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Alfonso Litta Modignani had a major role during the Five Days of Milan. He gave an account of this intense though brief experience in a diary, later kept in his family archive, and now edited by Claudia Locatelli and Antoniotto Guidobono Cavalchini. The diary is a remarkable historical record of the 1848 events and it offers to the reader a unique dimension of human involvement. It is also worth mentioning the literary quality of this precious discovery, particularly close - as several clues reveal - to the lesson of Manzoni.