Pictures: six historic women who left their mark on Rome

If Rome is famous for its historical monuments, the remarkable women also make it famous. The editorial staff pays tribute to the Roman women who marked the capital of Italy.

Diana Scultori Ghisi, first Italian merchant (1547-1612)

Thanks to him women were able to pursue public careers in Italy. Trained in carving from an early age, he gained respect for his unparalleled strength. In 1576, when he had become famous as a merchant in Rome, he approached the papal court to ask for authorization to sell his engravings under his own name, that of Diana Mantovana. She won the court agreement and became the first woman authorized to sell her work under her own name. Being a talented artist, he made 62 prints until his death. The famous painter Vasari paid tribute to him in his edition of the Vite.

Caterina Scarpellini, world famous astronomer (1808-1873)

Just turned 18, he moved to Rome and worked with his uncle at the observatory of the Roman University of La Sapienza. In 1847, she founded and managed, with her husband, the journal Corrispondenza scientifica in Rome. He chose to create in 1856, near the Sapienza observatory, a meteorological and ozonometric station. Through his observations, he discovered the relationship between the concentration of ozone in the air and the spread of cholera in Rome in 1867. A member of the Accademia dei Georgofili, dei Quiriti and the Imperial Society of Naturalists in Moscow, he was recognized by The Italian government for its work by obtaining, in 1872, the gold medal of the Italian State. He died the following year.

Settimia Spizzichino, Holocaust survivor (1921-2000)

The daughter of a bookseller and a teacher, she was born in the Jewish ghetto of Rome, becoming the fifth child in a family of six. He was deported at the age of 22, in October 1943, when the Nazis rounded up more than 1,000 Jews living in the Roman ghetto. Arriving at Birkenau after a six-day journey by cattle train, he was shaved and tattooed on his arm with the number 67210. He was then transferred to Auschwitz where he underwent experiments by the Nazi doctor, Josef Mengele. She was the only survivor of the group of Jewish women who were exiled with her. When he returned, he made a work of memory by testifying on television and in schools until his death in the year 2000. In Rome, an alley in the Parco della Pace, a school and a bridge between Via Ostiense and the ring road bear. his name. The documentary “Nata 2 volte: storia di Settimia ebrea romana” dedicated to him.

Sofia Corradi, founder of the Erasmus program (born in 1934)

A student at the Roman University La Sapienza, he left in 1957 to obtain a master’s degree in comparative law at Columbia University (United States). After graduating, he returned to Rome but encountered difficulties: La Sapienza did not recognize his diploma obtained abroad. He is obliged to follow a course in Italy to validate his level of study. This is how the idea of ​​the Erasmus program came to him. In 1969, he published in the Italian press a statement entitled “The conference of Italian-French rectors: agreements for the recognition of studies carried out abroad”, which led to university reform in Italy. It was not until 1976 that the European Economic Community (EEC) encouraged the exchange of students between different countries. After several years of experimentation, the Erasmus program was adopted in 1987. In 2016, he won the Carlo V Prize for inventing the Erasmus program. For the 30th anniversary of the project, Sofia Corradi gave the official speech to the Assembly of Presidents of each of the countries of the European Union.

Alda Fendi, artistic patron (born in 1940)

The youngest of the five Fendi brothers, Alda Fendi contributed to the prosperity of the famous Italian fashion house designed by his father. Each of the sisters chose a specialization and Alda Fendi’s was leather goods. This area has become one of the fundamental aspects of the luxury brand. He worked with Karl Lagerfeld. However, he always had a great love for art, which led him to design, in 2001, the Fondazione Alda Fendi. The foundation financed eleven films designed and produced by Raffaele Curi, but also the film festival in Rome as well as participation in the Venice Biennale, an exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum in Venice and the publication of three books . After these various successes, Alda Fendi decided to open a museum in Rome, between the Palatine Hill and the Bocca de la Verità, in the historic heart of Rome, the Rhinoceros Gallery. Thanks to his artistic patronage, Alda Fendi was promoted to Knight of the Legion of Honor by the French Ambassador to Italy, Christian Masset.

Barbara Jatta, treasurer of the Holy See (born 1962)

A world-renowned art historian, Barbara Jatta was born into a family that appreciated works of art. His grandmother was a painter and his mother and sister were art restorers. After working in the United Kingdom, Portugal and the United States, he moved to the Vatican Apostolic Library in 1996. In June 2016, he obtained the vice-presidency of the Vatican Museums. In December of the same year, Pope Francis appointed his director of the museums of the Holy See. She then succeeded Antonio Paolucci and became the first woman to hold this position. She embodies today, in Rome, the beginning of a woman in the responsibilities of the Vatican and opens the way for other women.

Suzanne Zeller

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