Carlo Stradi, the moneylender who became a benefactor

In 1923, Carlo Stradi died: a moneylender in life, he left all his property and possessions to the town of Maranello and also promoted the construction of a care home.

It is said that the mothers of Gorzano advised their children to never approach engineer Carlo Stradi. He disliked children, so they were not to bother him as he strolled through the streets of the town or around his land.

Carlo Stradi was born in 1845, in Gorzano. His father’s name was Giovanni and he became rich through a known practice: lending money and then confiscating assets from those who did not pay. There were no banks in Maranello, let alone in the surrounding villages, so this was the only shortcut for anyone who needed a loan.

Even Carlo started this type of work, and continued to accumulate property. The interest rate of his loans fluctuated between 3% and 6%. Other assets were leased to tenants who, if they could not pay in cash, would pay with the products of harvest and herds. By contract, in his farms, any form of celebrations and revelry was prohibited: moral conduct had to be inflexible.

In 1923, Carlo Stradi died without heirs at his home in Gorzano, called “the Palace”. Reading the will, his wife Elvira Monesi discovered some unpleasant surprises. He had not left her anything – besides, they did not get along well at all! His universal heir was the town of Maranello. In addition to this, Stradi himself had written that his money was to be used to build a care home for the needy elderly people, dedicated to him: in fact, the Ospizio Stradi was built in Maranello in 1928.

The remaining legacy of Carlo Stradi, land and possessions, was used to build a large part of what is called “the new Maranello”. The Ferrari auditorium, new elementary schools, the former sports centre, now used as a parking lot, and even the Town Hall would be built on land that formerly belonged to an unscrupulous moneylender, who became a benefactor. And to close the circle, he died in Maranello, in Via Claudia, also the first seat of the bank of San Geminiano and San Prospero.

 

Bibliography:

Silvano Soragni, “Maranello, dal Feudo Calcagnini… alla Scuderia Ferrari”, Artioli Editore, 2004