1914 - 1928: He studied in Parma
In 1914 Giovannino Guareschi’s family moves to Parma,
leaving the small village of Fontanelle. In fact, his mother has been
transferred to Marone, a small village near Parma. His father changes
work, he trades premises and works as a mediator.
The little Guareschi is enrolled in the school "Jacopo
Sanvitale", where he attends the primary school. When the war breaks out,
Giovannino is alone with his grandmother Giuseppina: his mother shuttles
between Parma and Marone, his father is called to arms as a military worker,
and in 1918 he is discharged.
The first day at school:
I arrive at the school "Jacopo Sanvitale"
with my bread-basket. All the children have already entered and a caretaker,
after knowing my name, checks a certain sheet and then goes towards a
certain door and opens it. My father pushes me inside the room – that
appears to me really big, with the teacher’s desk, Mrs. Amelia Bocchi,
down there -, appears into it and says: 'Good morning, madam, here is
my cheeky boy'.
The Italian middle school does not interest him and he
has difficulty in the technical studies. Therefore he is failed at the
first year and then sent to the boarding school "Maria Luigia" in Parma
in 1920, where he begins again his studies.
Then he attends the "Regio Ginnasio Romagnosi", where
his intellectual curiosity first arises; he will have it for all the rest
of his life and it will help him in his work as a journalist and a writer.
In 1921 his family moves to Marore, and Giovannino reaches them in the
In 1925 his father is declared to be failed, after several
economical misadventures. This situation influences Giovannino and his
school efficiency. He is obliged to leave the boarding school and to attend
it as an external student due to his family’s precarious economic situation.
Guareschi at 14 years. Parma, 1922
Marore di Parma, 1927