Letter from Alfredo Cappellini
Inv. 324 21×27 cm
Letter, ink on paper
Alfredo Cappellini (1828 – 1866), from Livorno, attended the Naval Academy in Genoa. He became a midshipman in 1848 and in 1855 fought in the Crimean War. Captaining a frigate, he was involved in the siege of Gaeta and in 1866 was commander of the steam corvette Palestro.
It was the year of the third war of independence. The defeat at Custoza sullied the reputation of the young Italian State. A military success was needed and Admiral Persano was ordered to occupy Lissa, an island in the Adriatic, defended by the Austrian fleet. The battle took place on 20 July. Fire broke out on the Palestro.
Cappellini and his crew fought for two and a half hours to bring the fire under control. But the ship exploded throwing 200 soldiers and sailors into the depths. Among them was Alfredo Cappellini.
A gold medal for bravery was awarded in his memory.