Starting with this lunch date, march has been very good to me. The beginning of the month was marked by the appointment hubby and I had with this guy at his studio….
….and we went home with these….My mother was not thrilled at all, but I think I’m old enough to take some decisions on my own….lol…
Back home we were greeted by some very special muffins our daughter baked to celebrate the occasion, peas and ham….so very good!
We had a great evening/night out with some friends celebrating St. Patrick………no, we’re not irish, but we still have so amazing memories of out time spent in the Emerald Island….and who can say no to a Guiness? And there were also other kinds of food, for the ones (hubby) not so crazy about the irish stew….
They heavy head I had the next morning, was the proof we had such a great time!
In my hometown some complains that there’s not enough things to do….sometimes I agree with them, but if you keep your eyes (and ears) open, you can run into something interesting, now and then…This was the case when the FAI organized its open days once again this year. Places usually closed, open to public just for a couple of day, with free guided tours….me and my daughter choose to visit Palazzo Sanvitale on a early sunday afternoon, after a very good brunch at home, american/english style…
After that we had enough energy for the visit….
The original palace was built in the first half of the sixteenth century by the Lalatta family, and it occupied the eastern half of today’s building. Passed to the families Prati and Cesi, the palace became property of the Sanvitale family in 1639 , when Count Alexander II arranged a marriage between his son Luigi and Lucrezia Cesi, daughter of Fortunato Cesi. The dowry agreements set that the building would became the property of the Sanvitale in exchange for the complete maintenance of Lelia Cesi, mother of the bride.
The Sanvitale over the years, made various amalgamations of contiguous buildings, including the Theater of Racchetta , which was sold in 1686 by Duke Ranuccio II Farnese to Sanvitale in exchange for some buildings, after the construction of the Ducal Theatre of the Reserve , closer to Farnese court. In the second half of the eighteenth century the building was renovated by architect Angelo Rasori , assisted by Domenico Cossetti. At the same time was raised also the new facade on the entire north side of the square Sanvitale, on which was opened the new entrance, and was built an entire wing of the building, including the vestibule and the staircase of honor. The inauguration took place on 8 July 1787 , on the occasion of the wedding of Stefano Sanvitale , the eldest son of Count Alexander III , and Luigia Gonzaga.
In the following years the building was enriched with frescoes and stucco, the work of artists of considerable importance, as evidence of the Sanvitale family wealth.
In the early nineteenth century the imposing building was chosen as representative residence for illustrious guests passing through Parma. On the night of 9 November 1804 the Pope Pius VII slept there, en route to Paris where he attended the coronation of Napoleon Bonaparte . The emperor himself, coming from Bologna , stopped there the following year on the night between 26 and 27 June. In exchange for the hospitality received, Napoleon rewarded immediately Count Stefano Sanvitale with a gold box, the following year appointed him maire (mayor) of Parma and in 1814 gave him the title of baron of the Empire The great Theater of Racchetta was demolished around 1830.
In 1932 the last descendant of the Sanvitale, Count John , gave the palace to the Daughters of the Cross, who moved there their own schools, and remained until 1978 , when the building was purchased by Banca del Monte di Parma (one od the oldest bank in town). Between 1979 and 1988 the bank carried out major work of recovery and restoration of the building to turn it into its headquarters.
In 1999 it was inaugurated in the palace, also home of the Fondazione Monte Parma, the Museum Amedeo Bocchi, which was added in 2014 the museum Renato Vernizzi.
We enjoyed the visit so much, plus our guide was so kind and always ready to answer our (many) questions….really a nice afternoon.