Lawyer and Mayor

Vincenzo Manuel GismondiBelonging to one of the most famous and esteemed families of Sanremo stock, he was born in Sanremo on March 7th 1859 from Luigi Francesco and Costanza Borea d'Olmo. He married Giulia Maraldi, descendant of an ancient Perinaldo family whose members included the famous astronomers Giacomo Filippo (1665-1729) and Giovanni Domenico (1709-1788), related to the equally famous Perinaldo astronomer Gian Domenico Cassini, and had ten children, all male, including the future mayor of Sanremo Paolo.

A lawyer by profession, on 12 September 1898 he was elected mayor after securing the support of a solid Council majority.

Ceremony in memory of Federico GuglielmoA little more than a month after his election as first citizen, a delegation of German veterans arrived in Sanremo for the celebrations in honour of the German Emperor Frederick III during the ceremony of the inauguration of the Emperor's commemorative plaque in front of Villa Zirio, in the presence of the city authorities and some high officers of the Italian army.

After the ceremony, the German delegation went to the Hotel de Nice to take part in a drink offered by the municipal administration. In the evening all the delegates moved to the Hotel Mediterranée, where a sumptuous reception was held, attended by the sub-prefect King, Manuel Gismondi himself, the colonel of the 12th regiment Bersaglieri Eschard, the notary Balestreri, the king's attorney, the president of the Court and the German consul Piomarta.

During his mandate he also managed to obtain a loan of two hundred thousand lire, which he used partly to build the new public slaughterhouse and for embellishment works, and partly to convert the loans of 1878, 1881 and 1893 with a reduction in interest from 5 to 4%; he set up a kindergarten in Borello, terminated the contract with the impresario Foisnon for the construction of the Casino and bought the private roads Asquasciati and Marsaglia, making them municipal roads.

In February 1899 the dispute between the Municipality and Giovanni Marsaglia over the water supply took place, following which the four opposition councillors Mombello, Rubino, Gaglietto and Raimondo resigned due to disagreements with the mayor in conducting negotiations with Marsaglia, which on 18 April agreed with the Municipality to bring 750 cubic metres of drinking water from the Argallo spring to Porto Maurizio in the territory of the Municipality of Bussana.

On the political front, the main exponents of the moderate and conservative side had meanwhile made themselves promoters of the foundation of the Constitutional Association, established on 20 April 1899 with the aim of gathering and coordinating the forces of all those who wished to remain faithful to the homeland institutions, promoting the civil and political development of the country and protecting its moral and material interests. The new association aimed to promote the civil and political education of citizens by all means and committed itself to taking part in political and administrative elections in the city and province, also reserving the right to form itself, if necessary, into a Provisional or Standing Electoral Committee.

The most representative names of the Constitutional Party, including engineer Giacomo Picconi, who assumed the role of president, lawyer Costanzo Balestreri, appointed vice-president, notary Giovanni Ernesto Balestreri, surveyor Eugenio Carbonetto, lawyer Beffardo Bonfante, commendator Bartolomeo Asquasciati and marquis Giambattista Borea d'Olmo, were therefore called to the Association's Board of Directors. It was one of the members of the Constitutional Association, Giovanni Ernesto Balestreri, who succeeded as new mayor Manuel Gismondi, who resigned from office on 21 October 1899.

He died in Sanremo on 5 May 1926.

(source: several)

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