Villa Bernasconi

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Villa Bernasconi the house that speaks

Villa Bernasconi is a new idea of a museum that emotionally involves the visitor, transforming him into a "guest" and exceptionally, given the health emergency, into a "thief of stories". The Museum is a welcoming cultural place, with a strong reference to the first vocation and intended use of the villa, a house, and unconventional, which updates the relationship between past and present, transmitting messages of innovation and dynamism. In fact, with the support of technological and design solutions, it is the villa itself that tells its story and leads visitors, like guests, to discover its history and get to know the people who lived there, starting from 1906 - the year in which its construction was completed – to this day. Not a museum in the traditional sense of the term, but an experience made up of suggestions and connections guided by #vocidivilla: an innovative and interactive journey through multimedia content, objects and historical documents on loan from other museum and private collections. Villa Bernasconi, one of the rare examples of Art Nouveau architecture on Lake Como and the only Cernobbiese villa open to the public, was built between 1905 and 1906 to a design by the architect Alfredo Campanini as a "fashion house" for the engineer Davide Bernasconi who, originally from Milan, founded the Tessiture Seriche of the same name in Cernobbio at the end of the 19th century. It is a symbolic and very important place for the history of the city of Cernobbio. The reference to the entrepreneurial activity of the owner can be found not only in the external decorations of the Villa, which reproduce the life cycle of the silkworm and the fruits of the mulberry tree, unique in the Art Nouveau panorama, but also in the location of the building itself. The villa is in fact located inside the so-called "silk citadel" of Cernobbio, among what were once the administrative offices of Tessiture Seriche Bernasconi (currently the Library and the Middle School), the houses built for the workers, the paintings and managers, as well as the kindergarten (still active) designed by Davide Bernasconi himself. The architectural project of Villa Bernasconi eschews any symmetry and experiments with soft, free and dynamic forms; the ornamental apparatus not only enriches the building, but integrates with it and constitutes its living part. Its total and unitary design and the artistic value of the decorations are typical characteristics of this style, which here, thanks also to the presence of the master of wrought iron on a national level, Alessandro Mazzucotelli, achieves one of the most significant results in Italy. The villa remained the property of the Bernasconi heirs until 1955 when it was sold to CET – then Società Autovie Lariane Valle Intelvi (SALVI) – which leased it to the Guardia di Finanza until it was purchased by the Municipality of Cernobbio in 1989. It has hosted temporarily the municipal offices (late 1990s), and was later home to temporary exhibitions and cultural events. After a long and important restoration and renovation, which lasted from 2005 to 2013 and financed with public and private funds, on 26 November 2017 it was definitively reopened to the public thanks to the "Liberty All" project as a museum. It is included in the Liberty itinerary in Lombardy and in the Art Nouveau European Route.


Timetable and tickets


Largo Alfredo Campanini, 2
22012 Cernobbio


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