Addio Luigi Forni
Custodian of Guzzi’s History
Many visitors to the Moto Guzzi Museum would undoubtedly remember the guide and “custodian” who, after their all too brief visit, advised them that the museum was closing and urged them towards the exit. Italian speakers would know him better as an informative guide. That man was Luigi Forni.
Luigi worked at the Moto Guzzi factory as a specialist machine toolmaker and fitter then, following his retirement, as a guide at the Museum. At his funeral on Monday 15th April there were representatives of the various associations of which he was an active member: Moto Club Carlo Guzzi, AVIS (Associazioni Volontari Italiani Sangue – Italian blood donor’s association), AIDO (Italian organ donor’s association), and the ANA (the association of the Alpini, the Italian mountain troops). A brief illness has carried him away from his beloved wife and children and that world, first as a worker, then as a guide, that was so important to him.
“Recently he often came to the Archivio della Memoria Comunale and was very interested in our work. He was our historical memory. From him I have had many memories of the old Guzzi world. It is a great loss”. Said Alis Agostini, the ex-proprietor the Mandello Guzzi dealership, who will always recall Luigi, in the pouring rain on his immaculate Moto Guzzi V7 Special, leading the procession following the funeral of her father, Duilio.
Also in the field of motorcycling, Sergio Greppi, president of the Moto Club Carlo Guzzi, recalls Luigi for his many years of service as the club treasurer: “Luigi was the treasurer for many years. On the evenings of the club meetings he always arrived puctually. He was a person who was very trustworthy and precise. It was an undertaking he carried ahead until only a few weeks ago, before the illness. For me he was the person most passionate in the whole ambient of Moto Guzzi that I have ever known. He did not give any importance to himself. He ran the Guzzi Museum himself: organised visits and greeted visitors. Even though he was 82 years old to us he seemed a 50 year old who held exceptionally modern ideas. His passing is for us a grave loss. He was very reserved and modest. I don’t recall him ever criticising others. He had a great professional capability. He always wore something that carried the Moto Guzzi logo, something that indicated his dedication to Guzzi. At the club we have often asked him to become president but he always refused, adding that I, at my age, would be able to do it for more years. For me it was a role that he had the right to. He knew everything, especially the anecdotes on motorcycle competition. I believe he could have written a book.”
As a guide at the museum he was much appreciated, to the degree that many visitors coming to Mandello asked to have him as a guide for other visits. This was confirmed by Daniele Torresan, the press officer for the Piaggio Moto Guzzi Group, who was present at the funeral: “Everyone recalls him with extreme affection because he was the absolute reference for the Museum. In his time he has accompanied tens of thousands of visitors, imparting to each one his enthusiasm. It is very sad that he is no longer with us. He told the story of every item, passing from one bike to the next, rich with facts and anecdotes known only to him. For me he was the absolute reference.”
Inspired by an article in La Gazzetta di Lecco 20 April 2013