Patrizia Guarnieri

Intellectuals Displaced from Fascist Italy.

Migrants, Exiles and Refugees Fleeing for Political and Racial Reasons

©2019-Author(s) Published by Firenze University Press
e-ISBN: 978-88-6453-872-3 | DOI: 10.36253/978-88-6453-872-3

Intellectuals Displaced from Fascist Italy

Tullio Seppilli (1928-2017)

Padova 16 October 1928 - Perugia 23 August 2017

Lives on the move

Emigrant family members

  • Alessandro Primo Giuseppe Seppilli (Trieste 7 May 1902 - Perugia 2 February 1995), father: since 1932, libero docente of hygiene at the University of Padua and since 1935 professor at the University of Modena, he was suspended in 1938. Alessandro emigrated to Brazil with his wife Anita and his son Tullio on 4 July 1939. He found a job as the technical-scientific director in a small pharmaceutical company in São Paulo; in 1946 he returned to Italy and was reinstated at the University of Modena, in 1946 he moved to the University of Perugia.
  • Anita Schwarzkopf Seppilli (Fiume 29 August 1902 - Perugia 19 March 1991), mother: after graduating high school in Trieste she enrolled at the University of Florence, where she moved to with Alessandro Seppilli. The two married in 1923 and later moved to Padua where, in 1928, Tullio was born. In July 1939 she emigrated to Brazil, where she dedicated herself to anthropology. She went back to Italy to be reunited with her husband in 1947, together with Tullio, continuing her studies there.
  • Maria Luisa (Luigia, Louise) Treves Schwarzkopf (Trieste 25 October 1873 - 13 January 1950), maternal grandmother: widow of Emilio Schwarzkopf who she had married in 1899, emigrated to Brazil with a visa obtained in Trieste on 18 August 1939. She arrived in Santos on 29 December 1939. In 1947, when she was 74, she moved back to Trieste.
  • Emma Venturina D’Ancona Seppilli (Ancona 4 February 1868 - Perugia 9 October 1950), paternal grandmother: in 1890 married in Bologna Giacomo Seppilli; the two emigrated to Brazil on 29 December 1939. She was registered as a housewife. She returned to Italy, in Modena, in 1947 and died in Perugia, where the couple had moved in 1949.
  • Giacomo Vittorio Emanuele Seppilli (Trieste 27 May 1864 - Perugia 3 January 1950), paternal grandfather: retailer and coffee importer from brazil, was chief of the Jewish community of Trieste between 1922 and 1937; he emigrated to Brazil with his wife on 29 December 1939, with a visa obtained in Trieste on 5 October 1938. They lived together with Alessandro's family and later followed them to Modena and Perugia. He returned to Italy when he was 83.
  • Alice Schwarzkopf Pincherle (Fiume 10 October 1900 - São Paulo 10 June 1973), maternal aunt: daughter of Emilio and Luisa Treves; pianist, journalist and music critic in Trieste, arrived in Brazil on 12 May 1939 with her husband Giacomo Pincherle and her children Nydia Licia and Livio. She became a singing and theatrical diction coach in São Paulo. She never returned to Italy permanently.
  • Giacomo Giuseppe Pincherle, called Pino and Josè in Brazil (Trieste 26 July 1893 - São Paulo 30 October 1966), acquired uncle, Alice's husband: a radiologist, among the founders of a sanitarium for people affected by tuberculosis in Aurisina (Trieste), emigrated to Brazil on 12 May 1939, with a tourist visa obtained on 16 December 1938, valid also for his children Nydia e Livio. His parents Erminio and Emma Luzzatto also joined him in Brazil, with tourist visas as well, obtained in December of 1939. He never returned to Italy permanently.
  • Nydia Licia Pincherle (Trieste 30 April 1926 - São Paulo 12 December 2015), cousin: emigrated to Brazil on 12 May 1939 with her parents Pino and Alice when she was 13. She worked with Pietro Maria Bardi, who emigrated from La Spezia, to open the Museu de Arte de São Paulo. She became a famous actress, director and theatrical producer, and married prominent theatrical actor Sergio Cardoso; she had a daughter, Sylvia, who later married Leao. She never returned to Italy permanently.
  • Livio Tullio (later Tulio) Pincherle (Trieste 26 December 1924 - São Paulo 30 July 1997), cousin: emigrated to Brazil with his parents Pino and Alice and his sister Nydia on 12 May 1939 when he was 15. He studied medicine in São Paulo and became a psychiatrist. He married Lia do Carmo and had three daughters: Sandra, Elsa e Maura. He never returned to Italy permanently.
  • Paolo Tolentino (Trieste, 29 June 1914 – Genoa 22 June 1983), second cousin, son of Giacomo Tolentino and Emma Seppilli: MD, after graduating from Padua in 1938 with Professor Giovanni De Toni, emigrated to Brazil in 1940 when he was 26, living in Rio de Janeiro and then in São Paulo. After the war, he continued in Italy his pioneering studies on toxoplasmosis (started in Brazil), of which he was one of the leading experts. Considered among the founders of infectious disease studies in Italy, in 1952 he became Professor of Infectious Diseases at the University of Genoa, where De Toni had moved, in 1960 became a Full professor, and later Director of the Infectious Diseases Clinic at the children's hospital Gaslini. He returned to Italy.

Support network

  • A Brazilian microbiologist, a colleague of Tullio's father, whom Alessandro met at an international conference, and who had a relative in the Brazilian government: provided them with visas to enter Brazil.



Birth and education

1939São Paulo

Emigration to Brazil

  • Dante Alighieri school in São Paulo; 1947 University of São Paulo
  • Student
1944Isla Santo Amaro

Anthropological digging

  • Student

Return to Italy


In Italy with his family

  • University of Modena
  • Student

Family transfer

  • Student

Student and academic

  • La Sapienza University; Graduated in 1952; 1952-1954 Assistente volontario; 1954-1956 Assistente incaricato
  • Student,Fixed-term employment
  • Junior lecturer

University professor

  • University of Perugia; 1956 director of the Istituto di etnologia e antropologia culturale until retirement in 2000
  • Stable employment
  • Tenured professor

University professor

  • University of Florence, until 1975; he lived in Perugia
  • Fixed-term employment
  • Tenured professor