The history of Pro Brinzio

The first 25 years

The first gathering of the Pro Brinzio Association occurred on the 13 September 1970 and was initially housed in the premises of the Club Brinziese.  It was officially born however on the 28 November 1970 with an act signed by Giovanni Santini, Antonio "Tonino" Piccinelli, Pio Toletti and Luigi Mai before the notary Mario Ventura.
From this moment began a variety of initiatives for tourism development in the village that had the effect of attracting visitors from all over the province:  running races, fishing competitions, table tennis tournaments, bowling tournaments, tree, mushroom and chestnut festivals, and photography competitions.
On 28 September 1980 the first Mushroom Festival (Sagra del Fungo) was held. This became an extremely popular festival with as many as 15000 visitors from countries far and wide. With dozens of volunteers involved and far reaching benefits for the whole community this event became a symbol of Brinzio and one from which the Pro Loco developed a very positive image and was able grow and promote many other cultural events and festivals in the years that followed. In 1982 a snowmobile was purchased and Pro Brinzio and Sci Nordico Varese joined hands to prepare and help run the cross country ski track. Together they prepared resources, organized Provincial administration, published a color brochure with a map and signed the prepared pathways of the course and even offered a mug of hot tea at the end.  For years Lucia Bianchetti of the National team and Sci Nordico Varese could be seen flying round the well prepared course.
Article from the "La Prealpina" newspaper published on August 20 1983Between 1983 and 1984 next to the village park the structure was built which served as a communal kitchen and store room, this was further expanded in the early 90s. Also in 1983 the first photography exhibition was held and then repeated in 1984, an article from the "La Prealpina" newspaper published on August 20 1983 commented on that original event. Successive editions of the exhibition were known as the "Rural Life" (Civiltà Contadina) and later renamed "Brinzio in Cornice", an important cultural event held uninterruptedly until 2011.
In 1986 it was decided to make the first events calendar for the village. It had the title "Perché a Brinzio" (Why Brinzio) and on the cover was a typical winter view which has become one of the most loved images by tourists and locals alike.  It is a key role of the Pro Brinzio association and one which continues to this day. In 1987 the "Centro Fondo Brinzio" (Nordic Ski Centre Brinzio) was founded by the Pro Loco in partnership with Sci Nordico Varese. The association stated in the statute drawn up by the notary Luigi Giani that it seeks all forms of tourism, recreation, sport, social and in particular the use of the Nordic ski trails. The Nordic Ski Centre oversee the preparation, grooming and management of the track for free and every January 5 organize, along with the Pro Loco, the "Befana del Fondista".  This festival involves a torchlight procession a bonfire and the distribution of traditional socks full of sweets and each year attracts hundreds of people.
In the late 80's the local legend of the "whale" caught in the lake, whose poem probably dates back to the late nineteenth century, is remembered and the shape of the whale becomes adopted as the symbol of the Pro Brinzio.The first events calendar published in 1986
In November 1990, the Pro Brinzio celebrated its first 20 years of activity and with the support of the village council arranged the dedication of the main village park (which hosts most of the festivals today) to Tonino Piccinelli, one of the original promoters of the association, a local journalist and organist who died prematurely in 1973.
In 1994 the Pro Loco and village council published a most valued text entitled "Brinzio Centocase Millecose": with over 200 pages of history, anecdotes, curiosities and legends.  The main aim of the book was to not lose touch with the origins and memories of the past and revive the culture and history of Brinzio.
In 1995, to mark the tenth anniversary of the publication of the events calendar a multi-page booklet was printed in which original photographs from 1986 to 1994 were reproduced.

To be continued…

The presidents of the Pro Loco Brinzio:

1970-1972    Giovanni Santini
1973-1975    Lorenzo Bogni
1976-1978    Giovanni Civiletti
1979-1981    Lorenzo Bogni
1982-1983    Emilio Vanini
1984-1986    Gianni Scaramuzzi
1987-1992    Carlo Piccinelli
1993-1995    Damiano Civiletti
1996-1998    Fabio Piccinelli
1999-2003    Giotto Scaramuzzi
2004-2012    Fabio Piccinelli
2013              Alberto Ponzi