Tresigallo, in the province of Ferrara, is a small jewel of rationalist architecture. In 2004 the Emilia Romagna Region elected her as “City of Art”. However, it remains a jewel still little known. From 1 January 2019 it merges with the municipality of Formignana and gives rise to the new municipality of Tresignana. We meet the last mayor of Tresigallo, Andrea Brancaleoni, and the young people of the “Torri di Marmo” association, passionate about the characteristics of their town. We ask them some questions.
We talk about your city even in medieval chronicles, but the real transformation that makes it unique takes place in the 1930s. Who were the designers who thought of the metaphysical city?
Torri di Marmo: la moderna Tresigallo nasce per volontà di Edmondo Rossoni, tresigallese, all’epoca Ministro dell’Agricoltura. Il realizzatore fattivo delle opera è l’ing. Carlo Frighi, conterraneo del Ministro, urbanista de ‘La Sapienza’ di Roma. I due realizzano il futuro sviluppo della cittadina tracciando le linee organizzative ed urbanistiche estremamente precise. L’operazione di trasformazione della cittadina e del territorio avviene attraverso la partecipazione della gente del posto, la quale collabora e partecipa attivamente alla trasformazione del proprio territorio.
Torri di Marmo: the modern Tresigallo was created by Edmondo Rossoni, from the town of Tresigallese at the time Minister of Agriculture. The effective implementer of the works is Ing. Carlo Frighi, countryman of the Minister, urbanist of “La Sapienza” of Rome. The two realize the future development of the town by tracing the extremely precise organizational and urban lines. The transformation of the town and the territory takes place through the participation of the locals, who collaborate and actively participate in the transformation of their territory.
Brancaleoni, tell us about your first day as Mayor of a City of Art
My first day as Mayor of my Tresigallo was a mixture of emotions, disbelief and bewilderment. I was a company manager and for the first time I was faced with the difficult task of managing public affairs. I had to do this task in my country, at my home.
Your beautiful city is little known despite its particular urban planning. What do public and private bodies do to spread the knowledge of Tresigallo?
Brancaleoni: Tresigallo is little known because it suffers a historical prejudice that does not discern the great archietectonic, urbanistic and artistic value that characterizes every corner of our town. Tresigallo is emblematic of what is the last Italian architectural style exported in the world: rationalism. Our administration has staked everything on relaunching the image of the country and, in collaboration with the Torri di Marmo association, has coined the brand “Tresigallo La Città Metafisica”. He has organized many cultural events that can attract qualified tourism. He brought Tresigallo, his story, his architecture from Rome to Pescara, to the University of Cambridge, up to participating in the BIT in Milan. We have also worked within the country, activating knowledge projects with primary and middle schools.
Marble Towers: in the promotion of Tresigallo – The Metaphysical City we use social networks and our website. We have created the ‘ideal tour’ to be able to visit and fully understand the rationalist project of Tresigallo. We offer this tour by appointment with the presence of one of our members prepared to show the town in its entirety in its entirety and evolution from birth to the present. Every year we organize the “Metaphysical Days”, a strongly growing event held at the end of September. They hold conventions, architectural walks, visits to places generally closed to the public (the former Boeri hospital). An artistic impromptu is prepared for painters and photographers.
Which are the most characteristic buildings in “rationalist” style?
Marble Towers: in Tresigallo there are iconic buildings that have become better known because perhaps more photogenic. Think of “I Sogni” (once they were public baths), the former Casa del Fascio, the Casa della Cultura. Once immersed in the panorama of the town, however, it is almost impossible to tell which buildings are most characteristic precisely because it is the entire urban structure that enhances the individual buildings and makes them points of interest. The entire road network and the urban fabric are the peculiar characteristics of the rationalism on a human scale that has found in Tresigallo one of the most complete examples of expression. It is impossible to separate the design of urban spaces, real outdoor rooms defined by the surrounding facades, from the individual buildings that make up the settlement. The answer to this question could be: “the overall result is much greater than the sum of the individual contributions”.
What are the accommodation facilities of Tresigallo?
Brancaleoni: the structures are our gap. The great tourist potential of Tresigallo has not yet been understood: we are between Ferrara and Comacchio, near the Po Delta, Ravenna, Bologna and Padua. We have a couple of good facilities: L ’Antica Trattoria and La Lanterna.
In 2019 Tresigallo becomes part of the municipality of Tresignana. There is no danger that the peculiarity of the urban fabric will be ‘watered down’ in a larger municipality?
Brancaleoni: the merger with Formignana in Tresignana does not represent a danger, but an opportunity. The two territories were already merged until 1961. They are complementary with different vocations. Formignana is more industrial and crafted, Tresigallo more touristy and cultural. Tresigallo will continue to represent a unicum in the national artistic, architectural, urban and cultural panorama.