In the year of our Lord 1866, on the 9th of September, a male child born on the 13th of August at eight o’clock in the evening was presented to the Church by his father Edoardo Agnelli of Turin, son of Joseph Francis Agnelli (deceased), and his mother Aniceta Frisetti of Turin, daughter of Giovanni Frisetti. The baptism of the infant was performed by Father Giuseppe Bonansea in the family home in Turin, and celebrated at the church by Monsignor Lorenzo Rinaldi [Bishop of Pinerolo]. The child was given the names Giovanni Francesco Luigi Edoardo Aniceto Lorenzo. Giovanni Frisetti of Turin, son of Lorenzo Frisetti (deceased), stood as godfather and Anna Frisetti née Lavista of Turin, daughter of Giuseppe Lavista (deceased), stood as godmother.

Archive of Villar Perosa parish

Giovanni Agnelli at the age of one, 1867; Villa Agnelli in Villar Perosa.

Shortly after the start they were in this order: Gatti and Cattaneo, Agnelli and Mazza, all within a very short distance of one another. Then Agnelli reached Gatti and the two together like the proverb: the touching extremes. The first very tall and the second so short, one riding a 1.47 the other a 1.18 bicycle, considering the different size of the bike mister Gatti at every stroke was losing 75 centimeters; he showed great energy and resistance. Shortly after, Mazza, who already proved to be a good rider in the previous race, went ahead with a quick sprint, immediately followed by Agnelli, who seemed to be chasing him. After the second lap Gatti left all the others in said order: Mazza and Agnelli very close and, slightly behind Cattaneo. We are now almost on the last lap. Agnelli makes the move everyone was waiting for: leaning on the handlebars he pushes hard and goes to the head of the race, overtaking Mazza. Then there was a moment of suspense because of the slump on the track we wrote about, his bicycle is knocked about but he is able to hang on to the saddle. Mazza, a tough rider, does not yield easily and the two bicycles seemed to be glued together. Only at the finishing line can we can see the winner: Agnelli 9 minutes and 20 seconds, Mazza 25/100 of a second behind. A bit later mister Cattaneo crosses the line.

“La Rivista Velocipedistica”, 1° August 1884

Giovanni Agnelli holds up Vincenzo Barretta at the start of the Torino-Alba race; Giovanni Agnelli in Villar Perosa.


Giovanni Agnelli with two fellow soldiers.


Service record from the Royal Army.