Giovannino Guareschi, was born in Fontanelle di Roccabianca, near Parma, in 1908 and died in Cervia, near Ravenna
Giovannino Guareschi, journalist and humorist author whose most famous creation was the priest Don Camillo.
The family went bankrupt in 1926 and he had to give up his studies. After working for some odd jobs, he started to write for a local newspaper and in 1929 he became editor of the satiric magazine Corriere Emiliano. Then, from 1936 to 1943 he was the chief editor of the similar magazine Bertoldo.
During World War II, he criticized Mussolini’s government and in 1943 he was drafted into army ending up as an artillery officer.
When in 1943 Italy signed the armistice with Allies troops, Guareschi was arrested in the Eastern Front and locked into a prison camps in Poland for three years alongside other Italian soldiers. He later wrote about this time in Clandestine Diary.
After the war Guareschi founded a monarchist satirical magazine called Candido.
In 1954 he was charged with libel after he had published a apparent fake wartime letter of resistance leader Alcide De Gasperi, then post-war prime minister, where he told Allies to bomb Rome in order to demoralize German collaborators. Sentenced for 12 months in Parma prison, Guareschi was soon released for good behavior.
In 1956 he began to spend time in Switzerland for health reasons and in 1957 he retired from the post of editor of Candido, remaining a contributor. He died in 1968. The Club dei 23 in Busseto, and a Museum in the belltower of Diolo di Soragna, near Parma, are dedicated to his works.