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Pietro Gallo nasce a Lissaro di Mestrino, all’epoca in provincia di Vicenza e attualmente di Padova, il 27 dicembre 1841, da Bernardo e Stefania Guerra. Non ci sono precise notizie sulla famiglia anche se si può intuire un’estrazione borghese: il piccolo Pietro viene mandato a studiare a Venezia presso il Liceo-convitto “Santa Caterina” (che dopo il 1866 assumerà il nome di “Marco Foscarini”). È probabile uno spiccato sentimento risorgimentale da parte del giovane Pietro che, nel 1860 — al momento del servizio di leva sotto l’amministrazione austriaca — preferisce fuggire da Venezia per recarsi a Torino ed arruolarsi tra il corpo dei bersaglieri.

Nella capitale sabauda, all’epoca, c’è uno stretto legame tra l’apparato militare e la Reale Società di Ginnastica Torino dove opera il noto ginnasiarca zurighese Rudolf Obermann, il quale, nei lunghi anni di permanenza in città, introduce la ginnastica in tutti i corpi dell’esercito piemontese e successivamente anche nella società civile.

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