Statue of Giuseppe Garibaldi

Piazza Garibaldi

A decorous tribute, well two actually, to Giuseppe Garibaldi from the citizens of Monza.

The city can boast not one but two statues depicting Garibaldi, Hero of the Two Worlds; the first stands in the eponymous piazza in front of the Tribunale (Court of Justice) and the other in the verdant Boschetti Reali. Both statues have a somewhat eventful history.

It was June 3rd, 1886 when the work by the sculptor Ernesto Bazzaro (1859-1937) was inaugurated in Piazza Isola (now Piazza Garibaldi).

The Garibaldi sculpture in Carrara marble was the first to be created in Italy succeeding the leader’s demise in 1882; Bazzaro received the commission from the then city council to pay homage to the Risorgimento hero. He was part of the Milanese Scapigliatura movement and won the call for entry having won acclaim from the awarding jury of famous personalities such as painters Bianchi and Borsa, sculptors Grandi and Barzaghi and the aristocratic art historian Archinti.

Bazzaro, along with the local artist from Monza Eugenio Baioni, participated in the 1923 competition for the construction of the monument to the fallen heroes in Piazza Trento e Trieste, but it was won by Enrico Pancera.

The statue was financed by the extemporaneous donations of the Monzese and it remained in Piazza Garibaldi until 1912 when it was deemed to be in an ‘evident state of degradation’ and the decision was made to replace it.

It was at that point that the second statue was created, an identical copy but in bronze, sculpted by Bazzaro in 1914.

This new statue replaced the marble original in 1915 and remained on the plinth in Piazza Garibaldi until 1934, when it was moved to the Boschetti Reali where it still stands today.

And the fate of the original marble one? Bazzaro’s statue was left in the courtyard of the current Olivetti Institute in via Lecco 12 until its restoration and its final repositioning on a new pedestal in Piazza Garibaldi in 2013.