Palazzo Moroni, seventeenth-century palace in Bergamo reopens after three years of restoration

After three years of restoration, on November 22 Palazzo Moroni reopens to the public, the seventeenth-century palace located in the heart of Bergamo’s Upper Town. Already in June 2020 the gardens and the vegetable garden were opened and in September 2021 also the four rooms with wonderful baroque frescoes. It is now the range of five more rooms on the main floor, characterized by a nineteenth-century layout and the mezzanine. Palazzo Moroni is the first urban building acquired by FAI and commissioned in 2019.

After the few restarts, they complete the visit itinerary five rooms on the main floor, characterized by a nineteenth-century layoutYellow room, Pink Room, Blue Room, Chinese living room And Turkish room – and mezzanine, with the large kitchen and the apartment used until 2009 by Count Antonio Moroni, the last resident of the residence. Also launching are the renovated reception areas, such as the ticket office with shop, and new services and tools to accompany the visit, starting with video story with immersive views in the great kitchenwhich tells – in the voice of Luca Micheletti – the story of the family and the palace.

Palazzo Moroni, the first urban building acquired by FAI, opens after three years of restoration work for safety, conservation and utilizationwhich affected i gardens, extended with panoramic terraces at the foot of the Rocca civica and up to the vegetable garden, two hectares of countryside in the heart of the city and interiorsuperbly preserved in the decorations, furniture, objects and works of art of the family collection, which includes among its masterpieces three portraits by Giovanni Battista Moroni (c. 1521-1579/1580): The portrait of Isota Brematithat of Giovanni Gerolamo Grumelli, better known as The Knight in Rosesand Portrait of an old lady.

The property was awarded to FAI in 2019after an agreement with Palazzo Moroni Museum Foundationowner of the building, founded in 2008 by Count Antonio Moroni (1919-2009) and still presided over by his daughter Lucretia, to pursue the mission of making the property a collective heritage.

“Palazzo Moroni is an iconic place and represents FAI’s first urban building. The proximity of the Lombardy Region was instrumental in its restoration – claims Francesca Caruso, Cultural Advisor of the Lombardy Region – It is our commitment to strengthen, therefore, a symbolic place of the territory that is of cultural importance for the whole of Lombardy. I thank the FAI for its commitment to promoting fundamental initiatives aimed at exploiting the historical, artistic, architectural and naturalistic heritage of the Lombardy landscape.”

Restoration work began in 2020. On June 27 and 28 of the same year, the FAI opened the gardens and vegetable garden: an extraordinary event, born as a tribute to Bergamoone of the Italian cities most affected by Covid-19, with an opening dedicated to all healthcare personnel.

After a year, the work was completed part of the palace characterized by seventeenth-century frescoes – whose subjects give their name to the rooms: la Hall of the Golden AgeThe Hall of the GiantsThe Hall of Hercules and Hall of liberated Jerusalem – creation of the Crema painter Gian Giacomo Barbelli (1604-1656), which are among the first and most luxurious examples of Baroque painting in Lombardy.

At the end of 2022, the restoration of the five rooms opened to the public on this occasion began, a result of the changes that affected the palace around 1835, in view of the marriage of Alessandro Moroni to the Milanese noblewoman Giulia Resta (1838). The layout of these spaces, more intimate and intimate than those of the 17th century, is dominated by precious silks, oriental and French ceramics, lacquered and imperial furniture and frescoes that breed putty a trompe l’oeil and alternate with imaginative themes inspired by the classical and exotic worlds.

The interventions, carried out thanks to the support of the Lombardy Region and the contribution of many companies and individuals, made it possible to they make the entire main floor and entire mezzanine accessible and visitable. It was the systems were built electrical and safety, the fixtures and floors have been restored and maintainedsufficient i necessary services to new museum function of the buildingalso equipped with areas of improvement. An important restoration that harmonizes interventions dedicated to the needs of safety and usability with work done with local materials and even artisanal techniques. Despite the ongoing construction work, the palace has always been partially open for visits: a choice that made the construction work, scheduled in phases, more complicated. The work was also about gardens of Palazzo Moroni by replacing trees and shrubs that were in critical phytosanitary conditions, incorporating ornamental plants into the flower beds, pruning matching holly trees and creating gravel paths to protect the lawns.

A long and complex construction site included the palace’s movable assets: furniture, decorative coverings, works of art and artifacts which make, in particular, the nineteenth-century rooms open to the public today, one authentic and integral testimony of the way of furnishing and living in a building of the time. It started in agreement with the competent Supervision one conservation planwith cataloguing, complete mapping and up-to-date digital documentation, also with very high resolution artwork images, created for the first time thanks to the collaboration with Haltadefinizione.

An in-depth restoration, carried out in collaboration with La Venaria Reale Maintenance and Restoration Centerdevoted to textile equipment, incl ancient silk tapestries from the Caserta factory and important upholstered furniture, and all the watches have been restored to be operational again. In addition to restoration and maintenance, FAI also provided for integration and renewal of some spaces open to the public that did not retain the original layout: thanks to the numerous donations of furniture and objects to FAI from individualsit was possible to restore their historical appearance in the environments, applying where possible a philological inclusion criterion, but also interpreting the spirit of the place, as it happens in the tradition of FAI and in the style and method of its exploitation.

The restoration space was accompanied by a “knowledge space”. Studies and research coordinated by the FAIstarting fromfamily history file, still kept in the Palazzo Moroni, made it possible to inform and expand knowledge about the family and the collection, as well as about the palace and the neighborhood. The FAI, as usual to its credit, has translated this knowledge into various tools to introduce and accompany the visitincluding room cards, small editions, podcasts and above all a video story with immersive views in the large kitchen which tells the story of Palazzo Moroni through historic, unpublished and evocative images, accompanied by a narrative commissioned to voice of actor and baritone Luca Micheletti. From January 2024, a volume published by Skira will also be available, thanks to the contribution of the Gallerie d’Italia: the real guide to Palazzo Moroni.

Particular attention has been and will be given to its subjectaccessibility thanks to the tactile support available to the visually impaired and, from 2024, a simplified language guide that makes the visit also accessible to people with an intellectual disability. Guided tours of the LIS for the deaf will also be organized.

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