The Quilietti Family

The story of a Scots Italian family

BRATTISANI Sante 1875-1915

Sante Brattisani

Sante Brattisani was not only the first-cousin of Valentina Brattisani Quilietti, but also her second husband.   Many of the Brattisani family had moved from their home in Emilia Romagna in northern Italy and settled in the towns of  Scotland.  We find them from as far north as Inverness to regions of Fife, Glasgow and Edinburgh.   But they are all related and from the villages surrounding the city of Parma.

This extract is taken from a book found in Edinburgh Room of the Library called Leith Walk and Greenside.



an old map of Borgo Val di Taro

Sante Brattisani  had moved to Edinburgh at the turn of the century and found work in the shops of his uncles and cousins, helping in the ice cream manufacturing business which the families  had started up in Edinburgh.    We first locate him in the 1901 Edinburgh Cencus living at the address of his cousin Valentina Brattisani Quilietti.

Borgo Val di Taro in the evening

Sante was born in the year 1875 in San Vincenzo which is a village in the territory of Borgo Val di Taro, Parma, Emilia Romangna, Italy.  It is the tiniest of villages with only 54 inhabitants living there today.   It rises above sea level at 663 metres.

The piccilo village lies close to Rovinaglia and also near the village of Brattesani.   These villages are the roots of the Brattesani family.

Sante’s  parents were Angelo Brattisani and Maria Delgrosso.  Sante  was the eldest of the family and we have traced two other brothers Giuseppe born in 1879 and Celeste born in 1884.

These brothers all came to Scotland.

After the death of Emilio Quilietti his wife Valentina Brattesani moved from 24 Greenside Place to 9 Greenside Place, just a short walk up towards the centre of town. Their flat was a typical large victorian flat and it had six windows which indicates three to the front and three to the back. So it was big enough to house the ever growing family members who were collecting in Edinburgh to work.

9 Greenside Place was above the Wolf’s emporium  Emporium.  This was taken probably the 40s or 50s

The year was 1900.   By 1901 she had an extended Italian family living here with her.  There were her four surviving Quilietti children, her parents and sisters and also her uncles and cousins from Italy.

Emilio had built up a small ice cream/chip shop business before his sudden death at the age of 29.  He had 8 small shop premises in 1898.   It was then perhaps to merge the family interests that she re-married on 30th April 1901 in St. Mary’s Cathedral to her first-cousin Sante Brattesani.

This coupling however was not to turn out good at all for Valentina.  She had already lost two Quilietti babies between the death of Emilio in 1898 and 1901.  After her subsequent remarriage four stillbirths were to follow.  One child Mary was born in 1902 but died shortly after birth.  The fact that they were first-cousins surely contributed to this very sad episode in our history.  Valentina  did not survive the last stillbirth  and following complications she died in 1905 at home at 9 Greenside Place.

She lies in a plot in Easter Road Cemetery Edinburgh with a large angel as her stone.    Emilo lies opposite in what is now an unmarked grave.

Sante now had a free hand and had inherited her estate.   The Quilietti children were now being brought up mostly by Louisa Brattisani their aunt.

Sante travelled home to Italy without any of his stepchildren soon after the death of Valentina in 1905.

In Italy on 7th November 1906, one year after Valentina’s death he married a girl from his home village.  Her name was Louigia Perruzi.   Gina as she was affectionately known  was born in the year 1882.   She was seven years younger than Sante.  They married in the village Church in  San Vincenzo on November 7th 1906.    This village is where many of the Brattesani family came from.    Gina’s parents were Igino Peruzzi who was a publican in the village.   Her mother’s name was Maria Canali.

Louiga [Gina
Marriage to Luigia Peruzzi.  This was their second time.   The first marriage was in Italy

After their marriage he brought  her back to Scotland and here in Edinburgh he married her once again   Their witnesses were Angelo Cardinal and Michelangelo Rizza who were both ice cream dealers in Edinburgh   We are unsure why the couple remarried but it was probably for legal reasons back here in Scotland.

The following year their children started to arrive.  Angelo was born in 1908 and died two years later.    Ettore was born in 1910 and died in 1912

Sante was born in 1911 but died in 1912.  Eva Louisa Teresa was born in 1913.  The children were all born at 9 Greenside Place, Edinburgh.    The 1901 Scottish Census gives us a wee bit more information about the Peruzi family.   Louigia had two brother Carlo and Ettore who was born in 1877 and 1882 respectively.  This census shows them working in Methil in Fife with their cousin………….Brattesani who was described as the head of the famil and Restraunter.

Brothers of Louigia Peruzi

The 1911 Scottish census finds the clan Brattesani still all residing at Valentina’s home at 9 Greenside Place.  As follows,   NO LESS THAN 14 members of the family all in the flat.  Sante had assumed the Head of the household

9 Greenside Place. The premises were knocked down in the 1960s
  • SANTE BRATTESANI, age 37 Head,  Restraunt Keeper and Employer, married 4 years, 2 children, 1 surviving child, born Italy
  • LUIGIA BRATTESANI, wife,age 28
  • HECTOR BRATTESANI, son age 1  –  We must assume this was Ettore
  • JULIO QUILIETTI, stepson, age 18, Waiter in a Restaurant
  • NARDO QUILIETTI, stepson, age 16, Vandriver of Ices
  • VALENTINA QUILIETTI, stepdaughter, age 15, no occupation
  • JOSEPH QUILIETTI, stepson, age 13, at school
  • MINNIE BRATTESANI, cousin, age 28, domestic servant
  • LOUISA BRATTESANI, cousin, age 23, shopkeeper, restaurant
  • LORENZO PRACCIA, boarder, age 30, shopkeeper, restaurant
  • PIETRO BRATTESANI, boarder, age 20, shopkeeper, restaurant
  • LOUIGI DELOVO, boarder, age 20 shopkeeper, restaurant
  • ANGELO CARDINAL boarder, age 33, shopkeeper, restaurant
  • ROBERT SILVIO, boarder, age 39, shopkeeper, restaurant
Sante Brattesani born 1911 died 1912 age 6 months

Looking over the Sasines Register here in Edinburgh we know that Sante had various premises and workshops in the immediate area.  He had a double shop at 4 and 5 Greenside Place, the shops directly underneath their flat on the main street.  This was described as a Refreshment Room.  These establishments were a new style of social engagement and were springing up all over the area.   He also had shops in 8 and 11 Union Place, directly opposite the Playhouse Theatre.  One of these premises was described as ‘machinery’ where he would have made the ices.   The other premises he was a Proprietor, not a tenant like in the other premises.  Because we now know that our Sante returned to Italy and died in 1915 we must assume that his cousin Sante Brattesani had assumed ownership of these shops.

From this date there is no trace of either him or his wife or any surviving kids.   We have no idea what happened to Sante and Louigia.  There was rumours of him falling foul of the mafia because of money that should have gone to the Church in Italy, but this was unfounded.  However now I have his death and know that his assets were in Edinburgh I will endeavour to find out more about Sante Brattesani

Eva Louisa Maria Teresa Brattisani daughter of Sante Brattesani and Louigia Peruzzi born 9 Greenside Place in 1913

Can any of the Brattesani descendants help us in our family quest and fill in the missing parts of this very sad episode in our family history.

1915 No.  3 Greenside Place, Sante Brattesani Resfreshment Room Keeper
1915 at House 9 Greenside Place.  The Dagostino family were as you can see closely involved with the Brattesani family in the refreshment room businesses

As a post note September 2016 have found the death of Sante Brattesani.  He died in Borgo Val da Tori in April 1915.  Very sad.


Special thanks to Luigi Tagliavini who is a son of  LUISA BRATTESANI and who has kindly given us the information about the home villages of the Brattisani family.   His grandfather had travelled to Scotland frequently to work in the shops of his relations in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Fife and the North.

I hope that he will help us some more and give us a wee bit information about the Brattisani family of Borgo Val di Taro, Parma.   Thank you Luigi.

Leave a Reply