Giuseppe Antonio Tovini

(Cividate Camuno 1841- Brescia 1897)

He was a banker and a lawyer, Franciscan tertiary, soul of the Catholic movement of Brescia. He was the founder of the banks “Banca di Valle Camonica”,” Banca San Paolo di Brescia”, and “Banco Ambrosiano”, in the belief that the Catholic institutions should aim at a financial autonomy (we talk in fact of “credit system by Tovini”)

He integrated then in the group of Catholics who were redirecting the action of the Church towards an active participation in the social issue, as a support of the local societies and the lower classes. Tovini’s vision however went beyond the needs of the Brescian territory, thinking about a model that could become systemic for national development.

His commitment as a Catholic was also expressed through the creation of the periodical “il cittadino di Brescia” and in the activity as president of the diocesan Committee of the “Opera dei congressi”. He was active moreover in the promotion of social works and related to the sphere of pedagogy and education. In 1998 he was beatified by John Paul II.

There is a Foundation in his name (, that manages the residence “Famiglia Universitaria” in Brescia and it deals with development cooperation projects and education to global citizenship.

Further readings:

• C. Bellavite Pellegrini, Storia del Banco Ambrosiano. Fondazione, ascesa e dissesto, Laterza, Bari, 2002
• A. Cistellini, La vita e l'opera di Giuseppe Tovini, La Scuola, Brescia, 1984
• C. Manziana, Giuseppe Tovini, La Scuola, Brescia, 1962
• R. Vignali, Giuseppe Tovini. Dall'amicizia all'azione, dall'azione all'amicizia, Editore Itaca, Milano, 2008