Friday, 23 February 2018

Beautiful Alfa Romeo Museum in Arese Milano

@Insubrica Historica
An important aspect of the extended Insubrica region is also related to car manufacturing heritage. An interesting and easy accessible museum is one of Alfa Romeo, situated in Arese, near the highway E62 (coming from Switzerland A9, direction Milan, first exit on the right).

The museum (closed in 2011) was reopened in 2015, fully renovated and refurbished. The Museum has a nice exposition of cars and engines. But, from a mere historical aspect of workers' heritage, it comes short.

You probably remember the emblematic motion picture directed by Luchino Visconti "Rocco e suoi fratelli - Rocco and His brothers - starring Alain Delon and Claudia Cardinale in Alfa Romeo Portello plant

The museum has a large parking space, the entrance fees are of EUR 11 (February 2018), it has a cosy lounge bar/restaurant at the upper floor and a small memorabilia shop. It is interesting to know that in the underground floor of the museum, there is a short cinematographic exposition showing major movies that had an Alfa Romeo in them - it is worth to stop by.
Read more »

Friday, 16 February 2018

Another long gone castle: Gordola

Fenis Castle, Aosta
Today we would like to start putting emphasis on the series of lost castles in the region of Locarnese (see our previous post on Magadino):  the Castle of Gordola. As a matter of fact, little is known about this lost castle of Gordola. It was probably built around 1100 by the Vescovy of Como and assigned to the Locarnese family of the Orelli, which was a lineage belonging to the noble families Capitanei of Locarno. 

The picture used in our blog provides merely an idea to the reader of how the castle could have looked like today. The castle was erected in Gordola in the area that is called nowadays Rongia. It is most likely that back in the time, the cast was close to the shores of Lago Maggiore. It is also possible that this castle protected the right bank of the Ticino river. Unfortunately, it was destroyed very early, around 1380, during the Guelfs and Ghibellines wars (Kientz 1942). According to the historian Virgilio Gilardoni, there are yet no particular studies on the layout of this long gone castle.

  • Giuseppe Mondada, Il Castello di Gordola, Rivista Patriziale Ticinese n.12, 1958, p. 62-68
  • Ferdinando Kientz, Studio sulle pergamene e i documenti del patriziato di Gordola, Bollettino Storico della Svizzera italiana, 1942, p. 18-47. The article of Kientz is also accessible through the Archivio digitale dei quotidiani e dei periodici.
  • Virgilio Gilardoni, Il romanico. Catalogo dei monumenti nella Repubblica e Cantone del Ticino, Edizioni Casagrande, p. 367 
Read more »