Del Vecchio and the minimal houses that are no longer there – Chronicle

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Milan – “Leonardo Del Vecchio lived here? But who, the billionaire?”. The eyes are opened to the surprise and volume of the voice, which rises and makes curious passers-by turn around. Here you are the reaction in via the Armed Forceslooking for a souvenir among white-haired citizens, uan anecdote about the owner of Luxottica, who died two days ago at the age of 87. Few people know that he spent his childhood in the “Minimum Houses” in Baggio, between via Forze Armate and via Crete, for up to 7 years. When mother Grazia, widow and with 4 children, a worker at Borletti, asked to Martinitt College (at Nælden, on the other side of town) to receive his baby. He wanted to save his youngest son, very lively, from a lost life without an adult clue he was exposed to the dangers of the road and bad company while working in the factory.

A day, as told in the book biography “Leonardo Del Vecchio” by Tommaso Ebhardt, the woman rushed him to the military hospital in Baggio, a few steps away so they could medicate a wound on his eyebrow that he had caused when he fell down the stairs (which he ran up and down with his friends and on which an impatient neighbor had spilled buckets of water). Now of that world of “Minimal houses”, so-called because built with the logic of maximum savings, even without foundations and finishes, there is nothing left. S.was demolished between 1976 and 1985 and instead, other popular complexes were born between numbers 179 and 185. For the Del Vecchio family, who previously lived in a railing house in the Corso Como area, without even a bathroom in the house, the move to Baggio had represented an improvement.

It was in 1934 when this area of ​​the extreme western suburbs was selected to host these apartment blocks, while residential areas of the same type were born in other districts of Milan to give migrants a roof (the Del Vecchio family came from Puglia) . In via Forze Armed the complex consisted of ten three-storey elongated buildings for a total of 681 apartments. In the middle a votive chapel dedicated to the Immaculate Conception. A reference point also for partisanswho at the end of 1943 founded the 112th Garibaldi Brigade just off the Minimum Houses. April 26, 1945the arrest of a German car from Turin was the spark for one bloody firefight in which in addition to the four people in the car also the partisan Ernesto “Gino” Visconti, who was deputy commander of the brigade, died. Who knows if Leonardo Del Vecchio had known him as a child.

But the lost world remains alive in the postcards and documents of the time, researched by Giorgio Uberti, a freelance researcher and public historian. “The minimal houses in Baggio, despite their name, were uan extraordinary breeding ground for varied social experiences. Historical collection of the anti-fascist act, the memorial to the Holocaust drama that some stumbling blocks remember today. Domestic workshop for workers’ struggles after the war and decentralization that becomes a city “. A ferment that also Del Vecchio breathed. Who, starting from nothing, managed to found an empire. Why not leave a mark of him, in the neighborhood that has seen him grow? ” example for the Milanese. We suggest naming Baggio Park after Del Vecchio“, declared Samuele Piscina, City Councilor of Milan’s Northern League, and Lucrezia Ferrero, Councilor for Municipio 7.

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