My very first memories are of “Cimena”, San Raffaele Cimena, Italy. I grew up in magnificent surrounding dating back to 1779 when my great, great, great-grandfather Ignazio Thaon di Revel came from Savoy to serve as governor of Turin. “Cimena” was the family home. We lived between “Cimena”, Ancona, Turin and Washington DC, where my father was working in the sixties. Since then I have lived in the length and breadth of Italy, a supportive partner in a marriage lasting 20 years, but now independent. My daughter Mariasole lives in London. Although I like to travel, I’m proudly Piedmontese. Turin is where I am currently based. Living locally, with a global vision, inspired by a rich heritage…
Carolina @ “Cimena”, San Raffaele Cimena, Italy ~ 1963
Our family history generally starts in France, with Marquis Carlo Thaon of Revel and Sant’Andre, born 1725 in Nice. He was the viceroy of the Kingdom of Sardinia in 1787 and moved to Italy in 1797, to be the governor of Turin. We’ve been in Piedmont ever since. Many descendants excelled themselves as ministers, senators, ambassadors and founders of entities such as the Italian Carabinieri. A voluminous family tree with too many people to mention, here are a few of my ancestors and immediate family…
From left to right…
- Carlo Francesco Thaon di Sant Andrea ~ Viceroy of Sardinia.
- Ottavio Thaon di Revel ~ Minister, Senator, Statute Signatory.
- Paolo Thaon di Revel ~ Admiral of the Italian WWI fleet.
- Franco Reviglio – Former Italian Minister of Finance… but more importantly, my father. Franco was a student of the 50s, served the IMF in the 60s, business leader in the 70/80s and politician in the 90s. He largely distanced himself from all the aristocracy and helped build an Italy, for all levels of society. Franco Reviglio had the foresight to anchor our family on less glamorous ground. Our childhood was forged with hard work and strict family values. I reap the benefits of that thinking today, a better person for it.
Obviously my parents played the principal part in my upbringing, but two sets of special grandparents played important pivotal roles. Carlo Thaon di Revel was a staunch Italian aristocrat and engineer who helping shape the neighbourhoods of Turin. Carolina Thaon di Revel, a vibrant lady with a passion for philanthropy. On the side of my father, Edoardo and Allesandra Reviglio della Veneria were family stalwarts of the “Revigli di Bra”. A lawyer by profession and antiques dealer by choice, Edoardo was a direct contrast to the more extrovert, flamboyant Allesandra, a well-loved socialite on the sophisticated banks of the Venetian waterways. I simply loved spending time with all my grandparents. Life lessons and childhood affection that cannot be found in books. They were walking, talking mirrors of our family history, pillars of my past. They anchor the four corners of my life compass.
Carlo & Carolina Thaon di Revel, with King Umberto II of Italy, as the best man ~ 1932
No matter how illustrious a family heritage may be, we are all human… and mortal. In 2006, both myself and younger sister Emanuela fell victim to cancer. I was fortunate to survive, but sadly Emanuela succumbed. Taken at a young age and leaving behind son Giusto and daughter Ginevra. Two fine apples that did not fall far from a fabulous tree. While Emanuela has left us, I am extremely grateful for the second chance at life.
Brother Edoardo, sisters Carolina & Emanuela Reviglio (RIP) ~ 1968
More than anything else, I’m grateful for the good grounding that my parents provided for us. A rich heritage, tertiary education and on-going infusion of wisdom. Their long journey through life has been amazing… and continues to be an inspiration. Motivation comes from within, but success is fostered by successful parents. I am truly blessed. Thank You.
Franco, Carolina & Paola Reviglio in Moncalieri, Italy ~ 2017
“Roots run deep, when the tree is richly fertilized with history and knowledge. Most of all… it must be is well-watered with love. Only then can it be called… A Family Tree!” ~ CarolinaReviglio.com