Vittorio Fossombroni

Vittorio Fossombroni, a distinguished figure from Arezzo, emerges in Italian history as a truly multifaceted genius of the 18th and 19th centuries. A mathematician, engineer, economist, politician, and intellectual, his life and work profoundly marked not only his hometown, Arezzo, but also the national and international context. His legacy, enriched by his personal and professional ties to Tuscany, is still celebrated today, underscoring his role as one of Arezzo's greatest sons.

Vittorio Fossombroni (Arezzo, September 15, 1754 – Florence, April 13, 1844) was an Italian mathematician, engineer, economist, politician and intellectual.

Early Assignments

Vittorio Fossombroni was born in Arezzo on September 15, 1754 to Giacinto Fossombroni and Lucilla dei baroni Albergotti Siri. His father was a respected antiquarian and a scholar of mathematics, physics, and astronomy.

Fossombroni enrolled in the faculty of law at the University of Pisa, where he graduated in 1778.

Vittorio’s passion for the mathematical sciences, however, led him after graduation to publish a number of texts on hydraulics, mathematics and economics.

With these publications the young man achieved a certain notoriety and soon found himself superintendent of the final reclamation of the Chiana Valley ordered by Grand Duke Peter Leopold of Lorraine.

Vittorio’s expertise was so much appreciated that Leopold’s successor, Ferdinando III, also reappointed him to the post, going so far as to appoint him General Superintendent of the Val di Chiana water department in 1794.

Out of the Val di Chiana

Fossombroni was called in 1810 to chair the commission to reclaim the swamps of the Agro Romano. In 1830 he collaborated with Pietro Paleocapa in drafting the Plan for the arrangement of the Veneto rivers Brenta and Bacchiglione.

Vittorio Fossombroni also worked abroad during this period, when the viceroy of Egypt called him as a consultant for the construction of a reservoir in the port of Alexandria.

The Napoleonic Period for Vittorio Fossombroni

So it was that Vittorio soon became a prominent member of the grand ducal hierarchy and was therefore appointed, in 1791, reviser of prints. Soon thereafter, from 1792 to 1795, he also found himself fighting a personal battle in favor of freedom of trade, which was thwarted on October 2, 1792 by a grand ducal decree suggested to Frederick III by his advisers Manfredini and Lampredi.

Fossombroni’s political activity was not limited to this period.

In fact, Vittorio from 1796 to 1798 worked for the neutrality of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany in the Napoleonic wars and actively participated in the diplomatic life of the region.

Fossombroni was so good that Napoleon required the Grand Duke to elevate him to the title of foreign minister.

In this capacity the illustrious Aretine produced a short but incisive piece of writing for the purpose of preventing the l0occupation of the Grand Duchy, which, although not effective in practice, remained memorable and became regarded as a kind of “declaration of independence” of the small Tuscan state.

Later, in March 1798, Ferdinand III appointed Fossombroni as secretary of state along with Neri Corsini, also retaining him at the Foreign Ministry.

Dedication to the Fatherland and Professional Commitment

The 90-year-old Arezzo resident is an emblematic example of dedication and love for his homeland. Although he lived in an era of radical change, his soul remained firmly anchored to his roots. His long and fruitful career unfolded amid the challenges of a world in

ever-changing, but his main mission remained unchanged: to preserve the essence of his homeland, his beloved Toscana. His mastery of hydraulic engineering made him famous throughout Europe. However, despite many calls from abroad, his heart and mind were

focused on the reclamation of the Val di Chiana, a project particularly dear to him. Thanks to his efforts, the valley recovered its former fertility, becoming once again the abundant and productive land it once was.

Private Life and Enduring Legacy

The year 1832 marked a significant moment in the life of the Aretine. Right in the center of Arezzo he decided to unite his fate with that of Vittoria Bonci, a widow with a son, Francesco Falciai. In a gesture of profound generosity, Fossombroni gave young Francesco not only his

his surname, but also a noble title, thus ensuring the continuity of his family legacy. On April 13, 1844, the Aretine left us, but his memory remains indelible. Florence, grateful for his contribution to the region, honored him with a place of honor in the historic basilica of Santa

Croce. There a monument, by renowned sculptor Lorenzo Bartolini and financed with public funds, celebrates his memory, representing a lasting tribute to one of Tuscany’s greatest sons.

To conclude: Today in Arezzo

We have seen how Vittorio Fossombroni is certainly a feather in the cap for the birthplace of the city of Arezzo.

One can today admire his marble statue placed in 1863 by his stepson in Piazza San Francesco, in front of the wonderful Basilica of the same name.

The Home of Vittorio Fossombroni also maintains a certain prominence in the city today, being the headquarters of the Department of Social Policies and the center of the educational and scholastic system of the City of Arezzo.

Something in common with Antiche Mura

You may have guessed that Vittorio Fossombroni was driven by an enormous passion for his hometown Arezzo and for all of Tuscany. Lo and behold, here at B&B Antiche Mura you will find the same passion in hearing about the attractions around us or the famous people to whom Arezzo was

given birth to. Keep exploring our website to find out more about these illustrious aretini, and get your tour of things to see ready when you visit us here at B&B Antiche Mura: we look forward to seeing you!

Comfort Contemporaneo, avvolto nel fascino della storia

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