Formica Giovanni Battista (1726 - 1794)


Giovanni Battista Formica, benefactor of the orphans of Gorizia, was born in Gorizia on 17th September 1726 and died on 19th May 1794, at the age of 67. In his will he had designated as heir the only son, Carlo, but if he died as a minor without descendants, he established a foundation in favour of orphans and poor people. The planned case occurred, and from 1812 - after the death of Charles in 1807 and Formica's widow, who was the usufructuary of the estate, in 1810 - the foundation became operational. According to Formica's intentions, on the Sunday after June 24th, the feast of St. John the Baptist, his patron saint, two annual "graziali" of 150 florins were to be drawn by lot, destined to honest and morigrated girls, orphans of poor citizens of Gorizia, and six five-yearly allocations of 250 florins to boys orphaned of father and mother, so that they could learn an art or profession of the city. Ten girls and twelve boys were to participate in the draw, after having attended, together with their guardians, a mass in the Cathedral in suffrage of the soul of Formica and the dead of his family. The allocation of the subsidies - which in some years, thanks to the shrewd investment of the patrimony, reached the number of eight for the girls and fifteen for the boys - is documented until the end of the nineteenth century, even if the presence of the benefactors at the mass before the draw was not always assiduous, so much so that "L'Eco del Litorale" in 1882 called for compliance with the provisions. The Municipality of Gorizia placed a portrait and a bust of Formica in the halls of the Town Hall, and named the street where he had lived and which was previously called Contrada del Corno or popularly "Borgofasuli".