YOUR TESTIMONY »
Son of the boatman Giacomo and of Anna Maria Ronca Andrea Brenta was born in 1813. Having a great adventurous spirit when he is twenty years old he crosses the lake, gets off in Argegno and goes straight to San Fedele Intelvi where he then buys a tavern and some farmland. He leaves all the daily grind with the customers to his wife Rina, reserving a wilder and more fascinating life for himself; he was in fact a very good hunter and a clever smuggler In no time he is an expert of every field, wood and precipice of the territory of Val d’Intelvi. And yet this is not enough for him.
Having a keen sense of freedom and a deep love for his country he decides to devote himself body and soul to the uprisings of the Risorgimento which had broken out everywhere but mainly in Valle d’Intelvi. His bravery and his powerful rascal figure makes soon Andrea Brenta stand out above all the others. Nowadays he could be defined a fan of Giuseppe Mazzini he always thought and carried out his deeds according to the famous revolutionary’s teachings.
One of the oddest episodes about his adventurous life, almost as a scene from a movie was the requisition of his Calabrian hat (whose use was forbidden), of a cockade with feathers, and most of all the insults to his wife by the Commander of the Gendarmerie of Castiglione d’Intelvi. When Andrea Brenta, who was on a mission, heard about the regrettable fact, he wrote a menacing letter to the Commander urging him to give back the ill-gotten gains within 24 hours. The Officer, sure of catching the elusive “Red Primrose”, went to the tavern “dell’Uselin” (of the little bird) with two enforcers.
The famous outlaw was already there waiting for him; the bandit bought drinks for the small group but soon the Officer realized that it was a trap as all the customers were armed so he decided to let one of his soldiers bring back the confiscated goods and give them back to their legitimate owner. After a legendary hiding Andrea Brenta was betrayed and captured with some of his companions in the tavern of the “Fuin” in Casasco. He was executed in Como on the 11th April 1849 after a hasty trial and like the many who fought against the hated Austrian invaders his last words were for Italy and his nine children who were nevertheless forgotten by the state ending up in misery.
Pietro Vassena was born in a tavern in Malgrate in 1897, son of Luigi and Ancilla Marta Francesca who died two years after giving birth. His life seemed doomed to go on in the same dull way, but when he was old enough for the army he was sent to the front line during the first world war under the “ Divisione Bersaglieri ciclisti”. He was completely captivated by the amazing technological innovations he found in the army and by the idea of “The future”. Once the war was over he got a job as a turner in an engineering company in Lecco.
A new “Archimedes” thanks to his exceptional manual dexterity and to an extraordinary inventiveness he designed and manufactured countless new engine prototypes most of all in the motorcycling field. A huge success had the “Rumi 125” with an engine invented by Vassena. The inventor reached his apotheosis and his media success in Argegno, in the lake area just in front of the village main square. It was the 12th March 1948 and people from Argegno; astonished they watched what was happening: transported by the comballo “Como” coming from Lecco, a sort of submarine with a mysterious acronym “C3” was being lowered into the lake.
At 2.00 o’clock p.m. its immersion starts. On board there was the inventor together with a certain Nino Turati. The hull was connected to the support vessel thanks to a telephone cable. Odd and strange was the devise used to communicate alarm signals: a clock tied to the microphone on board and kept in a kitchen pot: if water had seeped inside it, the pot would have tipped over and the clock would have stopped its tick tack, thus signaling an imminent danger.
After some attempts the challenge was successful: it was a record! Pietro Vassena and his friend Turati reached a depth o f 412 Mt. The day after a journalist from Rai was taken on board and broadcasted live on radio the descent to the abyss.
YOUR TESTIMONY »