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The Birthhouse of the Maestro
(a national monument since 1901)
Joseph Fortunin François Verdi, born of Carlo and Luigia Uttini, was born at eight in the evening on 10th October 1813, as recorded by the birth certificate (written in French since, at that time, the municipality of Busseto was part of the Department of Taro, directly annexed to France). In the modest building, his father, a tenant of the Marchese Pallavicino, ran a tavern with an adjacent general groceries shop; his mother was a spinner. At the time of his birth, according to tradition, there would have been a group of wandering musicians playing in celebration of the feast of San Donnino, the patron saint of the diocese - surely a good omen for his future vocation.
Verdi's was a family of modest, but educated and literate landlords: often, in fact, innkeepers would read letters to those who were unable to do so themselves. Verdi always remembered and acknowledged his origins, and in 1863 he wrote: "I have been, I am and will always be a fellow townsman of Roncole". On the façade of the house, a memorial tablet from 1872 commemorates the fact that the Marchese Pallavicino wished the house to remain unaltered; over the years, other commemorative and celebratory tablets have been placed there, amongst which one in particular which was placed there by the poor people of Roncole who had been helped by the Maestro (1901). In 1913, the centenary of his birth, a bronze bust by G. Cantù was placed in the small garden at the front of the house.
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