Maria Pia Pavani was born in Cormòns (Gorizia) in 1944, loving wife and mother of four children. In 1991, at the age of 47, she was diagnosed with ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), a progressive degenerative disorder effecting motor neurons, which leads to a progressive atrophy of the muscles, but does not affect the sensory system and the cerebral components involved in the intellectual activity.

On the 13th of May 1993 Maria Pia experienced severe respiratory distress. Her family contacted Dr Giannino Busato, top clinician at the intensive care unit of the Hospital of Gorizia, who during a short talk with the patient immediately sensed her unequivocal desire to continue living. This is but one of the many moments that marked the life of both Maria Pia and her family. Once discharged from the hospital, her family took dear care and assisted her. Despite the obvious difficulties, thanks also to the help of relatives, friends and volunteers, Maria Pia's life became the hub of an ever-growing network of relationships, activities and interests.

Initially Maria Pia composed her works with the help of her mother, by using an alphanumerical speech supplementation system (thanks to an alphabetical board) and by only moving her eyelids slowly formed the words that would develop into her first poems. Then, she received her first computer thanks to which she could continue her illuminating carrier as a writer, painter and poetess.
There are numerous works that can be mentioned: Volo di Farfalla (The Flight of a Butterfly), Fiore Di Cactus (Cactus Flower), La via Crucis (The Way of the Cross), Rose di Rovo (Bramble Roses), Gocce di Vita (Drops of Life) and Il canto del silenzio (The Song of Silence).

Maria Pia did not give up for any reason; filled with love for her family and for God, she lived on, devoting her life to caring for others. In 1997 Rita Levi Montalcini awarded her with the title of "AISM Volunteer (Italian Organization of Multiple Sclerosis Volunteer) of the Assistance section. In 2006 she was awarded the Premio Bontà U.N.C.I Città di Udine, prize for kindness and in the same year she was appointed Knight of the Italian Republic for social and ethical merits.

She attended several medical conventions sharing her personal life experience. She published extensively on newspapers and magazines like La voce isontina, Avvenire, Osservatore Romano, etc.

Being ever so willing to know and learn she organised and participated in several trips, her first to LOURDES, then Padua, Turin, Benevento, Venice, Matera, Rome... and many others, always assisted by her doctors and her father confessor, Father BOMMARCO.

By using a computer Maria Pia discovered a new way of expression and a vehicle to inspire us with her joy of living, the marvel and the love, she was able to convey through her works of art and her writings. She shared her way of living with doctors and ill people. She was devoted to helping the less fortunate people cope with their problems, by offering comforting words and above all by sustaining those who came to visit her.

Maria Pia died in Cormòns, on the 28th August 2008, due to respiratory complications.

Maria Pia has taught us a great lesson; her immense strive for life, showing her state of mind throughout her life through her beautiful works of art.

Castelnuovo houses a permanent exhibition of works of art created by the artist.


Persa nell'oro soffuso
Di larici d'autunno
Vago tra i sassi delle sponde
Del lago incantato dei miei pensieri.
Non si cancellino le mie orme
Sull'umida rena.
Si sappia dov'è nata
Indistruttibile, universale
Magnifica la mia fede.

Maria Pia Pavani

La Villa - I Quadri di Maria Pia

La Villa - I Quadri di Maria Pia

La Villa - I Quadri di Maria Pia