Filippo Mazzei Poggio a Caiano, December 25th 1730 - Pisa, March 19th 1816
He chose Virginia as his adoptive home and he enjoyed the friendships of the future next five presidents of the United States, namely George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and James Monroe. An interesting character to say the least, Filippo Mazzei was born in Poggio a Caiano, Christmas Day in 1730 and died 86 years later in Pisa, on March 19th, 1916. However, the story of his life is like reading an adventure novel. Less known by the public, but certainly noticed by historians, Mazzei, surgeon in Florence, Livorno, Constantinople and Smyrna, was a merchant and language teacher in London, an agriculturist in Virginia, a soul stirrer and diplomat in Paris, a court chamberlain and close adviser of the King of Warsaw. It was certainly no coincidence that in 1980 the Americans have dedicated a stamp to an adventurous Italian from the eighteenth century, celebrating the 250th anniversary of his birth.