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Fossati Bellani

Fossati Bellani - LA VESCOGNA

FOSSATI BELLANI FAMILY'S (1952-1985)

In the early Fifties, this property together with some annexes was purchased by Felice Fossati Bellani (1909-1994).
Born in Monza and son of Maria Luisa Somarelli and Alberto, he was the nephew of the count Marco Tullio (1820-1961), last heir of Felice Sr. (1850-1916) who was the founder of the Sondrio Cotton Mill in 1905. In 1934 he merried Laura Tronconi and had 6 sons with her.
Felice Sr. together with his cousin founded a textile company in Monza in 1874 probably by taking over a former business idea of his aunt Antonio Quirino in 1852. During the first years of XX century, the business activity in the textile industry was expanding and considerably developing to the point that a new textile factory was integrated. When the founder died, his son Alberto (1878-1945) took over the activity and he made many new investments and important new technologies innovations despite the economic downturn of 30's and the outbreak of the Second World War. It was during that time that Fossati had the chance to give evidence to their dynamism and entrepreneurial will.
However, during the war, the family was heavily hit by difficulties which only Marco Tullio was able to overcame, by being appointed count by the king Umberto II when he was left alone to rule the country after his brothers' deaths.
Soon thereafter, given the advanced age of his uncle, the personality of Felice Jr. came out. He was first deputy and later CEO, then, when his father died, he became president with the help of his brother Gian Vittorio and kept on pursuing his strategy of investments and continuous innovations in the company's headquarter located in Sondrio, getting to the point of shutting down the historic branch of Monza.
In 1953 the company had 52.000 spindles growing to a number of over 64.000 with 2.500 employees in 1962, which was the year of th biggest expansion but represented also the beginning of a decline that led to the decision of shutting down the entire activity.
There were different reasons that led to the crisis among which there was the workforce narrow productivity, still bound with the old farmer's model, toward which Felice Jr. was showing far more tollerance than the absenteeism durig the grape harvest and hay's season.
At the entrance of the villa there was a tavern serving as a meeting place for young local people who were attracted by the females from Valtellina employed at the villa Fossati. Local inhabitants today still remember how Felice Jr. was thinking of buying that building with the aim of eliminating that source of distraction and trouble and he hended up buying a new building on the way leading to the village, few meters away, where the socialite moved.
All the renovations made in Vescogna during the 50's by the architect Gualtiero Galmanini, were massive but expensive: the villa was fully renovated and provided with a new equipment, the land near Sartirana was transformed into an english garden, a big pool, a tennis court and a chapel facing the wood were all built.
The villa, afterwards of problems of the company, was finally closed at the first of the 80's and in 1985 it was given without its rural holding to its actual owners who with the help of engineer Gianfranco Fasoli and architect Ugo Grimoldi, kept it preserved it from decay.
(ref."Dizionario Biografico degli italiani-Edizioni Treccani")
(ill."Garden view-Water-colour-V.Fossati Bellani)

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