Every week I go to give an English lesson at the library of Borgo a Mozzano which has now moved to the gracious palazzo Santini, restored after over ten year’s work and re-opened in 2014.
The palazzo is next to Saint Rocco’s church which I have described at https://longoio2.wordpress.com/2015/10/02/borgo-a-mozzanos-san-rocco-e-san-sebastiano/
The library was originally housed in the palazzo Pellegrini in Borgo a Mozzano’s high street. That beautiful seventeenth century palazzo is now for sale at one million euros (see http://www.immobiliare.it/52029573-Vendita-Palazzo-Stabile-via-Umberto-I-41-Borgo-A-Mozzano.html if you’re interested!)
It’s very relaxing to gaze up at the ceilings of palazzo Santini. Many of them have some delightful frescoes. Here is one I particularly like.
I don’t know who the painter was but the romantic landscape scenes and the grotteschi decorations point to the end of the eighteenth century.
The art of interior decoration in Italy reached its apex by the nineteenth century and even in small villages one can come across some rich decorations.
Fortunately the tradition of landscape and trompe-d’oeil decoration continues in Italy (and elsewhere, I hope). In a fine former orphanage at Benabbio there are good examples painted by Julia Alexandra Mee, daughter of the late painter Raymond Victor Lee. Julia continued her training at the Accademia delle Belle Arti, Florence, where she learnt traditional painting techniques such as fresco. (If you are a ‘Grapevine’ reader you’ll have read her fascinating articles on that subject).
The library of Borgo a Mozzano, which is free to join and also holds several English language books, has a facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/Biblioteca.Fratelli.Pellegrini