Read this tip to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Tasmania and other Australian topics.
Diego Bernacchi (1853-1925)
Bernacchi was a silk merchant in Italy before he came to Tasmania and became and entrepreneur on Maria Island, off the east coast. With great energy he founded a silkworm farm, marble and limestone quarries, a cement works, a timber company and a small town for workers. The Grand Hotel was one of its many amenities and comforts. In the light of modern industries perhaps his most important achievement was to plant 99 hectares (245 acres) of grape vines and produce wines that won medals in Melbourne competitions. He eventually became ill, moved to Melbourne and died. The industries and settlement that he had founded declined and the town was abandoned. Visitors to Maria Island (now a national park) will see fascinating remnants of Bernacchi's endeavour.