In the medieval village of Piacenza there is a museum that tells the wandering life of ancient bear trainers, protagonists of acrobatic shows throughout Europe during the 1700s
 
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The history of the Orsanti: the first street artists were born in Vigoleno

Thu, 04 Apr 2019
 The history of the Orsanti: the first street artists were born in Vigoleno

If there is Mickey Mouse in Disneyland and Prezzemolo is in Gardaland, in Vigoleno there is a bear to act as your host. A wooden bear, don't be alarmed. Crossing the defensive walls and following a short cobbled section that leads from the main entrance to the heart of the village, you will come across a reproduction of an imposing mammal that, placed on a pedestal, will officially welcome you in this small medieval village nestled on the hills of Piacenza.

Those who choose to spend an afternoon in Vigoleno, in addition to the keep (the castle that dominates the valleys of the Ongina and Stirone) and the Pieve di San Giorgio (the oldest church in the village), cannot miss the Orsanti Museum. Created by the actress and puppeteer Maria Teresa Alpi, the museum is a very folkloristic reminiscent path that, through the re-enactment of life-size papier-mache bears and the display of ancient means of transport, musical instruments, masks, stage costumes, paintings and vintage prints, tells the itinerant life of the Orsanti, bear and street artist trainers who, during the 1700s, left their lands (Emilia-Romagna, Tuscany and Liguria) to reach the squares of London, Paris and Prague, where they performed together with these gigantic mammals, staging acrobatic and surprising shows.

Once identified a point of the city sufficiently exposed to the bustle of people, the orsanti set up the stage for their performances. Of all the trained animals (monkeys, parrots and camels), the "workhorse" was undoubtedly the bear, whose weight was around 350 kilos and, when it rose on the two hind legs, it reached two meters of height: a truly impressive sight. The Museo degli Orsanti is the only European witness to street art. And the inhabitants of Vigoleno jealously guard its memory, telling it to adults and children.

By Joni Scarpolini

Events in Vigoleno

  • Cantamaggio
    30-05-2019 | Vigoleno (PC)
    Concerts

    Add to calendar 2019-05-30 2019-05-30 Europe/Rome Cantamaggio Songs and dances of the peasant tradition in Vernasca Vigoleno

    Songs and dances of the peasant tradition in Vernasca

    Village of Vigoleno

  • The Night of the Brigands
    15-06-2019 | Vigoleno (PC)
    Festival

    Add to calendar 2019-06-15 2019-06-15 Europe/Rome The Night of the Brigands Vigoleno

    Village of Vigoleno

  • The Romantic Night in the Most Beautiful Villages of Italy
    22-06-2019 | Vigoleno (PC)
    Festival

    Add to calendar 2019-06-22 2019-06-22 Europe/Rome The Romantic Night in the Most Beautiful Villages of Italy Vigoleno

    Village of Vigoleno

  • Wine Festival
    29-06-2019 | Vigoleno (PC)
    Festival

    Add to calendar 2019-06-29 2019-06-29 Europe/Rome Wine Festival Gear not competitive among the vineyards, with dances and gastronomy in the locality of Bacedasco Basso, just outside of the village of Vigoleno. Vigoleno

    Gear not competitive among the vineyards, with dances and gastronomy in the locality of Bacedasco Basso, just outside of the village of Vigoleno.

    Village of Vigoleno

  • Vernasca Silver Flag
    From 28-06-2019 To 30-06-2019 | Vigoleno (PC)
    Exhibitions

    Add to calendar 2019-06-28 2019-06-30 Europe/Rome Vernasca Silver Flag Vigoleno

    Village of Vigoleno

  • Vigoleno in Festa...con l'anolino
    From 20-07-2019 To 21-07-2019 | Vigoleno (PC)
    Feasts

    Add to calendar 2019-07-20 2019-07-21 Europe/Rome Vigoleno in Festa...con l'anolino Festival in Vigoleno. Food stands with typical dishes Vigoleno

    Festival in Vigoleno. Food stands with typical dishes

    Village of Vigoleno

  • Bascherdeis
    From 26-07-2019 To 28-07-2019 | Vigoleno (PC)
    Festival

    Add to calendar 2019-07-26 2019-07-28 Europe/Rome Bascherdeis International Festival of street artists in Vernasca, last weekend of July Vigoleno

    International Festival of street artists in Vernasca, last weekend of July

    Village of Vigoleno


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