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Curiosità storiche trevane
by Tommaso Valenti

The Author and the Book

I owe the following capsule of the author's life to my friend Franco Spellani of ProTrevi; my own rewrite, of course:

Tommaso Valenti was born to the noble family of the counts Valenti in Trevi on May 2, 1868, where he would die Dec. 24, 1941, the last Count Valenti in the direct line. He was elected to the city council of Trevi in 1891 and was reëlected for several terms, and became the mayor of Trevi in 1914. His cultural interests and expertise led to his appointment as Honorary Inspector of Monuments and Excavations, and as such he served as consultant for the Trevi area to the Sovrintendenza dei Beni Culturali of Perugia, the governing body of archaeological excavations and the care of historical monuments in that province. In addition to the work transcribed on this site, he wrote a number of books and articles on scholar­ly subjects, most of them having some connection with his hometown; of which the following list is probably not exhaustive:

Nel primo anniversario della Vittoria Italiana (speech), Foligno, Sbrozzi, 1919.

Per la storia dell'arte della stampa in Italia — La più antica società tipografica: Trevi 1470, Florence, Olschki, 1924.

Francesco Sforza e il comune di Monte dell'Olmo, Fabriano, Tipografia Gentile, 1925.

Un documento decisivo per il « Dante » di Foligno (1472), Florence, Olschki, 1925.

Un contratto per la costruzione di un organo (1526) — Un contratto con un maestro di tromba (1537) (Offprints from « Note d'archivio »), Rome, Psalterium, 1926.

Le memorie autografe del procuratore fiscale Benedetto Valenti, da Trevi (article), Perugia, Tipografia Economica, 1926.

Gli statuti dei fruttaioli ed ortolani di Perugia (1400), Perugia, Tipografia Economica, 1926.

Margherita d'Austria, duchessa di Parma e Piacenza, fabbricante di carta, Florence, Olschki, 1927.

La chiesa monumentale della Madonna delle Lacrime, Rome, Desclée, 1928 [his most cited work; online in full at ProTrevi].

Memorie veneziane a Trevi (Umbria), Trevi, 1935.

L'Epistolario di Mons. Monte Valenti da Trevi, Governatore di Perugia e dell'Umbria, 1574‑1575, Perugia, Donnini, 1935.

The book reproduced here is the author's own collection of essays he wrote for La Torre di Trevi, a local newspaper, between 1898 and 1900. Though based on research for the most part conducted in the city archives (as well as on Durastante Natalucci's Historia Universale . . . di Trevi, which at the time had still not been published and lay in a single manuscript in the safekeeping of that historian's descendants), Count Valenti's essays were meant as light educational pieces for the benefit of his fellow citizens who might not be aware of some of the details of their town's history. To the modern reader they are valuable not only for the details they provide on the monuments and history of Trevi, but also — reading sometimes between the lines — as a window into the life of a small Umbrian town a century ago.

(p. vii) The book is dedicated:

To the
sacred memory
of the young soldiers of Trevi
who gave their lives for Italy

 p. v  Table of Contents

Yellow backgrounds indicate the original text in Italian;
those essays shown on blue backgrounds have been translated into English.

The City Tower
The Piazza
City Hall
The Walls
The Gates of Trevi
The Chiesa delle Lagrime
A Strange Custom
The Lake
The Feast of St. Emiliano
Of Brides' Kits and Dowries
The Tower of Matigge
Three Ravaged Churches
A Historian of Trevi
Bandits and Thieves
Jews in Trevi
The Guilds
Olive Groves and Olives
The Church of S. Francesco
Weapons and Militias
A Literary Man in Trevi
Trevi and the Holy League

One more essay was published by the Trevi newspaper, La Torre di Trevi, like the others under the column heading "Curiosità storiche trevane", and like the others under Valenti's pseudonym "The Mouse in the Archives", but it was not included by him in the book. I transcribed it:

Technical Details

Edition Used, Copyright

I transcribed the Italian from my own paper-bound copy of the book (falling apart), published in 1922 by F. Campitelli in Foligno; I believe this was the only edition. Its author Tommaso Valenti died in 1941: the work thus rose into the public domain on January 1, 2012.

The English and French versions are my own translations, and are therefore © William P. Thayer 2016.


As almost always, I retyped the original text by hand rather than scanning it — not only to minimize errors prior to proofreading, but as an opportunity for me to become intimately familiar with the work, an exercise which I heartily recommend: Qui scribit, bis legit. (Well-meaning attempts to get me to scan text, if success­ful, would merely turn me into some kind of machine: gambit declined.)

Both the transcription of the Italian original and my own translations have been minutely proofread. In the table of contents on the Italian orientation page the sections are shown on blue backgrounds, indicating that I believe the text of them to be completely errorfree; similarly, here and on the French orientation page, for those sections I translated. As elsewhere onsite, the header bar at the top of each chapter's webpage will remind you with the same color scheme.

The edition I followed was well proofread, with only one significant error; a few trivial typographical slips are marked by a dotted underscore like this: as elsewhere on my site, glide your cursor over the bullet or the underscored words to read the variant. The outlier — Pope Gregory XIII identified in print as Ludovisi — was hand-corrected in my copy to Boncompagni by the author himself (p72).

A number of odd spellings, inconsistencies, curious turns of phrase, etc. have been marked <!‑‑ sic  in the sourcecode, just to confirm that they were checked.

Any over­looked mistakes, please drop me a line, of course: especially if you have a copy of the printed book in front of you.

Since the book is not illustrated, the icon I use to indicate this subsite elsewhere onsite (often in the navigation bar at the foot of my pages) is a detail of the main door of the Palazzo Valenti alla Piaggia, one of three manors belonging to the Valenti family in Trevi.

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Page updated: 28 Sep 16