The Museo Italiano della Ghisa (Italian Museum of Cast Iron) has two exhibition sites in Longiano: a small one in the historical center and a larger one on Via Emilia near the district of the Ponte Ospedaletto.
Italian Museum of Cast Iron (“M.I.G. Sede Centro Storico”), Historical Center – former church of Santa Maria delle Lacrime (Via Santa Maria 18/a)
In the picturesque 18th-century church of Santa Maria delle Lacrime, the Fondazione Neri – Museo Italiano della Ghisa displays some of the most significant exemplars of its collection. Visitors are immediately impressed by the unique beauty of the cast-iron chandeliers which stand out against the brick construction of the building.
In the past, specifically between the second half of the 19th and the first decades of the 20th centuries, these objects were intended to illuminate our cities; today they survive to tell the story of this fascinating but little known material.
Of note are the pieces from cities both in Italy, such as Turin, Bologna and Vigevano, and in Europe, such as Dublin (two large exemplars manufactured in France) and Vienna.
The theme of lighting is harmoniously linked to that of water in the display of a model of a columned fountain from Austria and of splendid masks of animal and human forms which once spurted jets of glittering water.
The tour ends with a rich collection of door knockers and an interesting array of photographs concerning the exhibited objects: photos from recent and past times, historical postcards and catalogue pages showing several items or particular details.
Italian Museum of Cast Iron (“M.I.G.”), Via Emilia/Ponte Ospedaletto (Emilia State Road 1626)
A large industrial space which preserves traces of its original use (production of paints by the company Neri spa) hosts the exhibition consisting of some sixty street lamps manufactured in great foundries of the 19th century, some of which bear the signature of renowned artists such as Duilio Cambellotti and Ernesto Basile. In addition the display contains dozens of other functional objects that embellished public places: park benches, fountains, a wide range of railings and supports, door knockers and wheel guards.
A quality work of casting is preceded by the design and creation of the mold. The entrance area is dedicated to the creation of the model, the first stage in the casting process, while the “more industrial” area, located near the sandblaster and the paint production line, explains the procedure that occurs before the actual pouring.
From October to May: Saturday, Sunday and Holidays 2:30 p.m.- 6:00 p.m. from June to September: Saturday, Sunday and Holidays 3:00 p.m.- 6:30 p.m.; visits for groups and educational institutions can be arranged all the other days only by appointment ( 0547 665484).
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