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 History and Nature >> Maria Maltoni
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Maria Maltoni   
Marianna Maltoni was born in Dovadola (Forlì) on the 2nd February 1890. She gained her Diploma from the ‘Scuola Normale Margherita di Savoia’ at Ravenna in 1910 and began teaching in the same year in Bagnarola, in the commune of Cesenatico. The following October she was transferred to Pieve Salutare, in the commune of Castrocaro, where she remained until 1919, when she moved to Tuscany, where she lived in Grezzano, in Mugello.

Maltoni arrived at San Gersolè in the summer of 1920, accompanied by the doctor Laura Orioli and her son, and Francesco and Ofelia, the children of a family of farmers from Grezzano whom she had undertaken to care for to ensure they benefited from a proper education. They made their home in a house belonging to the ‘Torre Rossa’ farm, just a short distance from the school at San Gersolè. Following the 1923 Reform the small village school was dependant on the ‘Istituto Nazionale di Cultura’, directed by Ernesto Codignola. It was here that Maltoni met the inspector Francesco Bettini, with whom she established an intense professional relationship which gave her the opportunity to collaborate with several scholastic publications from the middle of the 1930s onwards.

At the same time she began to dissent from fascism and began to have contrasting opinions to that of the local government. She joined the Resistance, was a member of the ‘Partito d’Azione’ and later the ‘Partito Socialista Italiano’. During this period the school of San Gersolè and its methods provoked the interest of the Italian intellectuals Giusta Nicco Fasola, Giovanni Michelucci, Raffaele Ramat, Franco Antonicelli, Emilio Cecchi and Piero Calamandrei, who frequently assisted in her lessons. She retired in 1956 and proceeded to dedicate herself to promoting the school of San Gersolè and its pedagogical experiment until her death in 1964.

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