Pisani Jolanda “Cassandra” (1905 - 1978)


Women who dedicate themselves to activities that are not exclusively female have always attracted attention, if only because they move away from the obligatory wife-mother-massey path destined for them. Journalism in Gorizia has known two of them, at different moments in the history of the city: Carolina Luzzatto and Jolanda Pisani. Jolanda Pisani, "Cassandra". Who in Gorizia doesn't remember her pseudonym? So well known was that it appears, following the name, also on her tomb. That name is enough to evoke an epoch, to testify to an emotional and passionate commitment to her city. She was born on June 11, 1905 in the village of San Rocco. The first half of her life was what could be expected of a woman of her time who had not dedicated herself to a family of her own: she was a kindergarten teacher, caring with love for generations of children entrusted to her care. But she had another vocation, from which those called cannot escape: the pen. Among his various unpublished writings we can remember the diary Gorizia from the hooked cross to the red star, where he documented the events of the war period in Gorizia. In 1945 he began his public activity. It was the moment in which those who believed they could give something to their city, which was then coming out of fascism, war and Nazi and titanic occupations, but whose fate was still uncertain, put their time and skills at disposal in the common commitment to form a new political-administrative class and to give voice to the needs of the people of Gorizia. "Cassandra" was this voice. The choice of her "pen name" is emblematic of the still uncertain and dark times in which she found herself operating: Cassandra, the prophetess destined to remain unheard. But Gorizia instead read it and listened to it. She began to write in the local newspapers that resumed or began the activity, in the period of the Allied occupation, asking that the fate of the deportees be made known, that the city not be assigned to Yugoslavia, that freedom, justice and democracy be restored. She was, in her writings, convinced and passionate, and her strenuous defence of the Italian character of Gorizia led to a clear opposition against the Slavs and the Communists who supported her territorial claims. Her choice to defend the history and the Italian culture of the city was made also through a series of articles and essays on characters and episodes of the history of Gorizia. Most of these articles appeared in newspapers, sometimes anonymous; but he also carried out more extensive studies on the history of the press in Gorizia and on the toponymy of the city. He was a member of the board of the Circolo della Stampa in 1945-1947 and of the CLN for the Action Party in 1946-1947. His role was essential in those years. Later he continued his work as a journalist, but without always receiving the appreciation he deserved. Like Carolina Luzzatto before her, she was sometimes the object of unjustifiable personal attacks: her condition as an unmarried woman, not beautiful, not willing to compromise, provoked criticism from her opponents. The city newspapers, however, always gave her space, and "Cassandra" recalled the moments of the past near and far until shortly before her death on April 13, 1978. Like Carolina Luzzatto, Jolanda Pisani obtained what she had fought so hard for: that Gorizia was in Italy. Like all those who dedicate themselves without reserve to a cause, she paid the price: a price made of loneliness, misunderstandings, regrets. But she entered fully into the history of Gorizia, which she had dealt with with so much passion.