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Alfredo Testoni

1856 - 1931


Alfredo Testoni’s career begins as a collaboration with many periodicals, as Ehi! ch'al scusa (under the name of Tisento), and it grows as newspaper editor for “Il Panaro”, from Modena, “Il resto del carlino” from Bologna and “Capitan Fracassa”. In the meantime he composes verses in dialect and writes first theater essays. He comes to light as a comedy writer by publishing a trilogy written in dialect (Insteriarì, Scuffiareini, I Pisuneint), as poet of first sonnets of Sgnera Cattareina. The consecration comes with Il Cardinale Lambertini in 1905, cinematographic editions of it have been produced over time. The most renowned is a television show realized in 1963, performed by Gino Cervi.

He meets the Compagnia Stabile with Argia Magazzari and Augusto Galli and becomes the head of Angelo Gandolfi’s dialectal theater company. Audience enjoys his work, thanks to funniness, cheerfulness and liveliness. He’s very fond of his wife Cesira, his dog Leo, his friends, his Bologna, he maintains good relations with intellectuals, artists of his time, like Gabriele D’Annunzio, Trilussa, Ermete Novelli, Emma Gramatica. Testoni’s work has been a milestone for the city of Bologna from the beginning of century until the 1930’s and productions of it are still been staged to these days. His written works in dialect have been fundamental for the circulation and the knowledge of bolognese in all of Italy, in the period of achievement of italian language. Despite his bond with regional milieu, Testoni is one of the protagonist of italian culture and theatre between ‘800 and ‘900. During the last years of his life he published Ottocento bolognese. He described anecdotes, tales, curiosities of his beloved city. Bologna has a soft place in his heart and he used to describe himself like a bolognese up to eyeballs. After his death, Bologna entitled a street and a theatre with the name of Alfredo Testoni. He’s buried in the tenth cloister of Certosa of Bologna, in an exquisite monument assembled by the sculptor Alfonso Borghesani. His personal catalogue is stored at Arts and history Library of San Giorgio in Poggiale. Operators organized an exhibition in 2003, "Alfredo Testoni. Sotto i portici e dietro le quinte." In this massive cultural heritage we have documents and photographies of family and theatre, scripts , handwrittens, posters, epistels with intellectuals and artists, caricatures and images of cinema.

Translation from italian language by Manuela Capece, Associazione Amici della Certosa di Bologna.