the founder

"Osiride Brovedani, mr. Fissan"

A men who anonymously offered his generosity and who believed in life and in himself even in the darkest moments

a short biography

Osiride Brovedani was born on 11 February 1893, in Trieste. His parents were Giovanni Brovedani, who was a catholic tax attorney, and Noemi Pinkerle, a jewish housewife.

While attending the second grade at the scientific high school, he was forced to interrupt his studies to help his family with his work. The first job he got was at the local newspaper “Il Piccolo” as a handyman. Later, his versatility and intelligence allowed him to become a spellchecker in the local newspaper “Il Lavoratore”.

In 1930 he met dr. Sauer at a sale in Milan and he was given the autorization to produce Fissan paste and powder.

In 1944 he was deported to nazi camps, from where he came back.

He died in Trieste on 2 July 1970.

A passionate life

He was a passionate man, very intelligent, smart and curious. He was a low profile man, and when it came to his passions, he was really clever. He really loved mountains, being a good climber, and he had his villa in Camporosso built by a famous architecht named Ramiro Meng. He loved cats, too: he was even used to take care of the cats that lived in the neighborhood. Photography was a big passion for him, and traveling. At first he went with a self-made bicycle, then he bought a motorbike, with which he visited all Italy promoting his products.

 Worrying about becoming a better person by cultivating own talents and passions is one of the missions of this storytelling.


It is better to gain than to lose

To save is the first step to gain

Only God can’t be wrong

One man cannot do everything

To lend brings bad luck


There’s a lot to be said about these sentences! Altough they seem stingy, they reflect Osiride’s lifestyle: money does not reflect a man’s status, and it should be used just to help people. He was not used to lend money, he would rather prefer to give anonymous donations or he hired needy people in his firm.


An entrepreneurial adventure

In 1924, in the research labs of an important german pharmaceutical industry, a scientist studied a procedure to activate the hydrolysation of the lactalbumin. Reasearcher’s name was Arthur Sauer; the active substance, very effective on any kind of dermatological care, was patented under the name of Labilin.
From discovering the active substance, it briefly came to “Fissan Paste”. The name Fissan comes from the synthesis of two latin words forming the categorical imperative “Fissuram sanare”: to close the cracked skin, thas is to heal skin problems.

Learn more

Fissan Paste is a cream that helps babies with nappy rash; it was designed to soothe irritation and redness. It was the most
famous solutions all italian mother used on their babies.

In 1930 Osiride Brovedani obtained from dr. Sauer the concession to put Fissan Paste on sale in Italy, and he was subsequently given by the Deutsche Milchwerke of Zwingenberg the authorization also for production.
The first company was named after him, and it was based in a basement in the area of ​​San Giacomo, which is in the neighborhood. Later on, he also obtained the license for the “Fissan Powder” and in 1940 he moved TO THIS VERY BUILDING to have a larger basement available.
Osiride was not only the owner of his company, but also a chemist, technician, medical propagandist, advertiser, seller and distributor: the goods were delivered and then picked up by himself by bicycle!

Fissan Paste was strained into aluminum tubes, and then the tubes where inserted in their final boxes along with the medical leaflet.
A lot of families from the neighborhood were involved in completing the packaging of the product, and to children it was like a game for them and their small hands.



The Deportation

Osiride Brovedani’s personal odyssey starts here, right in tis apartament: he was arrested one morning in July 1944 on the complaint of a neighbor, on the charge of having listened to Radio London. Osiris Brovedani was a Jew on his mother’s side. A journey that led him to experience the darkness of the human soul from the Coroneo (Trieste’s prison) to Buchenwald, Dora and Bergen-Belsen. In the museum you will find an exhibition with rare and authentic documents, evidence of that period, like the letters Osiride wrote to his wife fernanda while imprisoned in the nazi camps.

You will even see his infamous gray-blue striped pajamas, made of autarkic fabric, that is composed of fibers grown on the national soil, was the only clothes given to the deportees despite the weather conditions and it was intended to cancel the identity of the individual, who was reduced to a uniform number. The “fault” of the deportee was represented by a system of symbols: in this case, the triangle of red cloth marks the political deportees, with a black letter that stated the nationality, “I” (Italian). It should be noted that, left without a button, Osiride Brovedani creatively replaced it with a wire hook.

A lot can be said about this tragic experience, starting from the historical background, World War II, and the nazism. The place recalls the grey atmosphere, an emotional video playing images taken in the camps is looping in the museum to remember everyone what happened 70 years ago.
osiride Brovedani is a big example of resilience, the ability to be happy and successful again after something difficult or bad has happened. 

I removed my cotton striped jacket and have never before felt such satisfaction as when I put on that woollen coat which protected me from the cold and rain. Finally, I had achieved the certainty of being definitively free.
(from the Diary)

the charity

osiride brovedani foundation

Born from a poor family, Osiride became a rich businnessman. After his death, according to his wife Fernanda’s will, who aimed to fullfill the wish he expressed when he still was alive, the Osiride Brovedani Foundation was established in 1973 (it became a NGO in 1998); in her will she named as president for life mr. Raffaele de Riù, who even had the duty to continue her husband’s business. Fissan’s activity went on until 1985 with the same collegues as before.

Nowadays the Foundation, among other actions, runs a Resident Hotel for the elderly, in the very same structure in which in 1980 a Boarding School for orphans was set up. Hospitality has always been free-of-charge.

His death, anyway, it is not a defeat but it is indeed a  continuous revival in the thankfulness of so many people helped by his generosity.



Our mission

The resident hotel for the elderly

Since social demand is in constant evolution, Resident Hotel for self-sufficient senior people was opened in 1990 in the same complex in Gradisca d’Isonzo (Gorizia), after adequate upgrading. As it had been for hosted children, hospitality was and and still is totally free. The structure, authorized with an accomodation of 98 bed, is addressed to lonely people of both sexes, with italian citizenship, starting from age 66, self-sufficient, whose income is not suitable to provide to the usual daily needs.

It can be said that the Charity Osiride Brovedani is the only one in Italy to have this managerial formulation, entirely conceived with new organizational and financial criteria, that make it self-sufficient and therefore not tied up to subsidies or to other submissions.


The opening of the Boarding School coincided with school year 1980. The totally free offer aimed towards children of age from 6 to 21 who had lost one or both parents, handling their demands during the full cycle of public and secondary education, according to a free from traditional schemes education.

The Boarding School hosted – totally free of charge – 150 children. They were taken care of by the educators, in all daily activities, from getting back from school to every afternoon activity, from homework to soccer.

In recent years, in addition to the main activity of the Resident Hotel, considering its
social function, the Foundation has promoted several charitable interventions
with donations in various areas, with particular attention
to the world of young people and health care.

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©2019 / Fondazione Osiride Brovedani Onlus / C.F. 80008930325