Tommaso Grossi was born in Bellano on the 23rd of January 1790. He graduated from the University of Pavia and lived most of his life in Milan. He was friend to Carlo Porta — whose death was recalled in his poems with truly moving sextuplets in Milanese (dialect of Milan) of good poetic quality entitled “In morte di Carlo Porta” (In death of Carlo Porta) — and to Alessandro Manzoni who inserted a verse of Grossi’s as yet unpublished poem “I Lombardi alla prima crociata” (The Lombards in the First Crusade) into “I Promessi Sposi” (The Betrothed).
He wrote many other works: short stories in rhyme like La Fuggitiva (The Fugitive), dialectal poems — including “La Prineide” written on the occasion of the murder of the minister Prina — and the historic novel entitled Marco Visconti set in Bellano. By profession a public notary, in 1848 he drew up the official act for the merger of Piedmont and Lombardy. With the return of the Austrians he was forced into exile in Switzerland. He returned to his country before Milan was freed and died of meningitis in Milan on the 10th of December 1853.
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