In genealogical research, some lines prove more difficult to trace. In our ancestral trees, one of these lines has been the Caimi family.
My research has uncovered many historical people and locations that bear the Caimi name. However, I have not yet found the links that might possibly connect us to one or more of these faces or places (if any connections do exist.)
Of course, I will keep trying to scale those genealogical brick walls and find those missing pieces to our families’ history. Until then, I would like to highlight some of these famous Caimi forebearers.
In 1170, Lanfranco Caimi and Galvano Caimi were documented as “noble people” of the Caimi Family and of “the place of Turate.” Galvano Caimi was the first Governor of the city of Alessandria, founded in 1168 by the League of Municipalities Lombardi (Lombard League).
On August 22, 1202, Lanfranco Caimi sold to Ruggero of Bollate a possession in the Trezzano territory (located in modern-day Milan).
In 1335, Bronzino Caimi, chief magistrate of Bergamo, takes into consideration the proposal from Cremona to build a channel from the River Oglio. Considerations on the construction of the canal, imposition of the duty, derivations of irrigation ditches, list of places and people who make use of the waters of the canal, as well as tax issues and appraisals, were reviewed.
Protaso Caimi (died circa 1360) was a noble Milanese knight who fought in the Battle of Parabiago (Nerviano, Milan), in February 1339. Protaso Caimi served as mayor of Milan from 1348-1349. His tomb is located in the third chapel of the Basilica di Sant’Eustorgio, Milan. His sarcophagus (pictured left) depicts the Madonna enthroned, surrounded by kneeling saints. It is the work of Bonino da Campione, dated mid-14th century.
Circa 1370, Azzo Caimi began building Santa Maria in Campagna, Turate. This church was completed about 1398.
Bernardino Caimi (1425–9 February 1500) of Milan/Turate was a religious figure, revered by the Catholic Church as Blessed. A Franciscan friar, Bernardino Caimi was the creator/founder of Sacro Monte di Varallo. Built in 1491, this was the first of nine separate religious complexes located in the mountains of Northern Italy. (His statue is pictured to the right.)
On 23 April 1467, Francesco I and Bianca Maria (Visconti) Sforza, the Duke and Duchess of Milan, granted to nobles Protaso Caimi and Franchino Caimi the feudal investiture of Turate. The endowment was granted again to the Caimi in 1486 and in 1514.
On 23 December 1470, Galvagno Caimi, originally from Turate and a resident of Brera, petitions that his brother Corrado Caimi receive the inheritance from their father Protaso Caimi.
In 1591, Giacomo Filippo Caimi notarized the judgment issued in 1547 by Senator Marco Barbavara, regarding the privileges of the Secco Family.
On 19 January 1623, Philip IV of Spain granted the fief of Turate to Conte Gaspare Caimi at a cost of 4,160 pounds. Then, on August 12, 1623, Gaspare Caimi (pictured left) was awarded the titles of Count of Turate and Cassina Massina.
In 1719, Conte Giovanni Gaspare Caimi served as the chief magistrate of Turate. Then, in 1729, Conte Gaspare Caimi also served as chief magistrate of Turate. Whether this was the same person or father and son is unknown.
According to the 1751 Census, Turate was subject to the Count Ignazio Caimi, until his death in 1785.
Giacomo Antonio Caimi (1811–1878) was an Italian painter and biographer of artists, who was active in Milan. Born in Sondrio, Antonio Caimi (see right) initially trained at the Accademia Carrara of Bergamo under Diotti but then moved to study at the Brera Academy under Sabatelli. He was primarily a portrait painter, although he also painted religious pieces, including Salome, Daughter of Herodias, The Madonna of Tirono Fair, and Baptism of Christ, as well as some religious frescoes. Antonio Caimi also wrote a book on The Arts of Design and the Lombardian Artists from 1777 to 1862 (published in Milan in 1862). Finally, Antonio Caimi served as the secretary of the Brera Academy at Milan from 1860 until his death.
Giuseppe Caimi (19 December 1890–26 December 1917) was an Italian soccer midfielder (1911-1913), fencer, and an Alpini lieutenant. Giuseppe Caimi (pictured left) spent two seasons with Inter Milan, making 23 league appearances, before he was drafted into the Royal Italian Army at the outbreak of the First World War. He died from wounds sustained in battle and was awarded posthumously the Medaglia d’Oro al Valore Militare.
Lamberto Caimi (born 30 October 1930) is an Italian cinematographer. Born in Milan, Lamberto Caimi (pictured right) began his career in the field of documentary filmmaking industry; in 1955 he joined the film department of the company Edison, where he met Ermanno Olmi, a film director and screenwriter. Lamberto Caimi was the cinematographer of dozens of short documentary films shot in the late fifties and early sixties. In 1961, he was the cinematographer of the first real feature film of Ermanno Olmi, titled Il Posto.
Arnaldo Caimi (12 November 1932-December 2008), of Somma Lombardo, was a painter, poet, and writer, who studied at the Art School of Somma Lombardo. A longtime owner of an art gallery, Arnaldo Caimi (see left) himself produced works from many genres—realism, impressionism, abstract, and experimental. Upon his death, all of this works, including a collection of 28 drawings of different views of Somma Lombardo, were left to the Parish of St. Agnes.
Guido Caimi (1941-1982), four-time world speedboat racing champion, was killed when his outboard craft collided with another boat at 125 miles per hour during a world title race. During his career, Guido Caimi (pictured right) won four world titles, nine European titles, and ten Italian titles. He was the son of Franco Caimi, who was the 1966 World Champion in Class LV and who died in 1981 of an illness.
La Piscina Caimi, situated in Via Botta in the Porta Romana District of Milan, is a historic art nouveau pool in Milan: a jewel of the 1930s. During the summer, La Piscina Caimi (pictured left) served as a social spot for the citizens of Milan and could host approximately 1,000 people. The complex featured several swimming pools, a theater, an apartment block with a sunroof terrace, a tennis camp, and garden. The pool was named in honor of Giuseppe Caimi (see above).
La Villa Caimi was a manor that stood at what is now Via Aldini, Zone 8, Quatro Oggiaro, Milan. La Villa Caimi (see right) was cited in the Historical Lombardo as Villa Finoli, named after most recent owners. Built in the year 700, the villa served as the Caimi Family country house and was connected by an underground passage to the Villa Scheibler and its adjoining park. Outside the entrance of the property was a low wall with two solid columns. A tree-lined street in front of those led to the barns and stables. In front the villa itself was an entrance of three archways. The villa has undergone several changes in ownership over the years, with many of them have contributed to degradation of the property and structure. Today, sadly, the villa is in a state of neglect.
Villa Crivelli/Caimi/Belloni, located near the banks of the Olona River, is part of a continuous system of gardens and parks. This villa was built in 1620 at the behest of the Crivelli family; however, by 1650, the villa (see left) became the property of Caimi, before eventually going to the Belloni.
More Famous Caimi “Family”
1. Portrait of Girolamo Caimi, Italian nobleman, by unknown artist
2. Israel in Captivity with the Tower of Babel, by Giacomo Antonio Caimi
3. Posthumous Portrait of Fiorbellina Caimi, by unknown artist
4. Portrait of Antonio Caimi, by Giovanni Visamara (Please note: This gentleman is not the artist discussed above.)