Everything in Baveno leads back to granite and the workmanship of  the stone-cutters: The quarrying and processing of  local stone has profoundly influenced  the character and the development of the Baveno area.

From street names (which would translate from the Italian to things like  “Quarry Street”, “Stone-cutters street”, “Pink granite Road”, etc) through to public, private and religious buildings but also in single monuments and artefacts, every corner shows signs of the presence of granite  and of  the activities of the people who were involved with it.

Baveno pink granite is the most famous of the granites of the lakes (Maggiore, Orta and Mergozzo) and is the most widely used within Italy and abroad: because of its specific qualities, it is preferred both as a building stone and for decoration: witness to this are the numerous works created from the beginning of the 16th century, initially just at a local level and in the neighbouring territory of Lombardy, then later in various regions of Central and   Southern Italy.

In the 19th century Baveno pink granite was launched onto international  markets: in Europe, in America and all over the world including the Far East.

The Granum Museum

The museum space called “Granum” is a multi-medial and multisensorial experience dedicated to pink granite and its historical and economic importance for Baveno. The museum also documents the variety of sites where granite is quarried and processed as well as the routes it takes within the territory of the Province of Verbano-Cusio-Ossola.

The exhibition area is divided into 4 thematic sections: types of granite and of other stone in the province of VCO; mineralogical rarities; the workmanship and processing of granite both today and in yesteryear; the history of quarrying and how granite is used locally and overseas.

 

Piazza della Chiesa, 8
28831 Baveno

Info: 0323 924632 - info@bavenoturismo.it 

 

MUSEUM OPENING TIMES:

 

 

 

 

 

From January the 9th to March the 31st, 2017
From Monday to Saturday 10:30-12:30
Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 10:30-12:30 / 15:00-18:00
From April the 1st to September the 30th, 2017
Everyday 09:00-12:30 / 15:00-18:00

The Wall Painting

 

The wall painting in Matteotti Square of Baveno carried out in 1979 by Gilberto Carpo with the help of the students of the arts centre ‘Circolo Bavenese’ is dedicated to the Picasass, the stonecutters of Baveno, whose ability is world known since many centuries. Carpo, to develop the theme chosen by a popular assembly, used the testimonies of stonecutters in order to grasp the complexity of their trade, both in its craftsmanlike and creative dimensions and in its evolution, represented at the top of the painting by mechanisms that create lines and geometrical forms, symbols of mass production. A photograph of the umanufacturing of one of the columns of the Duomo of Milan was the starting point for the column that crosses the painting in perspective. Women are portrayed with the “gaula” (a sort of pannier) used to transport pyric powder. This painting is expression of the historical movement ‘New Italian Figuration’.

The Stonecutter’s monument

 

Walking along the lakeside of  Baveno you can admire the stonecutter’s monument , of course in pink granite of Baveno, created by the local sculptor Raffaele Polli. The monument represents a young “picasass” (stonecutter) at work, dealing with a block in appearance without any value, but from that granite he will create with difficulty, but with passion, a true work of art.

Nicola della Casa (1843-1894) Baveno Pink Granite in the world

 

The golden age of the Baveno “picasass” or stonemasons was the second half of the 19th Century and the beginning of the 20th Century with important dynasties of granite quarriers like the Adami, Bernasconi, Cirla, Della Casa, Galli, Polli and Tamini families.

The merit of introducing industrial production methods and modern-style marketing techniques with exports all over Europe and to the Americas, goes to the businessman Nicola Della Casa (1843-1894). The Della Casa began quarrying granite in Baveno in 1874  and, by 1879, their business had gained the honorary title of “premiata ditta” (award-winning company), with the distinction of the use of the royal coat of arms.

 Della Casa gained the “great diploma of honour” because he had been “the first in Italy to apply mechanization to granite quarrying”: he was, in fact, the first of the local entrepreneurs to introduce a steam boiler to shift the polishing lathes and he was among the first to experiment the use of mines in cavities.

Della Casa also recognized the need to open-up markets at an international level, the importance of being able to speak foreign languages and the value of experimentation with new and constantly faster means of transport: all this led him to open offices in various capital cities in both Europe and America.