Military Patriot and Painter

Francesco MartiniFrancesco Martini was born in Sanremo on 2 July 1818 from Antonio and Angela Maria Ferrandini.

He was brought to Rome at a young age and dedicated himself to painting. In 1848, after the declaration of war against Austria by Carlo Alberto, he enlisted in the university battalion commanded by General Durando, fighting with honour in various battles.
He then placed himself under Garibaldi's orders and fought with the rank of captain in Garibaldi's ranks.

A lieutenant in the Alpine Hunters' Corps, he distinguished himself for his valour in several battles. However, he was not part of the "Thousand" expedition in 1860 because he was ill. After recovering, he went to Naples, where he was appointed by Garibaldi first captain of the 3rd Regiment of the Assanti Brigade and, with this rank, he fought in the battles of Volturno and Caserta vecchia.
In 1866 he still proved his worth as a fighter in Monte Suelo, Caffaro, Conino and Bezzecca, while in 1870 he served with the rank of major in the Vosges army in France.

He later returned to Sanremo, where he died on 16 May 1882.

The Town Council in the meeting of 8th February 1901 dedicated to his name the alley between via Umana and via Manarola, previously also called via Umana. The Socialist Town Council did not like this name and in a meeting of 12 August 1903 it replaced it with the name of vicolo Baiardo, but with a resolution of 22 August 1911 the Council gave it back the name of Martini.

On 16th December 1911 the National Association of Invalids and Mutilated of War donated to the Commune the sabre and some medals that belonged to Martini: they are currently kept in the Civic Museum together with the other Garibaldi's relics.

(source : Marco Mauro)

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