Stage 4 – From the Ancient borderline of the three Municipalities to Villa Bernasconi
After 10 meters cross the road and take on the zebra crossing, right, the narrow but quiet Via Manzoni, which narrows furtherly after the intersection with Via Gianolini, and – on the left – ends into Via Aquileia where the Cemetery (Memorial Square) is. In this zone, and for the last stretch of the route, the route crosses the Citadel of Silk, that is the area on which, at the turn of the twentieth century, stood all the silk factory establishments belonging to the Milanese engineer Davide Bernasconi. We proceed on the sidewalk to the right of Via Aquileia up to the point where, on the right, with a short slide protected by railings, it goes down to the level of the large parking lot behind the City Hall. Just beyond the parking lot, the high brick chimney, the “caminun”, should be noted; it is the only reminder of Bernasconi’s textile establishment, which stood in this area. Cross the short paved road access to the parking lot, skirting the latter for a short distance, keeping it on the right, along a protected path and brick paving, and, on the left, you enter directly, via a short path in the small public garden, in the “Place of Remembrance”, established in the first years of the 21st century: a circular space surrounded by benches and with a central flower bed decorated with a lamppost. At its center an artistic artifact, the iron work of sculptor Riccardo Mantero, remembers the victims of Nazism and Fascism; 11 other similar artifacts delimit an almost circular space, reminiscent of as many persons linked to the territory or victims of terrorism . Turning our back to the small garden, we head towards the back entrance of City Hall – to the left – former residence of the engineer Davide Bernasconi and sold to his son in 1906. Always along the back of the Town Hall, you go on a nice tiled driveway bordered by palm trees (at the side margin of the parking lot of the Town Hall), where, on the left, opens Largo Luchino Visconti, crossed by Regina street. On the opposite sides of the Largo you can see the entrance of other two beautiful villas: New Villa or Gastel on the left and Villa Erba on the right.
At the end of the palms avenue turn in Via Cinque Giornate, at the height of the ‘”Kindergarten Bernasconi”, realized in 1881 with the decisive contribution of the same Bernasconi.
Keep to the right side of the street, looking on the left at the so-called “Casone”, also built by Bernasconi for his workers in the early years of ‘900. After 100 meters you see on your right the oratorio “San Giuseppe” (built in the early 60s of the last century by the architect Manouk Manoukian) and cross on the pedestrian crossing Via Cinque Giornate to go down the private road Bernasconi. This road is blocked in the center and on the right side by two Art-Deco style wrought iron gates closed at all times; the entry is permitted on the left side of the gate, which is always open (mind the stake placed in the middle of the passage). After about 100 meters there is a moving barrier that may be overcome on the left, paying attention to two stakes placed one two meters before the barrier and the other after 50 centimeters. Towards the end of the private street Bernasconi, on the left side, you can still see a building that was once part of the dyeing factory Allamel, was then purchased by Bernasconi and, at its demission in the Thirties, turned into popular housings. It ends in a recess of Via Regina used for parking, from where you can admire the beautiful silhouette of Villa Bernasconi built in Liberty style. A little further on, looking to the left, you can see the building that once housed the administrative offices and warehouses of the industries Bernasconi and today hosts the Municipal Library, the Youth Space, the Scout Association CNGEI, and the Secondary schools.
Point of departure Cernobbio, the ancient borderline of the three municipalities
Point of arrival Cernobbio, Villa Bernasconi
Route type Urban
Total length 900 metres
Time on foot 15 minutes
Rise About 40 metres
Maximum altitude 212 metres above sea level
Paving material Asphalt, porphyry, tiles, unsurfaced roads
Parking at the departure point Yes in Libertà street
Points of interest
In this stage you can find the following points of interest:
- La “cittadella della seta” (Citadel of Silk)
- Villa Nuova o Gastel (New Villa or Gastel)
- Villa Erba
- Villa Bernasconi.