Make Italy Yours

A blog of Italian Culture and Nature

Tag: Sesto Fiorentino

Robert Einstein: the engineer cousin of Albert Einstein in Italy (Part 3)

The Einstein’s in Tuscany and Albert Einstein in Via degli Strozzi at Sesto Fiorentino


It has been quite incredible to discover Robert Einstein’s story and, through this research, learn even more about Albert Einstein. I knew that he had come to Italy several times since he was teenager. Indeed I remembered, in some remote and blurred way, about a photo of Albert Einstein with his violin, in a room of a villa or perhaps a farmhouse in Tuscany (which I was sure was a house of some relatives or close friends, in my memory of many years ago), but it has been really incredible to discover more precisely that Albert Einstein came here once, and by here I mean exactly here, where I am writing this story. Indeed,

the sister of Albert […] in the early 1920s came to live near Florence, exactly in Via degli Strozzi in Sesto Fiorentino,

next to the Villa Solaria Park. So, just like his cousin Robert, Albert’s dear sister Maja also came back to Italy and lived in Tuscany, where she, her husband Paul Winteler and Robert Einstein, met with Italian and international artists and intellectuals.

Staude (standing), Maja Einstein Winteler, Georg Staude, Paul Winteler at Sesto Fiorentino

Staude (standing), Maja Einstein, Georg Staude and Paul Winteler at Sesto Fiorentino



Well, what could happen to a person like me discovering this? Of course, I imagined Albert Einstein walking here, just like now.

the road where lived Maja Einstein in Tuscany

Via degli Strozzi at Sesto Fiorentino


I pictured him catching up with Maja Einstein in Via degli Strozzi and then again stepping on the soil of this narrow path and others nearby, as he wandered Sesto Fiorentino.



Albert came to visit Maja several times, before moving permanently to the United States, knowing of the risk of the German nuclear weapon project. He also maybe sensed that before long, Hitler and the Nazis later might find his loved ones stayed in Europe, putting all their lives at risk.


The Einstein–Szilárd letter (1939)

The Einstein–Szilárd letter (1939) to the United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt


The Franklin D. Roosevelt letter to Albert Einstein

The Franklin D. Roosevelt letter to Albert Einstein



There are diverse opinions about this that I’m going to telling you of Robert Einstein’s family. Many tell us there is a strong connection with an order by Hitler, because Albert Einstein was Jewish and against the Nazis. Others it seems are suggesting that we have to read Robert’s case in the complex situation of the chaos after the Italian 8th September 1943, when the Allies were close to liberating the Italian people from the Italian Fascist regime and the Germans.

Woman in Agrigento. Photo by Robert Capa

Woman in Agrigento, photo by Robert Capa

The Germans who obviously regarded the Italians as traitors, were massacring Italian civilians. Italian military personnel, now lost, abandoned to fate and suddenly without clear orders from superiors, when captured by the Germans were killed or being sent to concentration camps. The specific event, hard to reconstruct by historical data sure, it happened in this complex context that I have represented.

As a matter of fact, this is the tragic story of Robert Einstein and his family.





Meeting Pietro Bernini on a walk

by Stefania Bufano

In Italy, when you go out for just a walk (and if you are not in a hurry without looking around yourself and deep in your thoughts), and maybe you have your camera with you, or your mobile phone to make a photo just in case, you can very often discover things. So, after a long way, and having crossed a garden with a lot of people, who were laying in the sun, who were talking with friends, who were reading on a bench, watching children play football, running free and going happy on the swing, and then overtaking a school of music right out of the garden, hearing with pleasure from an open window a nice sound of a saxophone, and soon after, another one, maybe of a student this time…


house where was born Pietro Bernini Sesto Fiorentino

I looked at a wall, in an old and not so beautiful road as you could imagine: it’s a place not really important for tourists. Just an old narrow street, with old houses where one day there was countryside, where I don’t think people too rich lived there, maybe people who were doing handicrafts, meanwhile others cultivated lands, which in part you can still see if you walk there, and also you can see in the distance through those fields big roads that connect towns near Florence.

house where was born Pietro Bernini Sesto Fiorentino

Just in that direction you can see airplanes fly, depart and land, from the near airport of Florence.

Around the house where was born Pietro Bernini Sesto Fiorentino

But back to what I have seen. Here was born in a little house, Pietro Bernini, a very important Italian sculptor, exactly on the 6th of May in 1562. He studied in Florence and lived and worked in Naples (where his son Gian Lorenzo was also born, also a sculptor, painter and architect) and Rome. He made monumental sculptures, with other’s sculptors, like Fontana del Nettuno and Fontana del Gigante (in Naples), and the very famous fountain Fontana della Barcaccia (in Spanish Square in Rome).

But the walk was yesterday. Unfortunately, I often do very strange things: like going out, sometimes without a camera or mobile phone, feeling free from all, without anything apart from my house keys. So when I saw the writing “6 Maggio” I thought: I must come tomorrow to make a photo of it, on the 6th of May, today!

house where was born Pietro Bernini Sesto Fiorentino

So, happy birthday, Pietro Bernini!




Around the house where was born Pietro Bernini in Sesto Fiorentino

Around the house where was born Pietro Bernini






Pietro Bernini

Sesto Fiorentino




%d bloggers like this: