Via Volterrana, 56030 Lajatico ( Italia )
The Bocelli family boasts peasant origins. In the eighteenth century, the Bocellis were sharecroppers on the farm of Spedaletto (between Lajatico and Volterra), property of the noble Corsini family. On March 21, 1831, Gaspero Bocelli used all of his savings to free himself from being a farmer and became a small landowner, acquiring Poggioncino Estate for a sum of 1000 scudi.
For seven generations, the name of the firstborn Bocelli son has started with the letter A, such as: Anselmo, Gaspero’s son, who, on January 12, 1867, for the price of 4,704 lire, bought two hectares of land with buildings (one of which was already being used as a tavern) along present-day Via Volterrana; great, great grandfather Antonio; his son Anselmo; grandfather Alcide, an electromechanical expert and inventor; Alessandro, who gave the first letter of the alphabet not only to his eldest son, Andrea (1958), but also to Alberto (1961)… And the tradition continues, with Amos, Andrea’s eldest son, and Alessio, Alberto’s eldest son.
Alcide, a “child of ‘99” (as boys born in the last year of the nineteenth century were called, later forced – when not much more than teenagers – to take up arms in the First World War), invented combustion engine applications for several farming implements, and he is fabled to have then sold the patent to an important company. That special talent saved his life during the war because thanks to his abilities, instead of being sent to the front, he was assigned to air force depots to repair aircrafts.
Grandfather Alcide put his ingenuity to use by converting the paternal business into a flourishing farm machinery enterprise. He bought and transformed machines, or built them from scratch. Thus began the commercial business of “Officine Bocelli” that, along with the farm business, supported the family until the 1980s.
Despite the lucrative business, Alcide’s main passion was for the land. His son Alessandro (born in 1928) inherited both the company and his father’s visceral love for the fields of his Tuscany, with their vineyards and centuries-old olive trees. With the steadfast and valuable support of his wife, Edi Aringhieri Bocelli, he worked a lifetime to expand and diversify both the farming and commercial businesses.
The new generation, however, embarked upon different paths: Alberto got his degree in architecture, Andrea in law (even if his passion for music grew more and more prominent). His parents decided to give up the business and, pursuing the most ethically correct solution, they entrusted it to the very workers who worked there.
The rest of the story is well known: in the art of music as in philanthropy, Andrea Bocelli has risen to the top of the world. His voice is recognized everywhere as a testament to the highest Italian tradition of bel canto. His commitment to spreading messages of positivity, hope and perseverance worldwide and to supporting social causes has made him a fellow citizen to all people everywhere he goes: a voice that gives a voice to the world.