Palazzo vertemate franchi
Palazzo Vertemate Franchi
Palazzo Vertemate Franchi is one of the most prestigious 16th-century mansions in the province of Sondrio. In 1987 a woman named Maria Eva Sala donated it to the city of Chiavenna along with all of its furnishings and the surrounding property (about 30,000 square metres) .
It was built in the mid-1500s by the brothers Gugliemo and Luigi Vertemate Franchi in Cortinaccio in the hamlet of Prosto, on the side opposite the centre of Piuro, which would be buried by a landslide in 1618 with about one thousand of its residents.
Its stern exterior architecture (most likely created by Ticino craftsmen) match the building's interior with two large halls and several rooms, all frescoed with mythological scenes, with ceilings and walls richly carved and inlaid. The wood panelling in the first room to the right of the main floor (referred to as Juno, or the Audience) is carved with the date 1577.
The mythological frescoes are traditionally attributed to the Campi brothers from Cremona. The two halls on the left take their names from the central scenes on the ceiling: Jupiter and Mercury on the first floor, the Zodiac on the last. The most decorated and noteworthy rooms on the first floor are those of Perseus and Music. Upstairs there are three rooms with wooden ceilings (one with wood trim from 1797 ) and three other rooms on the top floor, with the rooms of the Arts and the Caryatid towards the façade. Adjacent to the previously mentioned Zodiac room - with its majestic ceiling, richly carved in wood - is the Bishop's room and that of Friends, subsequently renamed "Amori da Carducci", in honour of the poet's visit here in 1888.
An expansive vineyard and vegetable garden stand in front of the building. An orchard and an Italian garden are situated to the north with the Incoronata church on the side, consecrated in 1690. The chestnut grove lies in the back of the property while the service buildings (such as the press and the ice house) are located to the south.
The structure is a popular cultural centre used for a wide array of purposes. In addition to acting as a museum, Palazzo Vertemate Franchi has extensive experience in hosting events such as concerts, exhibitions, astronomical observatories and even weddings.
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