Welcome to the virtual tour of the Bicocca degli Arcimboldi, which will take you through the history and rooms of this wonderful Renaissance building, now the official reception centre of the Pirelli Group. Here are some useful tips to give you a better browsing experience.
You can walk virtually through the rooms, moving in any direction, to whichever room or floor you like, using the arrows you see on the main screen.
A fixed icon at the top right gives you direct access to the various rooms and lets you examine the information that will enrich your virtual experience. Press the button at the bottom right to access this content. The Pirelli Foundation has selected documents and images that let you discover the history of the villa and its close bond with the company.
You can save time by pressing the button at the bottom left, which will take you directly to the next room.
Enjoy the tour!
The Pirelli Foundation staff
The aristocratic coat of arms of the Arcimboldi
At the centre of this room, the largest and most important of the villa, stands a large sandstone fireplace with the coat of arms of the Arcimboldi family carved on it. The same motif, a gold shield with a red band and three eight-pointed stars, was also painted on the chimney breast. In the 1950s, the Sala del Camino (the “Fireplace Hall”) became the official venue for conferences, and for institutional and corporate meetings of the Pirelli Group.
The Sala del Camino, the “Fireplace Hall”, the largest room in the villa, has been used for institutional and corporate meetings of the Pirelli Group since the 1950s
The large sixteenth-century sandstone fireplace with the coat of arms of the Arcimboldi family
The chimney breast of the fireplace with a painted coat of arms of the Arcimboldi family
Detail of the bas-relief coat of arms of the Arcimboldi family on the mantelpiece
A commemorative plaque
To celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Pirelli Group, a plaque was temporarily placed on the wall opposite the fireplace with the following inscription: “Having reached the fiftieth year since the day that the engineer Giovan Battista Pirelli with his young crew created an industry of rubber and electric cables for the reborn Italy, the workers of the consortium factories, inspirited by the fervour of their children and to the glory of the Duce, reflect on its innumerable achievements, in unison raising it to the triumphs to come.” The restoration of the Sala del Camino led to the recovery of the large sgraffitto cornice and of the ceiling. Over the years, the room has had various functions, including that of the Museo della Storia delle Industrie Pirelli from 1922 onwards.
Plaque celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the Pirelli Group, from the book by the architect Antonio Annoni, 1922
Sgraffito-work frame made for the plaque commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of the Pirelli Group
Detail of the wall opposite the fireplace, lit up by candelabra and decorated with sgraffito work
The wall opposite the fireplace, lit up by antique candelabra and decorated with sgraffito work
The “Fireplace Hall” during an institutional conference, 1959
The Museo della Storia delle Industrie Pirelli
In 1922 Pirelli celebrated its first fifty years of activity. One of the many events put on to celebrate the anniversary was the opening of the Museo Storico delle Industrie Pirelli. According to Mario Luzzatto, who was the sales director of the tyres sector at the time, the anniversary needed to be given full dignity with something “new” – something that would have “vast repercussions”: an exhibition that would illustrate the raw materials, the production processes, and the products and their applications, but also the many sports events in which Pirelli was taking part, its advertising campaign, and its welfare programmes for assistance, social security, and culture. This marked the birth of the Museo Storico delle Industrie Pirelli, which was promoted and supported by the company’s staff. In addition to products, photographs and documents, it also included drawings showing the progress of production and views of the factories that are now preserved at the Pirelli Foundation.
Showcase with specimens and sections of vintage Pirelli tyres in the Museo della Storia delle Industrie Pirelli, 1922
Display of Pirelli tyres in the Museo della Storia delle Industrie Pirelli, 1922
Display of Pirelli tyres at the Museo della Storia delle Industrie Pirelli in 1922. In the background, the photograph of employees at the Milano Ponte Seveso factory, taken by Luca Comerio
Rubber trees on show inside the Museo della Storia delle Industrie Pirelli, 1922
The room displaying elastic rubber of the Museo della Storia delle Industrie Pirelli set up in the “Fireplace Hall” in the Bicocca degli Arcimboldi, 1922