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Luisa Spagnoli

Luisa SpagnoliLuisa Spagnoli, maiden name Sargentini, was born in Perugia om October 30, 1877 and was especially known for the invention of Bacio Perugina and her fashion house.
In 1907, together with Francesco Buitoni, she opened a small company in the historic center of Perugia, the Perugina, with fifteen employees. With the outbreak of World War I Luisa remained in the factory with just her two sons, Mario and Aldo. After the war, the Perugina soon had more than one hundred employees. Then in the Twenties she invented the famous bonbon called "Bacio Perugina".

Meanwhile, she also launched a new venture: the breeding of angora rabbits, which were not killed or even shorn, but lovingly combed to obtained the angora wool. In the suburb of Saint Lucia the "Angora Spagnoli" manufactured shawls, boleros and fashionable clothing.

Luisa could not see the real take-off of the company in the 1940's under the guidance of his son Mario; she died of throat cancer in Paris on September 21, 1935.

In years of great poverty, when many people suffered from hunger and cold, for Christmas the Spagnoli family gave to their workers wool sweaters and socks worth 4,000 lire, a fortune in those days. The establishment of Saint Lucia had a pool for employees, and townhouses (which still exist) were built for them, as well as nurseries for children, and dances, football games, competitions and parties were promoted.

The documentary below was directed by Aldo Zappala, in collaboration with Mario Leombruno, the Historical Museum of Perugia and the Luisa Spagnoli Exposition. The song "Voglio vivere così" was recorded in 1941 by Ferruccio Travaglini.

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0:00
Cosa unisce un coniglio d'angora, un cioccolatino famoso in tutto il mondo, un manifesto degli anni Venti, un abito di grande sartoria e una fabbrica di cioccolato?
What is it that links an Angora rabbit, a chocolate famous throughout the world, a poster of the twenties, a dress of great tailoring and a chocolate factory?
0:21
Pochi sanno che dietro a tutto questo c'è una donna. Si chiama Luisa Spagnoli, ed è una delle fondatrici dell'industria moderna in Italia.
Few people know that behind all this there is a woman. Her name is Luisa Spagnoli, and she is one of the founders of modern industry in Italy.
0:34
È stata Luisa a inventare il "Bacio", a fondare la Perugina, la più grande fabbrica di cioccolato d'Italia.
It was Louisa who invented the "Bacio", who founded Perugina, the largest chocolate factory in Italy.
0:43
Sempre lei, ad allevare quei conigli d'Angora grazie ai quali il figlio Mario farà nascere la casa di moda Luisa Spagnoli, una delle firme più grandi del "made in Italy".
And it was always her, to breed those Angora rabbits thanks to which her son Mario will start the Luisa Spagnoli fashion house, one of the great names of the "made in Italy".
0:55
"Io mi ricordo che a vederla faceva terrore; a starci, era una vera mamma."
"I remember that to see her she was a terror, to stay with her, she was a true mother."
1:00
"Era una donna veramente... una ne faceva e due ne inventava!"
"She was a woman really ... one she did, and two she invented!"
1:08
"Il nome Luisa, a noi che siamo nati lì, fa venire in mete il sapore del fondente."
"The name Luisa, to us who were born there, brings to the mind the taste of dark chocolate."
1:14
"Beh, era una bella signora, veramente, molto bella!"
"Well, she was a lovely lady, truly, very beautiful!"
1:20
"Donne imprenditrici che hanno fondato un'azienda ce ne sono tante, ma Luisa Spagnoli è forse l'unica ad averne fondate due, di aziende, due aziende ancora oggi molto importanti."
"Women entrepreneurs who have founded a company, there are many, but Luisa Spagnoli is perhaps the only one to have founded two companies, two still today very important companies "
1:33
Luisa Spagnoli, le sue operaie, e alcuni uomini che seppero tenerle testa.
Luisa Spagnoli, her workers, and some men who were able to stand to her.
1:40
È una storia eccezionale, che mischia amore, sogni, creatività e progetti imprenditoriali.
It's a great story that mixes love, dreams, creativity and entrepreneurial projects.
1:47
In Umbria, a Perugia, a cavallo tra le due guerre mondiali, nell'era dell'autarchia.
In Umbria, in Perugia, between the two world wars, in an era of autarchy.
Va', cuore mio, da fiore a fior,
con dolcezza e con amor,
vai tu per me.
Go, my heart, from flower to flower,
with kindness and with love,
you go for me.
Va', che la mia felicità
vive sol di realtà
vicino a te.
Go, that my happiness
lives only of reality
near you.
Voglio vivere così
col sole in fronte
e felice canto
beatamente.
I want to live like this
with the sun in front of me
and I happily sing
blissfully.
Voglio vivere e goder
l'aria del monte
perché questo incanto
non costa niente.
I want to live and enjoy
the air of the mountain
because this enchantment
costs nothing.
Ah, ah! Oggi amo ardentemente
quel ruscello impertinente
menestrello dell'amor.
Ah! Today I ardently love
that saucy stream
a minstrel of love.
Ah, ah! La fiorita delle piante
tiene in festa questo cuor.
Sai perché?
Ah! The blossoming of trees
keeps this heart feasting.
Do you know why?
Voglio vivere così
col sole in fronte
e felice canto,
canto per te.
I want to live like this
with the sun in front of me
and I happily sing
I sing for you.