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Primo Carnera's Villa

Home > Italy > Historic Houses | Places of Interest
by Marta Pin (subscribe)
http://www.thepincorner.com/ MP
Published August 16th 2014
The Kind Giant Villa and Memoir
There is a villa in Sequals, Friuli Venezia Giulia that is a must place to visit for everyone who knows about the legend of Primo Carnera. This man was of humble origins, as most of the families of artisans and peasants around during 1900, and often forced to migrate abroad and overseas. Born in 1906, Primo too expatriated in France when he was a teenager, working as a carpenter. There, he also exercised in boxing and this would marked his future and legacy forever.


Because of his height of 205 cm and with 52 cm feet, he soon embarked a career in a circus, wishing to increase his income to sustain himself and the family back home, so he started to take part in the fighting shows and as a sideshow as well.

Then, when the circus stopped at Arcachon, France, an ex-boxer saw him and proposed Primo to start exercising for an official debut. After some controversies Carnera began his boxing career in Paris in September 1928. Some of the matches were fixed, but the popularity of the Italian guy had an increase - also because Primo, who ignored the misconduct of his managers, was a kind and fair man towards everyone. Two years later he started a new adventure in the USA and, on 29 June 1934 he became the Heavyweight Boxing World Champion at Madison Square Garden, New York.

With that career he started to build his memorable villa in the native land of Sequals, Italy. Nowadays the house is a museum and opens to the public. It is a two storey building, with a clean shape, wide windows and ample rooms. Floral decorations feature the walls and the typical thirties furniture. Autographed portraits fill the spaces on the fireplace and on top of cabinets.




There is a glass showcase which contains the original shoes belonged to the champion. Those are so huge. They seem surreal and incredibly weird.


On the top floor the only two intact rooms are the master bedroom and the bathroom, which for 1930 was considered a luxury element to have home. Biographic panels are telling details on the life and career of the Kind Giant - he lived with family in USA but it came to die here, in his hometown, just one month prior to death on 29 June 1967. The rest of his family are living in America, and in his famous quote he says that punches gave his son and daughter the opportunity to have an education. In fact, both siblings became respected professionals in medicine and psychology.

He carried the profession on in wrestling after he closed with boxing - and he became World Champion even in this discipline in 1951 in Melbourne, Australia.

In the garden, there is a mosaic portrait of Primo. Mosaic is the peculiar activity in the zone, especially in the nearby Spilimbergo, and most of immigrants once worked as mosaic masters worldwide.


The fitness room Mens Sana in Corpore Sano" hosts an exhibition of pictures of Carnera with politicians, Hollywood actors and industrialists. Indeed, to diversify the fortune, Primo's wife opened a restaurant in Hollywood and bought a liquor shop. Moreover, when Primo lost the title and suffered a decline, he played minor movie roles near Charlie Chaplin, Steve Reeves, Bob Hope and Toto. He gave his endorsement for brands and various propagandas.


In one corner, you can admire the authentic rowing machine which Primo used to work out, and the other tools for boxing training. Lifting people seems to had been a popular exercise at that time.

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Why? History
When: From May to September every year
Phone: 39 0427 789111
Where: Sequals, Pordenone, Italy
Cost: Free ticket
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