Rismondo Giovanni (1807 - 1875)

05/03/2020

Giovanni Nepomuceno Rismondo was born in Rovinj in 1807. Graduated in law in Padua, he moved to our town in 1841, after practicing law in Monfalcone for a few years, and immediately felt it his own, or rather he felt he belonged there. He was highly regarded in his profession: a capable orator, his clientele was not limited to the city. He was defined "one of the most distinguished lawyers of that time" and, by the common people, the "brav avocat". Gorizia knew him, however, more as a passionate supporter of liberal and national ideals, for the affirmation of which he devoted himself actively. Already in 1848 his name appeared in the reports of the Austrian police as that of a "notoriously keen partisan for the Italian cause, an individual very suspicious of political plots". He had as collaborators in his studio Carlo Favetti and Luigi Pajer, who were also close to him in his political commitment. His friendship with Favetti was particularly deep. Together, the two of them brought the people together in Piazza Grande on 15 March 1848, asking for the Constitution and national unity. Rismondo was also financier and collaborator of the "Giornale di Gorizia" directed by Favetti from 1850 to 1851, and it was he who proposed the friend to the office of municipal secretary. A leading exponent of the liberal party in Gorizia, Giovanni Rismondo was elected town councillor in 1851 and later, in 1861, also deputy of the Provincial Diet, where he fought against the proposals of the loyalist councillors, even if often, given the relations of forces, without luck, as in the case of his opposition to the electoral reform of the great land possession, which would have reduced the representativeness of the Italians in favour of the Slovenians.


In 1860 he met Vittorio Emanuele II and the Hungarian patriot Lajos Kossuth in exile in Turin. On that occasion Baron de Buffa, expressing "almost the certainty that a branch of the Revolutionary Party Committee exists here" headed by Baron de Buffa. Rismondo, "in every respect politically malicious", proposed their internment "within the monarchy, in all cases in some fortresses of Bohemia, until the political conditions improve" as well as Iona and Favetti, "the three most dangerous", to "not make them harmful" and produce "a frightening pánico in the malicious, to make them pass the political drunkenness", while recognizing that against them "there are no specific facts to start a trial". Along with the three are cited as less dangerous Dr. Bayer [recte: Pajer], Seitz, Nardini, Bassa, the chief railway engineer Antonio Poratti from Milan, the secretary of the Chamber of Commerce Pellegrini "and many others". Inspector Wanggo expresses himself against the opportunity of internment, "also because Trieste, Gorizia and Istria are still considered abroad to be of good Austrian sentiment, which opinion could be shaken by taking strict precautionary measures". He is the president of the Italian Committee refounded in Gorizia after the dissolution of the Udine Committee (1860), of which he is part, in addition to the above mentioned, also Deperis. He was a member of an Action Committee that spread "revolutionary proclamations" and "other incendiary writings" sent by the Kingdom of Italy to Friuli and as far as Istria. Through is a relative of Seitz from Udine who bears the same surname as him. In 1866 he was interned in Graz. Back in Gorizia, he was among the founders and supporters of the newspaper "L'Isonzo" (whose first issue came out on October 7, 1871) and of the Gymnastics Society, the future Gorizia Gymnastics Union, of which he was president from 1869 to 1872. In 1872 he was elected president of the Chamber of Lawyers, and in 1874 of the Popular Reading Cabinet. After the death of his wife Maria Chilain de Hembize in 1873, he led a retired life. He died on February 16, 1875, in his house at no. 4 Via del Santo. His name was given to the street where the Gymnastic Union directed by him is located. Another plaque, placed in 1949 in the atrium of the Unione Ginnastica Goriziana, recalls "Giovanni Rismondo animator of patrie virtue" and all those who in the course of the years ressembled the association.