History of Càsoro

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History of Càsoro

  • End of 1700s: probable construction of Cà Növa, original name of the building
  • Beginning of 1800s:  Maselli family residence
  • 1953:  Purchase of the building by the Schweizerische Stiftung für Socialturismus (Swiss Foundation for Social Tourism)
  • 2017:  Closure of the youth hostel
  • 2018:  Property put up for sale

The headquarter of the Fondazione Claudia Lombardi per il teatro has an important history behind it. A history that, thanks to the Càsoro teatro lab project is destined to be enriched with new, exciting pages.


The origins

The main structure was probably built at the beginning of the 19th century. The first concrete notice of residence was of Francesco Maselli, notable Ticinese, physicist and Cantonal judge, who upon his reentry from exile following the failure of the Giubiasco revolution of 1814, took up residence with his 12 children, the 7 males defined in the annals as “fearless in political battle”, and the 5 females as “patriots’ wives”.



The Risorgimento

Within the numerous members of the Maselli family, one name stands out - that of Ermellina, the youngest daughter who when just 16 years old, married the Venetian Count Tullio Dandolo, who then introduced her to the irredentist and revolutionary worlds of the Risorgimento.

Transformed from a country girl to a noblewoman, her Salons in Milan and Adra were defined by historians as being the most active of the period, thanks to the continual presence of such eminent figures as Alessandro Manzoni, Massimo D’Azeglio, Giuseppe Zanardelli, Giovanni and Emilio Visconti Venosta, Camillo and Arrigo Boito, and Emilio Praga, to name just a few of the notable figures who frequented her Salons.

Ermellina never forgot her origins in Càsoro and in 1908, upon her death, bestowed upon the Municipality of Barbengo a significant sum of money destined for the construction of the first kindergarten in the region.

From the Risorgimento period, the area is also remembered for the informal meeting of Garibaldi with the then Mayor of Barbengo Giovan Battista Ramelli, a liberal activist as well, deservedly part of Swiss political history.



Youth hostel

The Cà Növa residence remained the property of the Maselli family heirs until 1953, when it was purchased by the Schweizerisce Stiftung für Sozialturismus (Swiss Foundation for Social Tourism) and converted to a youth hostel. In 2017, the structure was closed due to the excessive renovation costs necessary to bring it up to obligatory regulatory standards. In 2018, the property was put up for sale.



The Fondazione Claudia Lombardi per il teatro

Claudia Lombardi purchased the property in 2018, and in December of that year established the Foundation headquarters there. She simultaneously began planning for the renovation and conversion of the property, which became known as the Càsoro teatro lab project.