Palazzo Del Prete
Built in 1720 by Francesco Spada and purchased by the Del Prete family in the second half of the 19th century, Palazzo Del Prete stands in one of the most beautiful piazzas of the historical centre of Lucca. It has a garden with a nineteenth-century plan, but owes its close tie to science and technology for having been the residence of Carlo Del Prete, engineer and famous long-distance (Atlantic) aviator who completed his brilliant studies here. The facade of the palazzo bears a plaque that recalls him for his humanity and daring feats. On June 2, 1928, he won the world record for duration, speed and distance with an S64 Savoia Marchetti single-engine 500 HP closed-circuit aeroplane. In that same year (July 3-5), he won the record for duration and non-stop distance flight from Rome to Brazil at 160 kmph in 49 hours and 15 minutes. He died 40 days after this undertaking, on August 16, in Brazil.
Through the years and the succession of historical events, the figure of Carlo Del Prete has never lost its interest. The response of the Del Prete family to this continually renewed interest is the decision to open a museum that is not a static collection of objects and documents, but that instead talks about Carlo Del Prete, the aviator and the man. Palazzo Del Prete certainly offers this possibility: combining the history of a hero with that of his family in order to make the past relive in its original frame, and tied to the present.
Texts by Francesca Romana Guglielmi
English translation by Victor Beard
Last update 02/feb/2008