The “Macchi” House, bringing the centre alive again
The historic mansion bequeathed to the Italian Environmental Fund (FAI), has been opened. Magnificent: “A project that will put blood back into the veins of the centre.”
Time stopped still for Villa Macchi. The dust settled on the furniture, the beds remained with duvets still laid out, the cheap kitchen with china tableware, an iron from a time before steam was used, a television with a huge box containing the large cathode ray tube.
Walking into those rooms takes you back, all of a sudden, to the 1950s. This was a house of cultured people, where books, paintings and tapestries can be found everywhere. It was not a house of intellectuals, but of ordinary people.
Today is a day of celebration in Morazzone, because that house, which stands right beside the Church of Sant’Ambrogio, has reopened its doors, to show itself off, right before the start of the restoration work.
The FAI received the house as a gift, together with a sum of money bequeathed by Marialuisa Macchi.
This celebration was begun by Giuseppe Armocida, as the master of ceremonies for the presentation of the FAI’s project for the “Macchi” House in Morazzone.
The library was packed with locals, students and administrators, who listened to Mayor Matteo Bianchi, Roberto Maroni, Marco Magnifico, Cristina Cappellini, Martina Sarraggiotto and Diego Dalla Gasperina.
“The redevelopment work, starting with the ‘Macchi’ House, seeks to enhance the value of the whole village centre,” Bianchi said. “Now, together with the authorities, it’s important to get the people of Morazzone involved, to make Morazzone the leading player when it comes to cultural and artistic aspects.”
“The common good is not only left to the authorities, but also to the associations, to the people,” said Marco Magnifico, the deputy Chairman of the FAI. “The FAI is at the service of the people, to manage this asset. An economic model that increased wellbeing turned out to be wrong and killed the centres of towns and villages. Today, reviving these brings out the great need for social relations. A community feeling is created. A project like the ‘Macchi’ House puts blood back into the veins of the centre of Morazzone. This house has nothing of great value, but it recounts the real life of people. What’s nice about the centre of this village is that it’s remained intact. The ‘Macchi’ House will be a place where simple, everyday history, of traditions and habits, will be told. It won’t be a museum, it’ll be a house where a cultured, but normal family spent its life. Ms Macchi never went back into her house. So we found it as it had been left, forty years ago. The cobwebs were like works of art. The restoration work will respect what the house was previously. The entrance will be a haberdasher’s, and from there, people will be able to buy entry tickets.”
The protagonists in the history of the “Macchi” House
Diego Dalla Gasperina presented the history of the Macchi Family. “In 1898, the house was bought. Leonilde and Carlo Macchi got married in 1922, and went to live in Morazzone. Two years later, Marialuisa was born. Her grandmother, Adele Bottelli, was the protagonist in the life of the house, until 1964. Then, Marialuisa took over the role.”
President Maroni then concluded the meeting and started the tour. “The house’s value lies in the fact that it gives an idea of what life was like in these parts, in a Lombardy that, today, looks to innovation and to the future, but that is strong in its traditions.”