The Bondoni and Pastorio Families


The Pastorio Family


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Portraits of Smeralda Bedulli and Francesco Pastorio, second half of the 18th century


At least until the end of the 17th century, as long as Castiglione delle Stiviere was a feudal holding and a principality of the Gonzaga, many members of the Pastorio family had an important role in the public life of the town. From the founder Bartolomeo, who came from Padua in the middle of the 15th century in order to be in service to Marquis Rodolfo, to Giovan Giacomo (I), who was at the court of Ferdinando I and Ferdinando II, the last princes of Castiglione, the Pastorios were entrusted with prestigious tasks, including sometimes in government.

As was customary among the aristocracy of that period, the firstborn sons of the Pastorios were mainly warriors in the service of the Gonzaga, at whose court they also had ďcourtlyĒ roles, that is, they were major-domos of the princes, and knights. Some of the younger sons, who became ecclesiastics, reached responsible positions in the state. Especially during the Counterreformation, when Castiglione became an important religious center, chosen by the Lombardy episcopacy as one of the strongholds for the rules imposed by the Trent Council, the Pastorio Abbots had the opportunity of drawing attention to themselves and of exercising their influence. First of all the archpriest Giovan Battista (II) distinguished himself both by his knowledge and by his political skill. A friend of literates, politicians and cardinals, he was a member of the learned academies of Brescia, and in 1568 solemnly baptized Luigi Gonzaga, who was later acknowledged as a saint. His nephew Fausto was designated the first Abbot of Castiglione in 1606.

Notwithstanding the end of the Gonzaga of Castiglione principality at the beginning of the 18th century, the Pastorios were able to keep their comfortable way of life, thanks to their landed properties and to the silk production. A short but splendid period is recorded particularly between about 1740 to 1789, when the family, taking advantage of the economic renaissance brought by the Teresian period of peace, was able to keep pace with new esthetic patterns and with the enlightenment mentality.


The Bondoni Family


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Giuseppe Bondoni in Piazza Ugo DallÚ at Castiglione delle Stiviere, circa 1914


The Bondonis were an ancient noble family, originally from Lonato (Brescia). Toward 1870 Ferdinando settled in Castiglione delle Stiviere, where he was a lawyer and where he remained until his death. He married Eulalia Faini, who was the granddaughter of Paola Pastorio on her motherís side. Due to complex family events, Eulalia inherited the Pastorioís palace from her cousins Luigia and Carolina Pastorio. Ferdinando and Eulalia had two children, Luigia, who never married, and Giuseppe, who followed his fatherís steps and became a lawyer. In 1914 Giuseppe married Lucia Bellotti, of Acquanegra sul Chiese, and from their union Maria and Giacomo were born. Giuseppe died in 1920, only 42 years old, Lucia lived until 1973. Their daughter Maria (who also never married) lived with her aunt Luigia in Castiglione, where she taught Italian and Latin for 35 years. Following his grandfatherís and fatherís steps, Giacomo became a lawyer, working as such to the moment of his death at the age of 92 in 2008. In 1948 he married Gianna Tellera, the daughter of General Tellera, and from their union Maria Simonetta was born.








The Palazzo Pastorio†††††††††††† The Bondoni and Pastorio Families


The Abbots of Castiglione††††† Henry Dunant and the Red Cross†† General Tellera


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