18 August, 2019
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Mayor of Perugia for 16 years, he made some of the city’s most famous squares and palaces.

As the son of Counts Vincenzo and Giacinta Oddi Baglioni, he received his primary education at the Collegio della Sapienza and then completed his studies graduating in law from the local university, where he also attended an archaeology course. His love for the arts and his painting skills allowed him to be nominated first for an Academic merit and later as President of the Academy of Fine Arts, a high position that he was offered for life by the governing Board.
Held in high esteem by the Liberal party, on 21st July 1848 he was appointed as rapporteur of the review board that were to judge the Perugians accused of treason for having deserted after the fighting of Cornuda, Treviso and Vicenza. With «sensible and subtle judgement», he welcomed his fellow citizens in his relation considering that the «legions that were united, due to the clamour of factions or to other political reasons that only time and history will reveal, were dissolved, even dispersed and removed from the places of action»[1].

 

 

Love for Perugia

His love for Perugia, that someone defined real «idolatry», [2] led him to get personally involved as an administrator: He was city councillor and provincial councillor until his health condition allowed him, he was President of the Provincial Council several times and a member of several city, provincial and state committees. He was a member of the Boards of Directors of the Sodalizio di San Martino, the kindergarten and other numerous city institutions. He was the mayor of Perugia for 16 years. He has been compared to another personality of his time, Peruzzi, the mayor of Florence, because they both shared the desire to turn their city into a magnificent centre of arts and learning. In fact, Reginaldo Ansidei’s commitment is remembered above all for having given considerable impetus to educational institutions, for having enriched the city’s art gallery with magnificent pieces and for having increased the relations between Perugia and other Italian and foreign cities[3]. During his tenure as mayor – begun in 1862 – he built the foundations of the destroyed Rocca Paolina of Palazzo Arienti, seat of the Prefecture and the Province, cleaned the gardens in the area behind the Palace, created the hanging road that allowed the construction of Palazzo Calderini and the Banca d’Italia and he also built Piazza d’Armi for military exercises and the Fontivegge Station[4].

Religious faith and monarchical faith

The newspapers of the time described him as a great orator with an «insinuating and effective» voice[5]. «His words ran […] smoothly and lively on his lips, full of great ideas and form; and, even when occasionally he was not able to generate persuasion, the impression and the memory of his ideas, the nobility of his intentions, did always leave a mark on the souls of those who listened to him»[6].
Reginaldo Ansidei never hid his religious faith and his democratic political ideas and «to remain faithful to his belief», he did not withdraw his candidacy during the elections of 1876 in exchange for a secure job as a senator[7]. Because of his strong support to monarchy (he long served as President of the Monarchical‑Constitutional Association), he was awarded Commander of the Order of Saint Maurice and Knight Grand Cross of the Kingdom of Italy. At his death, after three years of illness, even his political adversaries acknowledged him as a man «of rare genius and delicate empathy, with a great heart and by nature brought to do good» who had loved «his city as a faith»[8].

 


[1] G. degli Azzi, s.v., in Dizionario del Risorgimento nazionale, v. 2, Milano, Vallardi 1930, p. 81.

[2] Reginaldo Ansidei, «La Provincia», 11/2/1892.

[3] «L’Unione liberale», 8/2/1892.

[4]  Per il conte Reginaldo Ansidei, «L’Unione liberale», 9-10/2/1892.

[5] «Il Paese. Rivista settimanale dell’Umbria», 10/2/1892.

[6] Per il conte Reginaldo Ansidei, «L’Unione liberale», 9-10/2/1892.

[7] «L’Unione liberale», 8/2/1892.

[8] «Il Paese. Rivista settimanale dell’Umbria», 10/2/1892.