• Museo dei tasso
  • Museo dei tasso
  • Museo dei tasso
  • Museo dei tasso
  • Museo dei tasso
  • Museo dei tasso
  • Museo dei tasso
  • Museo dei tasso
  • Museo dei tasso

The poets Bernardo and Torquato Tasso The Tasso family in the literature history

Poets Bernardo and his son Torquato, the sublime author of the “Gerusalemme Liberata”, belong to the Tasso family. However they were born far from homeland, archival documents attest their origins in the area of Bergamo due to their frequent contacts with relatives and homeland.

Bernardo Tasso

Bernardo Tasso

Bernardo Tasso (Venezia 1493 - Ostiglia 1569) father of Torquato, spent part of his life in the service of Prince Sanseverino. Bernardo is remembered for the poem "Amadigi e Floridante" and for the collections of Rhymes (laudatory, love, pastoral and religious Rhymes). Bernardo was particularly close to his Bergamo relatives, with whom he often confided and to whom he asked for help in times of trouble: he trusted them and confided with them. On the death of his wife, he expressed them his doubts about his brothers in-law responsibility with it and the fear that they might attempt to his daughter Cornelia’s life. Therefore he urged his relatives to find her a homeland husband. Bernardo used do inform his relatives in Bergamo also about the events related to other members of Tasso family in Roma, as when Giovanni Antonio son of Silvestro of Giovanni Tasso, was jailed on a charge of having delivered, as a courier, some confidential information to the Duke of Alba, Viceroy of Napoli.

Torquato Tasso

Torquato Tasso (1544 Sorrento - Roma 1595) is known for his very troubled life and for the level of perfect poetry reached in his remarkable literary production. In addition to the famous poem “Gerusalemme Liberata”, he composed the “ Aminta” and the tragedy of “King Torrismondo”; he is also the author of interesting dialogues and about two thousand rhymes. Torquato was at least a couple of times in Bergamo, always by his relatives of Borgo Pignolo: the first time when he was thirteen with his father Bernardo passing through it to go to France and the second time after his release from the hospital of Sant'Anna in Ferrara. He never forgot Bergamo; in a letter written to the lordship of Bergamo to urge his release from the hospital of St. Anna, he feels to be "bergamasco, not only by origin, but also for affection". The sonnet composed as a young man and dedicated to his homeland, is also well-known:

Bernardo Tasso

“Terra, che ‘l Serio bagna, e ‘l Brembo inonda,
che monti, e valli mostri all’una mano,
ed all’altra il tuo verde, e largo piano
or ampia, ed or sublime, ed or profonda;

perch’io cercassi pur di sponda in sponda
Nilo, Istro, Gange, o s’altro è più lontano,
o mar da terra chiuso, o l’Oceano
che d’ogni intorno lui cinge, e circonda;

riveder non potrei parte più cara,
e gradita di te, da cui mi venne
in riva al gran Tirren famoso Padre,

che fra l’arme cantò rime leggiadre,
benchè la fama tua pur si rischiara,
e si dispiega al Ciel con altre penne”.

As his letters show, Torquato was always very fond of Bergamo.
In one of them, addressed to Mr. Paolo Grillo, he expresses all the tenderness he felt for his "Homeland", and as by nature itself, he felt honour and affection for it:
"Meanwhile, I stay in Bergamo, my Homeland , where I had a long-time desire to see my friends and Relatives again; in no other way I could better understand how great is the Charity of the Homeland, and how much is the tenderness of its honour”.
And in another letter written to Giambattista Licino: "I would like to be in Bergamo for this fair by all means, because it is reasonable, that after so many years, I can enjoy the view of the Homeland for a few days, and the conversation with Relatives and friends" .

(Tarcisio Bottani, educational services manager of Tasso family and Postal History Museum ).