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

 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
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Events in Vigoleno

  • Feast of potato
    15-09-2019 | Vigoleno (PC)
    Feasts

    Add to calendar 2019-09-15 2019-09-15 Europe/Rome Feast of potato in the locality of Vezzolacca Vigoleno

    in the locality of Vezzolacca

    Village of Vigoleno

  • The Wonder Markets
    From 21-04-2019 To 22-09-2019 | Vigoleno (PC)
    Street markets

    Add to calendar 2019-04-21 2019-09-22 Europe/Rome The Wonder Markets Vigoleno

    Village of Vigoleno

  • On Sunday in the Village
    13-10-2019 | Vigoleno (PC)
    Festival

    Add to calendar 2019-10-13 2019-10-13 Europe/Rome On Sunday in the Village Vigoleno

    Village of Vigoleno

  • Mechanical-Electronic Nativity scene
    From 25-12-2019 To 26-01-2020 | Vigoleno (PC)
    Exhibitions

    Add to calendar 2019-12-25 2020-01-26 Europe/Rome Mechanical-Electronic Nativity scene Vigoleno

    Village of Vigoleno

  • San Giorgio
    25-04-2020 | Vigoleno (PC)
    Patronal parties

    Add to calendar 2020-04-25 2020-04-25 Europe/Rome San Giorgio Vigoleno

    Village of Vigoleno

  • Cantamaggio
    30-05-2020 | Vigoleno (PC)
    Concerts

    Add to calendar 2020-05-30 2020-05-30 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

  • Wine Festival
    27-06-2020 | Vigoleno (PC)
    Festival

    Add to calendar 2020-06-27 2020-06-27 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


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