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Giulio Cesare Melisurgo Di Melissenos

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Giulio Cesare Melisurgo Di Melissenos (1837-1896)


1896 Obituary [1]

GIULIO CESARE MELISURGO DI MELISSENOS, whose death occurred at Naples on the 7th of May, 1896, was the son of the late Emmanuele Melisurgo, an Engineer, of Bari. The family had originally immigrated into Italy from Greece, had obtained noble rank in the country of its adoption and will be found inscribed in the Libro d‘0ro.

Giulio was born at Paris in 1837 and grew up there till he had practically completed his studies, when he went to Turin, and afterwards, on the death of his father, he proceeded to Southern Italy and was engaged for three years on the construction of the Foggia and Bari Railway. On account of the brigandage in the provinces in those days, this work was accompanied by considerable personal risk.

As soon as the line was completed he commenced at Naples that which subsequently proved (though with some interruption) the work of his life, viz., the preparation of a scheme for reclaiming the beach of the Riviera of Chiaia, a stretch of sand between the gardens of what was then the “Villa Reale” and the sea, which was covered both by day and night with a squalid population and was a place of deposit for filth of every description.

Mr. Melisurgo was soon, however, moved by a desire to increase his experience, and, actuated by this motive, he returned to France and ultimately went to England, whence he was sent out to aid in the construction of the Argentine Railway from Cordoba to Tucuman.

About the year 1875 he settled in London, where he remained for the greater part of ten years engaged in various engineering works chiefly connected with the sanitation of towns. During that time he made constant communications to the Italian press and also contributed to the English technical papers.

It was in 1880 that the distinctly Neapolitan portion of his career commenced, for he returned to Naples in that year and never left it again. The following sixteen years were a period of incessant activity. His work on Sanitary Engineering 'Ingegnerie Sanitnrie ed Urbane' appeared in 1880, and in the following year he wrote on the project of the Naples to Cuma Railway, which was shortly afterwards carried out. Then came perhaps his most useful book, though it was a small and unpretending crown 8vo. volume, entitled 'L’Igiene omicida e gli odori di Napoli', published in 1882.

In the same year he produced a project for the improvement of Castellammare, and between that and 1884 he prepared the plans for the sanitation of Naples, with which his name will be inseparably connected; and though he had the satisfaction of seeing the greater part of the work carried out, he did not, unfortunately, live to see it completed.

In 1888 he improved the sanitation of Resina and published a work entitled 'Marino Turchi e l'ltalicr Igienica'. He found time to occupy the Chair of Hygiene in the University of Naples, and from 1884 he was a member of the Technical Council of the Naples Municipality. During this period he took a leading part in making the new port of St. Lucia and the Caracciolo Embankment, besides assisting in the building of a house for Mr. Crispi, and in designing entirely a villa in the Pompeiian style for Prince Linguaglossa, Mr. Crispi's son-in-law.

Mr. Melisurgo was elected an Associate on the 29th May, 1877, and was subsequently placed in the class of Associate Member. He was also connected with numerous foreign societies. He married an English lady from Leamington, who survives him. In Giulio Melisurgo the public of Naples has lost an efficient and able adviser, and the British community an excellent and hearty friend.



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