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Pirelli Foundation Educational Courses

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A New Virtual Tour: An Immersive Journey through the Bicocca degli Arcimboldi

The Bicocca degli Arcimboldi, a Renaissance country villa in the countryside north of Milan, built in the late fifteenth century by the Arcimboldi family, is opening its doors using digital technology. A new virtual tour is available on the Pirelli Foundation website, allowing everyone to explore the rooms of the villa – which is now the official reception centre of the Pirelli Group – and find out about its centuries-long history and see the various decorations that adorn it, both inside and out.

You will be able to have a close-up look at the terracotta friezes on its richly decorated façade and the sgraffito work in the rooms. You can then go up the large staircase commissioned from Piero Portaluppi and visit the first-floor reception room with its elegant sandstone fireplace. You can enter the private apartments of the ladies, and admire the finely frescoed scenes on the walls, and imagine the daily life of noblewomen at the time. You will see the intertwined knot decorations inspired by the genius Leonardo or go all the way up to the loggia on the top floor to take in the panoramic view.

With a remarkable array of historical documents and images in the Pirelli Historical Archive, made available here, you will be able to retrace the most important changes that have taken place in the building and in the Bicocca area over the centuries: from historical photographs showing the derelict villa in the late nineteenth century to documentation on the arrival of the first factories in this area in the early twentieth, the purchase of the villa by Pirelli and the first restoration works carried out on the building. Then there are pictures showing how the villa was turned into a historical museum of the company and later a kindergarten for the children of employees, through to the “Bicocca Project” and the restoration work of recent decades.

This authentic gem of fifteenth-century art and important testimony to the history of Pirelli has now opened its doors to all.

The Bicocca degli Arcimboldi, a Renaissance country villa in the countryside north of Milan, built in the late fifteenth century by the Arcimboldi family, is opening its doors using digital technology. A new virtual tour is available on the Pirelli Foundation website, allowing everyone to explore the rooms of the villa – which is now the official reception centre of the Pirelli Group – and find out about its centuries-long history and see the various decorations that adorn it, both inside and out.

You will be able to have a close-up look at the terracotta friezes on its richly decorated façade and the sgraffito work in the rooms. You can then go up the large staircase commissioned from Piero Portaluppi and visit the first-floor reception room with its elegant sandstone fireplace. You can enter the private apartments of the ladies, and admire the finely frescoed scenes on the walls, and imagine the daily life of noblewomen at the time. You will see the intertwined knot decorations inspired by the genius Leonardo or go all the way up to the loggia on the top floor to take in the panoramic view.

With a remarkable array of historical documents and images in the Pirelli Historical Archive, made available here, you will be able to retrace the most important changes that have taken place in the building and in the Bicocca area over the centuries: from historical photographs showing the derelict villa in the late nineteenth century to documentation on the arrival of the first factories in this area in the early twentieth, the purchase of the villa by Pirelli and the first restoration works carried out on the building. Then there are pictures showing how the villa was turned into a historical museum of the company and later a kindergarten for the children of employees, through to the “Bicocca Project” and the restoration work of recent decades.

This authentic gem of fifteenth-century art and important testimony to the history of Pirelli has now opened its doors to all.