Italy's Neoclassical Pride
LOCATED IN THE HIGHEST PART OF THE TOWN OF NOVARA, Casa Bossi represents the architectural bond which ties the ancient city centre to the Alps and Mount Rosa.
Built between 1857 and 1861, the edifice was constructed according to the designs of one of Italy’s most famous architects, Alessandro Antonelli.
With 6,500 square metres and almost 200 rooms, Casa Bossi was built with a technique which includes fulcra that support low-vaulted ceilings and the use of brick. This technique pre-dates the use of iron and concrete which was increasing in use in Northern Europe.
The rooms, despite showing signs of age, still contain an abundance of refined decorations that have only become more beautiful with age.
It's a shame that Casa Bossi doesn't appear in conventional guidebooks, as it's frescoed ceilings and antique floors could put to shame many popular tourist destinations.
The house was originally owned by the Desanti family and subsequently passed into the hands of the Bossi family for two generations.
The edifice also served as home to a number of tenants, many of which were important figures such as architect Luigi Vietti as well as painters, writers, and journalists. The atmosphere inside is still soaked in history and walking through the empty rooms, the past still seems to be the present.
Although Casa Bossi has suffered over the years, its admirers have remained faithful.
In 2010, a group of citizens dedicated to the protection and restoration of Casa Bossi, formed the “Love Committee For Casa Bossi”.
Along with the cooperation of the municipality, the official owners of the building, the Love Committee works tirelessly to promote, conserve, and protect what is considered by many to be the most beautiful neoclassical building in all of Italy.
In 2010 Casa Bossi received 26,150 votes in Fai’s (Fondo Ambiente Italiano) 2010 list of most loved sites in Italy.
Thanks to the hard work of the committee for Casa Bossi, a new project has been initiated: Casa Bossi-Workshop of Beauty.
In an effort to think locally and act glocally, the project aims to give new life to the house as home base for many events in the areas of culture, business, art, and education.
In its first years of creative reutilization, Casa Bossi has been the setting for many photo shoots of Italian designers such as Moschino and Brunello Cucinelli.
Casa Bossi is just a short distance from the basilica of Saint Gaudenzio that, along with its dome are iconic symbols of Novara and of Antonelli’s genius. Casa Bossi is open for special events, which you can check on the foundation's website.
If you'd like to visit on different days than those specified on the site, you can book a tour with the foundation or, if you're feeling lucky, you might find the building open for long-term art exhibitions!
A great beauty and venerated symbol of Novara, Casa Bossi continues to amaze and make its neoclassical beauty seem timeless. If you have some time to spare while in Novara, this building is a real unconventional beauty; don't miss it. Any suggestions?
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