THE PALAZZO RE-MERIS, THE SILK MUSEUM AND THE C’ERA UNA VOLTA COLLECTION
In the historical heart of Ranzanico, at a point that dominates the whole of Lake Endine, stands an ancient building which, after long and expensive restoration, has been returned to its original beauty. The building, acquired by the Suardi family is now visible in its 19th-century version, to which dates back the sandstone colonnade that camouflages the rear section, of 18th-century origin. The palazzo has changed name various times over the centuries, according to the family name of the owners: first Gelmi, then Suardi, then Palazzo Meris and Palazzo Re; today the joint use of the last two names, Palazzo Re-Meris, prevails.
In the rooms on the ground floor of this residence, visitors can discover how silk is made, following the whole process in stages and viewing original 19th/20th-century technologies. The name “Fal’Fil” refers to the interweaving of the silk threads: in Bergamo dialect this expression means “making the thread”. And the way silk threads are made can be learned among the stone fireplaces and the Art Nouveau decorations of this building, in a journey marked by history and craftsmanship that starts with silkworm breeding and ends with the production of splendid and precious fabrics.
Among the rooms of Palazzo Re, through the history of silk, visitors are able to retrace the artisan and industrial history of the valley itself, of its people and its environment, which had among its protagonists the mulberry tree, the cultivation of which played a crucial role in the start of the entire production chain. Silkworms do in fact feed on the leaves of this plant, which is their only nourishment.
A collection of period photographs reveals the context in which this fine craftsmanship took place, while an exhibition area presents the results of processing to the public: precious yarns and fabrics that were then traded in Italy and abroad from the Valle Cavallina. Part of the museum’s heritage is also a collection of cocoons from every corner of the world: a curiosity recovered before it was lost forever after the closure of a company in Valle Cavallina.
On the first and second floors is a permanent exhibition of the “C’era una volta” (Once Upon a Time) collection, created by the Associazione Arte in Valle in order to revive the atmosphere of a number of everyday life environments. Outside, a vast orchard-garden can be admired with sloping terraces on the hillside. Enjoy the splendid view of the lake!
We now invite you to continue your visit by going to the Oratory of San Bernardino, not far from the Palazzo, along the ancient road towards Endine.
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