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Official Web site: Palazzo Bricherasio
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Palazzo Bricherasio, located in via Lagrange, just a short distance from via Roma and Piazza San Carlo, was built in the first half of the 17th century as a noble residence. It was later acquired by the Solaro di Monasterolo family, originally from Asti and with properties in the Cuneo area. The Solaro family, initially landowners, began to hold important ecclesiastical and military positions in the 18th century and operated as bankers in Turin.

In 1760, the Solaro family commissioned architect Carlo Emanuele Bovis for the first significant renovation of the building. Bovis introduced the Rococo style, which we can still admire today.

Among the many guests who resided in the palace, Giovanni Berchet stands out. A Milanese writer with strong anti-Austrian sentiments, he was forced to leave Milan during the First War of Independence and sought refuge in Turin from 1849 to 1851. During his time there, he actively participated in the politics of Cavour, Massimo d’Azeglio, and Quintino Sella, eventually passing away in exile in 1851.

Palazzo Bricherasio
Palazzo Bricherasio with the gate removed in 2010

In 1855, the palace was purchased by the Cacherano di Bricherasio family, a noble Turin family now extinct. They were known for their philanthropy, patronage, military honors, and several family members who received the title of Viceroy of Savoy.

Bricherasio Family

Count Luigi Baldassarre Cacherano di Bricherasio commissioned Barnaba Panizza to renovate the entire building. Some rooms were remodeled, while others were fully decorated. Upon his death in 1867, the palace was inherited by his children, Sofia and Emanuele.

Sofia, who was interested in painting and a student of Lorenzo Dellani, hosted receptions, exhibitions, and other cultural events at the palace. Notable figures such as sculptor Leonardo Bistolfi, writer Edmondo De Amicis, and musician Arturo Toscanini participated in these events.

Palazzo Bricherasio
Lorenzo Delleani, The founders of F.I.A.T.
At the center Emanuele di Bricherasio

Emanuele, on the other hand, was more interested in the emerging world of the automotive industry. He became a key promoter and co-founder of FIAT. The signing of the company’s founding document took place in his studio at Palazzo Bricherasio on July 1, 1899. He also played a role in establishing the Automobile Club Italiano.

After Emanuele’s sudden and premature death in 1904 (at the age of 35), Sofia and her mother continued their philanthropic activities.

In 1937, Annibale Rigotti, a member of the Cacherano di Bricherasio family, restored the building in accordance with the new Via Roma. Remarkably, the palace survived World War II bombings without damage. However, Sofia, now alone and without heirs, abandoned it to retire to her countryside estate.

The legacy of Bricherasio family

Upon Sofia’s death in 1950, the palace became part of the legacy in favor of the Piccola Opera della Divina Provvidenza. It was then used as an educational institution, first hosting a school for disadvantaged girls specializing in embroidery and later serving as a technical institute for mechanical engineers.

Palazzo Bricherasio
Palazzo Bricherasio

In 1994, art dealer Alberto Alessio purchased the entire building, restoring and transforming it into the headquarters of the Fondazione Palazzo Bricherasio, which later closed in 2009. By 2010, the building had become the main office of Banca Patrimoni Sella & C.

Palazzo Bricherasio

The exterior of the palace features a square layout with large neoclassical-style windows. On the side facing Via Langrange, you’ll find the ancient entrance gate and the main atrium (originally the sole entrance). From here, you can access a small inner courtyard.

Near the entrance, there is a commemorative plaque dedicated to Giovanni Berchet, who resided in the building during his last two years of life.

Palazzo Bricherasio

During the 1994 renovation, dormer windows were added to the roof, allowing the attic to be used as a spacious private apartment.

The other facade boasts a balcony adorned with a bas-relief depicting the coat of arms of the Cacherano Bricherasio family.

The gate, constructed in 1937, was removed in 2010. Only the masonry part remains, while the area is now covered by a steel and glass structure housing a café.

As for the interiors, the various uses of the palace over the past decades have led to significant modifications to the original indoor spaces. All frescoes have been lost, along with many other decorative elements. However, the grand internal staircase in gilded wood and brass, designed by Barnaba Panizza, remains noteworthy.

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