De Vecchi Family Archive

Located in Rho (Milan), near what once was one of the family's mansions and still in a filing phase by the researcher Alice Bitto, the archive preserves numerous papers relating to the De Vecchi family: a wealthy Milanese family awarded the patriciate, which can boast patriots, artists and travelers among its exponents.

Documents cover the time span from the mid-seventeenth century to the fifties of the twentieth: letters, registers, accounting documents, even a travel diary, testify to the history of a family actively linked to the events that led to the birth of Italy and marked its dense subsequent decades, as well as united by ties of kinship with important families, such as the Medici di Marignano, the Camperio, the Simonettas.

Among the characters producing the cards we find:

Biagio and Carlo De Vecchi (18th century): contractors and maintainers of the fountains and running waterways from Varese to Milan.

Giuseppe De Vecchi (1755-1836): lawyer and president of the Milanese bar association; executor.

Felice De Vecchi (1816-1862): traveler, patriot and artist. Between 1841 and 1842 he made a trip to the Near East together with the explorer Gaetano Osculati. In 1848 he returned to the National Guard of Milan as captain of the parish of S. Francesco di Paola; in 1853 he was involved in the repression of the Mazzinian uprisings of February 6, undergoing a trial and a period of prison; during the first months of 1861 he returned to the Mobile National Guard of Milan, garrisoned in Venafro, appointed with the position of officer. He was a correspondent for the newspaper La Perseveranza, a member of the Society of Fine Arts and the Society of Artists, when both associations were headed by Francesco Hayez. Manfredo Camperio defined his friend Felice "traveler, patriot and artist", the first who instilled in him love for travel and exploration.

Carolina De Vecchi (1878-1918): active within the Italian Society of Welfare for Workers and the Work of Assistance to Italian Emigrants in Europe and in the Levant. Volunteer Red Cross nurse aboard hospital trains since 1915. Medal of merit for not having left the front of the Alleghe field hospital during an air raid. She died while serving in Milan, at the hospital in via Mantegna, on March 22, 1918.

Among the documents, not only papers are estimated: travel books, drawings, paintings and personal objects, as well as ethnographic artifacts brought by Felice De Vecchi from his journey to the East, were also found in the same house, together with his manuscript with the story of the trip. The text has been published today including the chapters that have remained unpublished for over 150 years. References: Felice De Vecchi, "Giornale di Carovana. Excerpt from a trip to Armenia, Persia, Arabia and Hindostan made in the years 1841-42", edited by Bitto Alice, Luni Editrice, 2016, 2 volumes. Part of the collection was exhibited in October 2013 in an event organized by the Popular Library of Rho, as well as in Villa Verri in Biassono, on the occasion of the 210th anniversary of Gaetano Osculati's birth.