An autobiographical tale, full of history, anecdotes, achievements and suffering. A story that winds its way through a thousand vicissitudes, crossing the Second World War where, from Calalzo, Urbano will later land in Venice. A family involved in the production of glasses since 1935, generation after generation, whose optical profession has a true dedication and passion that led the Vascellari family to compose a precious collection of optical objects, protagonists of various exhibitions on the subject. This book is accompanied by more than 200 images and historical documents, which not only recounts the incredible life of the Vascellaris but also tells a visual story of the places where they lived, including Venice.

The ninth of fourteen children, I was born on 29 December 1931 in Calalzo di Cadore to a family of humble origins and my father was a war invalid due to a grenade that hit him during the retreat from Caporetto. My childhood was dedicated to the survival of the family with sylvan-pastoral activities and went through the Second Great War directly involved in the Crimea and the Russian campaign where Nicolajewka seemed a mirage but was reached thanks to an act of desperation during the encirclement by the Russians on the Don. Furthermore, the German occupation and the tragedy of the Mauthausen concentration camp were not able to divide us.

At the age of fourteen I became the head of the family, and in my ten years as a worker at Safilo eyewear factory, I got to know the President of the Republic, Giovanni Gronchi. Ten hours a day in the factory, however, were not enough to support the family and during the week work was taken home while Sunday was dedicated to work in the fields or to stocking up on wood for the winter.

In 1957, my move to Venice started my activity as an optical entrepreneur without forgetting my origins, supporting above all the optical industries of my land. Ours is a family that has been involved in eyewear production since 1935.

Great was the fear during the Acqua Granda of 1966, but not enough to tear me away from my shop at 'L'ottico di Rialto'.

A life dedicated above all to the profession, continuing my education and training until retirement, but with the pride of a family that continues the work it started, a work that has given more than four generations the opportunity to see clearly.

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Additional information

Weight 0,404 kg
Dimensions 17 × 0,7 × 24 cm

Urbano Vascellari




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