ike much of Italy in the 19th and early 20th centuries, the economy of Emilia-Romagna was based on agriculture. Yet the region also enjoyed a long cultural and artistic tradition. Every small city there had a theater and a real passion for music, whether folk or classical. Practically every family, rich or poor, had at least one member who played a musical instrument. This was the environment in which the young Ansaldo Poggi grew up in the small village of Villa Fontana di Medicina, about 25 km to the east of Bologna.
The fourth of seven children of a successful blacksmith, Ugo, and a primary school teacher, Maria Ubaldini, Ansaldo was born on June 9, 1893, and from early in life was taught to appreciate music and fine craftsmanship. Ugo was himself an amateur violin maker and had a long-standing friendship and probable business relationship with Giuseppe Fiorini, who was then living in Munich but made frequent trips to Bologna for family and business matters. Ugo is thought to have helped Fiorini in sourcing old instruments in the area.
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