MY MATERNAL GRANDPARENTS
Pio Rebonato – born Bovolone (Verona), Italy. 1883
Teresa Barbieri – born Ferrara, Italy. 1894
The Rebonato Family.
The Rebonatos come from Verona. In fact most of the Rebonatos in Italy come from the province of Verona or from towns nearby. It is not a very common name.
My grandfather (Pio) was born in the small Veronese village called Bovolone. He studied in both Desenzano on Lake Garda and then in Prague, in the then Austro-Hungarian Empire. He joined the Italian cavalry in around 1905, and was stationed in the royal palace of Caserta, near Naples.
He had a sister, Linda, and two brothers, Umberto and Giovanni (the latter we are not certain of the name). Linda married a landowner in Bovolone, called Maestrello. They had two grandchildren, called Lindina and Giovanna. The Bovolone family lived on a farm from an old convent of around about the 15th/16th century called “il canton”. The canton was still in the family up to 25 to 30 years ago. The Rebonatos were also related to Veronese nobility, with the Maffei family, who have their palace in central Verona, near the Arena. My great grandparents were also Veronese, Gaetano Rebonato and Teresa Perazzoli.
My grandfather left Italy in 1911 with his wife, our grandmother, Teresa Barbieri. They first went to Paris, where they opened a cafe. A year later they decided to continue their journey, and came to London, where they arrived just one month before my Auntie Tina was born, the oldest of 5 sisters. My grandfather was a shoemaker by trade.
The Barbieri family.
Barbieri is a fairly common name in Italy. There are Barbieris in most parts of the country. That is why we have to focus on our branch of the family which is the Barbieri-Gulinelli family from Ferrara.
My grandmother, and great grandparents where all from Ferrara, and so were, as far as we know, most of the earlier generations.
My great grandparents were, Giovanni Barbieri and Celestina Oriani daughter of the Count Gulinelli (the royal bloodline).
Through the Barbieris we are directly descended from the 17th century Ferrarese painter Guercino (Giovanni Francesco Barbieri). His paintings are to be found in the world’s leading galleries including the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia. He came from the village of Cento, in the Southern part of the Province of Ferrara. Guercino was his nickname because he had a squint.
The Gulinellis had their palace in central Ferrara, in the same road as the Palazzo Diamante. They also had a country house in the town of Portomaggiore, which is about 15 kms South of Ferrara.
My grandmother had two sisters, both born in Ferrara, like her, Maria and Leonella Zoe.
We mainly come from two lands with a great and interesting history, the Venetian Republic (Verona), the Estense Duchy (Ferrara).
Ettore Arco Isidoro Bugatti was born in Milan on 15 September 1881 and at the age of 17 he joined as an apprentice the bicycle and tricycle manufacturing plant Prinetti & Stucchi, where he built his first engine-driven tricycle with two De Dion engines. This was followed by his first automobile in 1900, financed by Count Gulinelli; the construction was so remarkable that it won an award at an internationally renowned industry fair in Milan.
Michel Bugatti, Countess Gulinelli, Thérèse Bugatti and Count Gulinelli unveiling a plaque at Palazzo Gulinelli, Ferrara