Mario Cermenati born in Lecco and was a friend of abbot Antonio Stoppani. Passionate of natural science and politics he founded Lecco Civic Museums.
Mario Cermenati (1868-1924) loved his Lecco and especially its mountains, but in general he was a passionate man with many interests.
He early discloses a keen interest in natural sciences, fed by his frequent excursions on the Alps and the Lombard Prealps. At twelve years he had gathered a remarkable collection of animals, plants and minerals. His feeling with the mountain accompanies him throughout his life, dedicating numerous conferences and publications, and since December of 1889 assumes the presidency of Lecco section of the Italian Alpine Club.
An important relationship was surely crucial for his growth: his friendship with the fellow citizen abbot Antonio Stoppani.
Mario Cermenati leaves a great legacy in Lecco, in fact in 1900 along with the archaeologist Antonio Magni and the naturalist Charles Vercelloni founded the Civic Museums of Lecco, of which he was the first president.
But the name of Cermenati is strictly related to the figure of Leonardo da Vinci, considering his scientific and organizational activities. Indeed he has spent most of his energy to study, enhancing and promoting the great scientist. Cermenati was a passionate lover of Leonardo’s opera: he had collected in his extensive library a considerable amount of material and had devoted a lot of work to the particular aspects of Leonardo’s personality and activities; unfortunately his library was destroyed during the last war.
He loves politics too and in 1909 he was elected Member of Parliament, even assuming high government roles in the Agriculture sector.