Gina Lollobrigida, at the age of 17, takes her first steps among the theaters of Todi and Monte Castello

di Roberto Cerquaglia

In the years '44/'45, as a very young debutante, she graced the stages of the Teatro Comunale in Tuderte and the 'Concordia' in Monte Castello di Vibio

With Gina Lollobrigida's passing at the age of 95, a great cinema protagonist disappears, who as a very young debutante in the years '44/'45, also graced the stages of theaters in Todi and Monte Castello di Vibio.

Her characters as the alluring 'Bersagliera' and the maternal and sweet 'Fata turchina' by Comencini will remain famous, and in between, many young girls (Zampa's 'La Romana,' Soldati's 'La Provinciale'), many charming women ('Esmeralda' alongside Anthony Quinn's Hunchback, the 'Queen of Sheba' next to Yul Brynner)

Lollo, she was one of the most significant actresses of her generation, who, along with her rival Sophia Loren, contributed to creating the image of the Italian diva who, from a sex symbol, knew how to transform into an international star.

Before becoming a global cinema star, her destiny intertwinedfor a brief period, her destiny was also intertwined with the Tuderte territory. During the events of World War II, the entire Lollobrigida family was forced to evacuate from Subiaco to Umbria and settled in Todi. Here, immediately after the front passed in June '44, there was an immediate resumption of theatrical activities. Upon hearing the news, the father of the girl, who was only seventeen at the time, proposed to the actor from Todi Tore Stella To include her in one of the shows he was preparing with his local drama group

So, Todi was the stage for the young Lollobrigida's debut, and everyone was struck by her beauty and her pleasant light soprano voice. Gina was immediately accepted into the company. She would sing in English "Polvere di stelle", "Malinconica luna", and "Caminito".

So, the young Lollo had her artistic debut right in Todi, precisely at the theater of the Agricultural Institute, packed with wounded soldiers and admirers. It's also said that the very young Gina had her first 'little boyfriend' in Todi. He was none other than a young Edmondo Biganti, who later became a renowned artist, a painter, and a designer, famous for creating advertising messages for Cinzano and the New Year's lottery ticket. He later emigrated to Brazil and became the 'Forattini of Latin America.

At the end of 1945, at the initiative of the director and stage manager Luigi Tenneroni, the sparkling three-act comedy by Edoardo Scarpetta was staged, Santarellina. In the cast, alongside many other old Tuderte glories, including Tore himself in the role of 'Marchesino Zoccola,' Gina Lollobrigida once again appeared in the role of Corinna (leading lady).

The comedy 'Santarellina' debuted at the Teatro Comunale on September 8, 1944, and was a great success, so much so that it had to be repeated three times.
Then, at the beginning of 1945, the same show, with the same cast and therefore with the presence of the future cinema diva, was also staged at the nearby Teatro della Concordia in Monte Castello di Vibio, which had already reopened to the public by the end of 1944.

For the occasion, the cast that performed in 'Santarellina,' under the direction of Luigi Tenneroni, included: Gina Lollobrigida, Salvatore (Tore) Stella, Sabatino Gentili, Elda Tenneroni, Nina Cardinali, Graziella Sistarelli, Mirella Casei, Caterina Bartolini, Assunta Mancini, Giovanni Comodini, Mario Aristei, Elso Berti, Guido Valentini, Guido Gabusi, Ivan Grisi, and Alfredo Santi.