ANTONIO PANIZZI was born on i6 September 1797 in Brescello, a small town at the junction of the Po and the Enza, a town so insignificant that it does not appear at all in the current Michelin guide to Italy. It lies in the fertile, but flat, Lombard plain. The Place must have had some influence on his character: a townsman, yet in a predominantly rural area; and, at that, a townsman in an enclave, because Brescello was part of one then independent duchy - Modena - but surrounded by the territory of another, Parma; and was constantly quarrelling over details with its still smaller immediate neighbour Boretto. Movement and controversy were all round him from the start.
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