Antonio Balbiani was born the 8th of October 1838 in Bellano, homeland to which he will have a lot of love for his whole life. He was a writer of “fecund intelligence”, as is written on the commemorative headstone on the wall of the municipal hall. He was a man of an intense dynamism and with a firm willingness to appear, behavioural skills that made him leave the seminary which was chosen for him by his relatives. Attained the teacher’s degree in Milan, he intended to live teaching and writing, but because of the historical events and his huge patriotism he participate to the garibaldian revolt, that he had to abandon because of his precarious conditions of health.
He became widow and with the only daughter locked up in a monastery, he devoted himself utterly to journalism at first, then in Como, to the education and afterwards he returned to Milan for a short period. Later he went to Vigevano where he ran the newspaper “The free worker, work and freedom”.
Then he went to Milan for the last short term stay and, after that, he returns back definitely to the shores of the Lario, to Tremezzo where he established and supervised “il Nuovo Lario”, newspaper that collected events happened in all the villages of the Lario and free of any political interference. He acquired a kind reputation and he was always present in all the celebrations and the important parties. His literary production is enormous but inversely proportional to his ability to manage the profits made by the publication of his writings, to the point that, to make ends meet, he accepted to work as a tourist guide and to write sonnets, sings and odes for commission.
He spent, with his elderly mother, the last years of his life in Bellano, in a terrible condition of health, where he died on 9th January 1889 in an anonymous way.
There isn’t any trace of his burial, but the pages of “Como and its Lake (Tourist guide)”, one of his fifty works, is still today shining for the accurate and severe touristic promotion of the whole Lario and also of Bellano.
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