Sculpture was the favourite artistic outlet of Giovanni Gonnelli, a blind man from Gambassi. Born in Gambassi Terme, he became a great sculptor, but lost his sight at 37. This tragic event didn’t stop his creativity however, he continued to shape his forms with terracotta and became famous as the blind man from Gambassi.
It's said that Cardinal Pallotta saw Gonnelli while creating from memory a bust of his young love, Elisabetta Sesti, and was so surprised by the result that he wrote, “Giovan, ch’è cieco e Lisabetta amò, Scolpì nell’Idea che amor formò” (Giovanni, who is blind and loved Lisabetta, sculpted on the idea that his love created).
In the local Museo del vetro MUVE (Glass Museum) in Gambassi Terme, visitors can admire one of his works, a portrait of Francesco Chiarenti.