Castellanía, Fausto Coppi’s birthplace, is a very small town located at an altitude of 380 m. in the Appennine hills, not far from the city of Tortona (Alessandria province of the Piedmont region, NW Italy). When you see how steep a climb you have to tackle to get to town, with the gradient going up, up and up again in some pieces, you wouldn’t be surprised that Fausto, who tackled it almost every day when coming back from his workplace in Novi Ligure (his first job was as grocer's shop assistant), and used it as training field later as a professional rider, became such an excellent climber.
This is a view of the entrance to the two-floor house where Fausto Coppi was born on September 15, 1919, and lived until 1945, the year he married Bruna Ciampolini and moved first to Sestri Ponente (a seaside town in nearby Liguria) and later to Novi Ligure, that in spite of the name is not in Liguria but in Piedmont, not far from Castellania. But when Mr. “Campionissimo”, then riding for the Legnano and Bianchi teams, got his first important victories (Giro d’Italia in 1940, the hour record in 1942) he was still living in the place you can see in the picture above.
The house was closed after the death of Fausto’s parents and the uncle who inherited it, and stayed like that for more than 30 years, in a state of decay, before being completely restructured and used as museum, which was unveiled on January 2, 2000, on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of Coppi’s death, in the presence of Fausto’s two sons, Marina and Faustino, as well as “Gazzetta dello Sport” newspaper director Candido Cannavó. Both the dining room and bedroom, featured by the typical furniture of Coppi’s age, were “taken back to their original status”, in order to sample how life was in a small town lost in the appennine countryside in the 40s and 50s. Other rooms are used for the actual museum instead, and host bikes, pics, paintings, historical newspapers and more relics belonging (or related) to the Heron.
Click on the links below to get access to both previous (Page 1) and next (Part 2 and Part 3, Pages 3 or 6) parts of the Fausto Coppi’s special report, and “CyberTour of his home-museum-mausoleum.
Fausto Coppi – The Legend: Part 1
* PAGE 1 (Introduction: Coppi’s life and legend)
Fausto Coppi – The Legend: Part 2
* PAGE 3 (Outside the Museum)
* PAGE 4 (Inside the Museum – Historical Pics)
Fausto Coppi – The Legend: Part 3
* PAGE 5 (Historical Bikes)
* PAGE 6 (More relics at first and second floor)
Fausto Coppi – The Legend: Part 4
* PAGE 7 (Coppi's Grave and the "Trophies Room")
* PAGE 8 (Fausto Coppi's detailed Palmares)