May 31st 2023
Vicolo San Silvestro, 6, 37122 Verona
Meeting point at the Palace at 7:30 PM
buffet dinner with tables and chairs
The mansion is situated downtown Verona, very close to Adigetto channel, just outside the main walls.
The present mansion was built mid 18th Century and the first owner is belived to have been Bernardo Ferrari, a textile merchant who seems to have lived in the S. Silvestro area in 1780.
The name of the architect is still unsure and outcomes of the still ongoing investigations have brought up the name of Antonio Galli Bibiena, whose portrait is in the main hall.
The mansion consists of the cellars and two levels oriented east to west, following the street direction. Its structure is very simple. The main hall divides the so called “noble” level into two wings: the east wing and the west wing. The main staircase is actually the first room in the east wing. All other rooms at the noble level are perfectly symmetric. The east wing has a floor in original “cotto” and the ceiling is painted in fresco. On the opposite, the west wing has a wodden floor and ceiling is apparently free from decorations.
Walking throught the main staircase, we may see a series of painted in fresco walls. A painted open gallery brings you a view of the typical landscape of the Verona hills. Critics attribute this fresco to Andrea Porta. Most likely, the characters of the page-boy, the greyhound and the parrot are a work of Francesco Lorenzi. The ceiling of the main staircase is almost completely lost. From the second flight of the staircase, you may see the ceiling, work of Francesco Lorenzi.
The ceiling of the first room is a work of Giorgio Anselmi and it represents the triumph of Down, in the person of a girl with a cock whom, together with Lucifer, defeats Darkness (identified by the girl dressed in dark colours together with Cupid with moth wings). The floor is in the original two colours “cotto” and the windows show flower decorations from Marco Marcola.
The next room (originally called the yellow room because of the silk tapestry colour) has very interesting ceiling. It is a fresco from Lorenzi symbolizing Virtues and Values similar to the ones in Venice, palazzo Labia, represented by Tiepolo whose school Lorenzi comes from.
Still from Lorenzi is the fresco of the room next to the main staircase. The subject is rather complicated. Most likely it shows the triumph of Peace whom, with the benevolence of Mars, give prosperity. The top of each doors in the west wing is a small mono-colour fresco with different subjects. Each fresco has been painted by the same painter of the ceiling of each single room.
The centre of mansion certainly is the main hall. It is completely painted in fresco and the floor is in the original decorated “cotto”. Bibiena (who planned the mansion and supervised all works) as well as the other artists, have been painted by Lorenzi over the entrance doors of the hall itself. Building works were completed in summer 1764 and Lorenzi was given the task to bright up the painted architecture with carnival characters. It was the first time that the four artists (Lorenzi, Bibiena, Maccari and Pavia) were working jointly at the same painting and, as it was impossible to gather them together again because of the death of Pavia in December 1764, the circumstance makes this painting unique.
From the door of the hall we may enter the terrace which runs all along the internal wall of the building. From this terrace it is possible to see the garden which creates a silent green island in the centre of downtown Verona.
Restoration work has been limited to minimum required as the mansion is classified as a building with considerable artistic and architectural value.