Casalmaggiore near Cremona is home to a museum like no other in Italy with a display of more than 20,000 items, including rings, necklaces, bracelets and earrings dating from the end of the 19th century to the 1970s.
Around two hours away from Milan, aficionados of vintage accessories and the manufacturing history of decorations can see bijoux and specialist items and machinery from the fashion jewellery manufacturing sector. The museum also offers teaching and professional workshops.
On a similar decorative theme, anyone interested in learning more about jewellery and bijoux in Lombardy should be aware that no trip would be complete without a visit to the Poldi Pezzoli Museum in Milan.
In this historic house museum, one of the most famous in Italy, in addition to the internationally renowned works of art in its numerous rooms, there are historic sacred items in gold, enamels, jewellery, and cabinet of curiosities articles.
The heterogeneous collection is unique in terms of the rarity and quality of the examples on display and it can be seen in the Jewellery Room.
FROM MILANO TO CASALMAGGIORE
BY CAR from Milano
approx 136 KM. – approx 2h journey
HIGHWAY A1 dir. Bologna + (to Piacenza) A21 dir. Cremona
Exit Cremona, SP 87 to Casalmaggiore
PUBLIC TRANSPORT FROM THE CENTER OF MILANO
LOCAL TRAIN MI- Mantova – train stop PIADENA
LOCAL TRAIN to PARMA, train stop Casalmaggiore
+ 14 min walking to reach the Bijou Museum
POLDI PEZZOLI MUSEUM – MILANO
Subway M3 (yellow line) – train stop Montenapoleone + 2 min walking
Tramway 1 – stop P.zza della Scala + 2 min walking
CASALMAGGIORE – “THE BIJOU MUSEUM”
Opened in 1986 on the lower ground floor of the former Collegio Santa Croce, the museum houses decorative items and accessories manufactured by factories in Casalmaggiore between the end of the 19th century and the 1970s.
Besides traditional fashion jewellery (brooches, cufflinks, bracelets, belts, earrings, pendants), there are also objects for personal use, like powder cases, lipstick cases, cigarette cases, sunglasses, devotional medals, and badges.
The museum also houses original machinery, tools for producing jewellery, and catalogues, documents and photographs that offer an insight into local life, where the manufacture of the first gold plated sheet at the end of the 19th century gave rise to a specialised sector that involved the whole area, establishing a genuine industrial zone.
VISITOR INFO: full € 3,00, reduced € 2,50
From Tuesday to Saturday 10.00 a.m. – 12.00 and 3.00 p.m. – 6.00 p.m.
Saturday and holidays: 3.00 p.m. – 7.00 p.m.
Every first Sunday of the month the entrance is free.
CONTACT: Via Azzo Porzio 9, Casalmaggiore CR – Ph +39.0375205344 firstname.lastname@example.org
CASALMAGGIORE – PIAZZA GARIBALDI
The square, 96 by 38 metres, is one of the largest town squares in the north of Italy and was created in 1618 on marshland. It was the town’s first real centre and to this day it marks the heart of the town with its “Listone” (central marble paving).
In 1788 the Palazzo Comunale was built, dividing the square and creating Piazza Turati behind it.
All roads in the centre lead to this square and the most interesting historic sites can be found nearby: the Diotti Museum, the Bijou Museum and the Estense Tower, the only remaining section of the fortified Renaissance complex close to the banks of the River Po.
CASALMAGGIORE – OTHER INTERESTING SIGHTS
The Diotti Museum, workshop-house
The building that was the workshop-house of the local neoclassical painter Giuseppe Diotti (1779-1846) is home to a collection of 19th century art from Lombardy and where every aspect of the artist’s life has been represented. The building also houses a reconstruction of the workrooms of three local artists, the Modern Art Gallery (20th century works with a local slant), and temporary exhibitions.
The Estense Tower
The last remaining section of the city’s defensive walls, it was the gateway to the town and the centre of the castle, housing the local garrison. It’s also a good place to set off from to explore the banks of the River Po.
Along the banks of the River Po
Casalmaggiore is one of the few towns that lies directly on the left-hand side of Italy’s longest river: going for a long walk along the main bank, you can see the town on one side and on the other the Po, with particularly beautiful views at sunrise and sunset.
MILAN – POLDI PEZZOLI MUSEUM- JEWELLERY ROOM
The historic house museum contains the legacy of the collector GianGiacomo Poldi Pezzoli (1822-1879), with almost six thousand items comprising paintings and decorative art. The house was his life’s work, and he purposely designed the rooms to turn them into eclectic and precious display cases containing a truly remarkable collection of Italian Renaissance paintings and a unique assortment of decorative arts: porcelain, glass, textiles, clocks, jewellery and weaponry.
Among the exceptional pieces in the Jewellery Room, particular highlights are the medieval enamels from Limoges, Renaissance pieces by goldsmiths from Lombardy, 16th century jewellery and rings, and 19th century parures by Pio Castellani.
VISITOR INFO: Sunday – monday h. 10:00 a.m. -6:00 p.m. (last admission 5.30 p.m. closed on Tuesday and national holidays)
CONTACT: Via Manzoni 12, Milano – Ph +39.02.794889/6334 – email@example.com