Monsummano Terme and its environs
Giuseppe Giusti: his life
The short life of Giuseppe Giusti – whose birthplace is now the museum – was eventful and occupied by his writings. His father Domenico was director of Montecatini’s spa and a wealthy landowner.
The grotta, or cave, discovered in 1849 was on one of his properties. It later became the internationally renowned thermal establishment still known today as Grotta Giusti. During his stays in Florence, Giusti came into contact with Gino Capponi, a liberal exponent as well as director of the Viesseux Cabinet, who influenced Giusti’s political conscience and poetics. He traveled extensively in Italy, Rome, Naples, and Milan, where he met Alessandro Manzoni, with whom he had an intense and interesting correspondence.
In 1847, he joined the Guardia Civica and began to approve of the grand-ducal reforms that he had previously criticized severely.
In 1848, he entered active politics during the Tuscan uprisings. He was elected a deputy to the Florence parliament, where he supported the moderate views of the Ridolfi and Capponi governments. With the return of Grand Duke Leopold II, he returned to private life, partly because of the tuberculosis that led to his death at just over the age of 40.
His poems are often ferocious satires of manners or attacks on the politics of his time, like St. Ambrose.
One of his noteworthy prose works is Memoirs. Unpublished at the time of his death, they were published posthumously in 1890 and entitled Cronaca dei fatti di Toscana. In addition, a collection of Proverbi toscani was also published posthumously (1853). All the vivacity of the spoken Tuscan and his adherence to Manzoni’s theses on language emerge from his brilliant Epistolario.