Philip Rolla left California in 1962 to realize his dream of building propellers for fast boats, and he knew that only in Turin could he learn all the secrets of the trade. That would be his first destination. When he left, he was 24 years old and had just graduated from the University of Santa Clara with a degree in Economics and Industrial Engineering, but he had already shown that he was able to build a racecar and a raceboat (with which he competed), and to draw and paint. He will never forget his paternal home in Madrone, surrounded by orchards, nor the years he spent with his parents, brother and grandparents. He treasured all his experiences and began his own adventure, retracing in reverse the path taken by his four Piedmontese grandparents around 1910.

Born on May 3, 1938, three years after his brother Richard, to Caesar Rolla and Rose Poletti in Madrone (30 km from San Jose), Phil showed an early interest in the fine arts. His passion for mechanics, on the other hand, emerged around the age of 15 and took hold more and more. He built his first boat at the age of 16, and when he was 17, he participated in his first real powerboat race. He came in last, but that was good because he realized that the propeller was just as important as the boat and the engine. From that day on, propellers became the center of his interest.


First home of the Rolla grandparents in Madrone