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Rosazza (Biella)- House Museum of the Upper Cervo Valley

Foto House Museum of the Upper Cervo Valley -  of historical value
Foto House Museum of the Upper Cervo Valley -  of historical value
Foto House Museum of the Upper Cervo Valley -  of historical value
Foto House Museum of the Upper Cervo Valley -  of historical value
Foto House Museum of the Upper Cervo Valley -  of historical value
Show to visit in the Biella area:
Places  of historical value in the Biella area: House Museum of the Upper Cervo ValleyThe House Museum of the Upper Cervo Valley is located in a narrow pedestrian alley of Rosazza that starts from the road that runs alongside the Pragnetta torrent, approximately at the height of the fountain with a small statue depicting Pietro Micca, to enter among the houses of the older part of the village. It is in all respects a real village house, in which, however, the rooms, distributed over four floors above ground, have been transformed into exhibition spaces both for the objects of everyday life of those who once lived in the valley and of objects and finds that tell the story of the upper Cervo Valley and its inhabitants.
It must be said that it is in fact a house of a certain level, as evidenced by the interior finishes, such as some fresco decorations, and even just the size of some rooms itself. Many houses in the valley were and are more modest.

Externally, the architrave of the entrance door bears the year 1876 (year in which the door was built, the house is probably older) and the initials of the family that already owned the building (F.R.B.E., which stands for Rosazza Bertini Emiliano brothers), while the altitude is indicated on the wall (894.50 meters above the sea).

As far as the interior is concerned, the general structure is the one typical of many houses in the area: a central staircase (Fig. 5) from which, on each floor, some rooms depart, sometimes with a blind end, sometimes passing through to another room. The house lacks an entrance space, also because in winter the staircase is not heated and only the various individual rooms are heated, possibly only a part of them.

Each room accessible to the public is dedicated to a specific thematic area.
Kitchen (Largeer image): The room has a vaulted ceiling, frequent in the houses of the valley, especially on the lower floors. Two windows with gratings make it very bright, which is a little less frequent, given that the windows were often small to reduce heat loss in winter. The decor is traditional, with wooden furniture, a display cabinet and a wardrobe both set inside the very thick stone walls, the economic cast iron stove which also served as a cooker and as a hot water tank, the fireplace with cauldron hung with a chain to prepare the polenta. On one of the benches sits a mannequin made in the early nineteenth century and dressed in traditional female work clothes.
Stable: Almost all the private buildings in the Upper Cervo Valley originally had both a residential and a rural function. A small stable was therefore always present, capable of accommodating a few goats or even one, maximum two cows. Often the entrance was common and in any case the stable was placed under the living quarters, so that the heat emitted by the animals could rise to the upper rooms. The stable of the house museum is in stone, with a barrel ceiling. The floor is inclined, with the manger on the higher side and a channel to collect the dejections on the lower side, towards the entrance. All the various tools relating to the breeding and care of stable animals are displayed in the room.
Room dedicated to artisan work tools (Fig. 1): In the room, already used as a deposit for sand and wines, the traditional work tools of the bricklayer, carpenter and stonemason are displayed, three of the trades in which the valley dwellers were more expert. Also on display are some photographs taken in the Quarona quarry of San Paolo Cervo in the years 1950-1955.
Room dedicated to the valley builders: Since the eighteenth century, expert stonemasons and bricklayers from the valley found work also away from home (in particular throughout Piedmont and in the neighboring Savoy) in important construction sites. Under Napoleon Bonaparte the roads of Moncenisio and Sempione were built by Rosazza caompanies. The tradition continued during the restoration and also in the newborn Italian state, with the companies of the Upper Cervo Valley responsible for the construction of the dry docks of La Spezia, the Sardinian Railways, the Borgallo Gallery and many other works. The valley dwellers also had opportunities to gain honor abroad, including very distant countries such as Peru, China and Egypt.
The room displays the topographical tools of the professional schools of Rosazza, founded in 1869, photographs of the works carried out in Italy and abroad by companies of the valley, trade union cards of stonemasons from the valley working in the United States and other material relating to the work as builders of the villagers in the world.
Milk Processing and Laundry Room: This is a low-rise room with a vaulted ceiling and a fireplace. It is located above the stable and in the terracotta floor a vent closable with a wooden tablet allowed the air heated by the animals to enter directly in order to help warm it. In the fireplace hangs from a chain a large copper pot used for the curd and the preparation of cheese. It should be emphasized that these were small-scale productions, based on the milk produced by their own animals and aimed at satisfying family consumption as much as possible.
All the tools relating to the two activities to which the room is dedicated are displayed in the room.
Room dedicated to municipal institutions: It documents two of the three workers' mutual aid societies that operated in the valley: that of Rosazza, founded in 1892, and that of Campiglia Cervo, founded in 1871, of which the House Museum conserves the entire archive. The two social flags are displayed on a wall. Then there are topographical instruments and photographs of the professional schools of Rosazza, founded in 1869, seven years after those of Campiglia Cervo. On the walls there are also passports of valley stonemasons from the first half of the nineteenth century and also that of Senator Federico Rosazza Pistolet, the most illustrious citizen of Rosazza and greatest philanthropist of the Biella area.
School materials and finally some mining lamps are also on display.
Room dedicated to women and motherhood: This room contains objects characteristic of the various phases of women and objects related to motherhood: traditional work and holiday clothes, baby kits, dowry inventories, cradles and baby walkers for small children, etc...
It should be emphasized that the valley woman has always been a working woman, who was responsible for work in the fields and in the woods, as well as that on local construction sites, even and above all when the man was absent from home because he was engaged, for example, on construction sites in distant places.
Room dedicated to women's craftsmanship
In addition to the above, the valley woman typically also engaged in sewing and tailoring, worked with wool and cultivated and processed hemp.
This room displays the tools used in these activities, including the special cast iron stove on which up to six irons can be kept hot at the same time and thus always have one ready.
Video library: Dedicated to Nello Casale (1929-1997), poet, mayor of Quittengo, president of the Comunità Montana and great connoisseur and popularizer of local culture.
Bedroom (Fig. 2): The room is furnished with the furniture and objects typical of the traditional bedroom. Note the very high bed, the chest with the equipment, various types of underblanket both in wood and in metal, the wardrobe inside the wall, the basin for washing with bucket and pitcher. Note the presence of three windows, equipped with internal wooden panels, and the absence of any heating system.
Classroom (Fig. 4): In the room a typical classroom of the Umbertine period in one of the schools of the Upper Valley has been reconstructed. Due to space constraints, kindergarten desks were used instead of the bulkier elementary school desks.
Hall of uniforms and party clothes: The small room contains traditional men's and women's holidays clothes, with hats and shoes, as well as uniforms and military clothes from the past.
Room with permanent photographic exhibition: The room displays a collection of photos of ancient mountain huts that dot the highest areas of the valley.
Information room and reception: As there is no entrance space in the house museum, the reception was created on the top floor. In it you can find informative and informative material, books and magazines. The typical hand-quilted hemp shoes are also on display in the room.
In it are collected objects of the past of various kinds (in particular equipment for skiing, ancient snowshoes, a children's tricycle in the shape of an airplane, a wooden cage for canaries and then also carpentry tools and equipment for pouring wine and for inserting the corks into the bottles.

See also (both only in Italian):
Web site of the House Museum of the Upper Cervo Valley
Facebook page of the House Museum of the Upper Cervo Valley

Categories: Places of historical value

Via Pietro Micca, 25, 13815 Rosazza BI
House Museum of the Upper Cervo Valley: Further pictures in the section Photography
Rosazza (Biella, Italy): Bedroom of the House Museum of the Upper Cervo Valley
Rosazza (Biella, Italy): Kitchen of the House Museum of the Upper Cervo Valley