Giuseppe Visconti di Modrone
Count Giuseppe Visconti, Duke of Grazzano Visconti, was born in Milan on 10 November 1879. He married Carla Erba, and they had seven children, among them the famous Italian Neorealist film director Luchino Visconti.
In 1906, after having restored the castle and laid out the park, he decided to begin construction of a village to preserve and develop crafts, artisan and agricultural activities. In this way Grazzano Visconti had its beginnings.
He instituted the Fondazione Giuseppe Visconti with the purpose of combatting malaria in Apulia, Sardinia and Tuscany. He then extended his philanthropic activites to Grazzano, setting up the Istituzione, or artistic craft school that provided an education to whole generations of boys from around Piacenza.
He was a director of Carlo Erba pharmaceuticals, where he created the Gi.Vi.Emme, which produced perfumes. He started the magazine Italica, dedicated to fashion, and founded the Compagnia del Teatro di Milano, a theatre company directed by Marco Praga.
Patron of cultural and social associations, he was made a Commendatore della Corona d'Italia (Commander of the Crown of Italy), and was decorated with silver and gold medals of recognition.
To crown his achievements, in 1938 the King of Italy granted him the title of Duke of Grazzano Visconti.