Luzzatto Coen Carolina (1837 - 1919)

29/02/2020

The hope of Italian Gorizia accompanied all her life Carolina Sabbadini who, born in Trieste, arrived in Gorizia in 1856 and married Girolamo Luzzatto Coen. She was just nineteen years old (she was born on November 26, 1837). Since then Carolina Luzzatto was from Gorizia, and soon became the soul of the irredentist circles, putting her pen to the service of the daily struggle for the Italian spirit. She was the author of comedies, short stories and verses, many of them dedicated to childhood, and also a translator from German: but she was mainly a journalist. At a time when the woman was asked only to be wife and mother, Carolina Luzzatto dedicated all her energy to the irredentist liberal-national press in Gorizia.

From 1878 to 1880 she was editor of "L'Isonzo", in 1880 of "Il Raccoglitore" and "L'Imparziale"; from 1883 to 1899 she directed the "Corriere di Gorizia", and from 1901 to 1914 the "Corriere friulano". All of them were suppressed by the authority for political reasons and were hit by repeated kidnappings, but Carolina Luzzatto was never discouraged. Her house was the editorial office, and in order to allow the printing of the "Corriere" the director did not hesitate to commit her silverware to the Monte di Pietà located almost opposite her house in Via Arcivescovado. The newspaper was sold and the objects were removed... until the next invoice. Carolina Luzzatto was also correspondent from Gorizia for various newspapers and periodicals, among which the "Piccolo", the "Patria del Friuli", the "Pagine friulane", and was part of various cultural associations of the town, such as the National League, the Goriziana Gymnastics - of whose philodramatic section she was honorary member - and the Family Society of Music and Drama. Her family life was not very happy: the only male child left home to marry a young Catholic woman, he was Jewish; her youngest daughter, Ada, committed suicide at the age of twenty. Her political opponents did not spare her ferocious personal attacks for what was seen as a failure of her duty as a mother.

Arrested in 1915, despite her advanced age (seventy-eight years) and poor health, she was interned in Göllersdorf Prison and later confined to Oberhollabrunn. Her friend and collaborator Costantina Furlani followed her voluntarily into captivity. After a year she was allowed to reside in Trieste, where she remained until the end of the World War. She had the joy to see her city redeemed, but she was spared the disappointments that Italy had to reserve to those who had believed in it: she died on 24th January 1919, in Gorizia, where she had returned. She had fought in her own way for Gorizia, with the pen, with the faith in redemption, with the education of the young people, making Gorizia known to those who were already Italian, against the Austrians and against the Slavs; she was deservedly buried wrapped in the tricolour flag, as she wished. Carolina Luzzatto rests in the Israeli cemetery of Valdirose, in Slovenian territory. A small street in Gorizia, a stone's throw from the border, bears her name, and a plaque commemorates her on the house in Via Arcivescovado where she lived. But more than on the plaques lives her memory in the memory of her fellow citizens. Carolina Luzzatto is part of our history. "With a manly soul", "virile", "manly tenacious": the words written in her memory on her house and on her grave compare her to a man. It was then perhaps the greatest honor that could be given to a woman. With expressions such as these she was praised and remembered, until another passionate journalist and patriot, Jolanda Pisani ("Cassandra"), took the pen to commemorate her. "Cassandra" knew that it was not necessary to compare to a man the first journalist from Gorizia to give her the merit of fifty years of tireless activity dictated by love for her land.