Paolinelli

WEBOGRAPHY (last access on 28/03/2022)

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