Federigo Tozzi (1883-1920)
The works of Federigo Tozzi, whose family came from Pari, are now considered classics of Italian modernism. His novels, poetry and essays caught the attention of Pirandello who subsequently supported him, and his work has been praised by such luminaries as Alberto Moravia who said that Tozzi ‘describes great tragedies with simple words’ and Italo Calvino who called him ‘one of the great writers of Italian descent.’
A few doors from the Pari Center, along Via Cappucci, a plaque marks the Tozzi family home. Federigo is recorded as saying that while he was born ‘by chance’ in Siena his true home was in Pari, and his father insisted that he should spend each summer in Pari as he was growing up. And so his novels are pervaded by the sights, sounds and smells of Pari and the surrounding countryside. Tozzi died in Rome in 1920 during the influenza pandemic.
In 1994 a film was made of his novel ‘Con gli occhi chiusi’ (With Closed Eyes) written and directed by Francesca Archibugi. For his performance Marco Messeri won the Nastro d’Argento for best supporting actor. (The Nastro d’Argento is the oldest movie award in Europe, and the second oldest in the world—only the Academy Awards are older.)
There are two Tozzi families living in Pari both related to the writer. One of them has a son who is named Federico Tozzi. The family lives on Via Federigo Tozzi and which elementary school did Federico attend? Why Federigo Tozzi, of course.