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Il Cardello di Casola Valsenio

The “Cardello” house museum

The “Cardello” is strictly linked with the memory of the writer Alfredo Oriani (Faenza 22nd August 1852-Casola Valsenio 18th October 1909) one of the most original Italian intellectuals between 19th and 20th century. Indeed he spent here his entire life living almost isolated and writing his books.

The “Cardello” was built as guest quarter of the Valsenio’s Benedictine abbey and bought in 1855 by Luigi Oriani, Alfredo’s father. Oriani’s family moved to this house eleven years later and lived there until 1978 when Luigia Pifferi Oriani, widow of Ugo, Alfredo’s only son, disposed it to “Casa di Oriani Foundation” together with the large lots that surround the house.

Alfredo Oriani’s books and thoughts knew a new fame and glory during fascism. The Fascist party depicted the writer as a pioneer of regime’s ideals and theories despite the fact that the author passed away ten years before the foundation of the first nucleus of the party. For this reason Fascism made of the “Cardello” the cornerstone of the “precursor’s myth”. The regime built a mausoleum (designed by the architect Giulio Ulisse Arata) close to the house where the remains of the writer were buried. In this place ended the well-known “Marcia al Cardello”, a parade, lead by Mussolini himself, as celebration of Oriani’s memory, which took place on the 24th of April 1934.

The modern appearance of the building (almost neo romantic) recalls the radical restoration done by the regime in 1926 that completely changed its aspect. The interior, on the contrary, preserves its original aspect of a refined country house of a wealthy family from Emilia-Romagna of that time. Moreover the original studio and Oriani’s personal library are perfectly preserved and treasured inside of the house.

In the Cardello’s attic can be seen the original bike that Oriani used during the famous trip that he did through Emilia-Romagna and Tuscany. This lonely trip inspired his well-known book “La bicicletta” (1902), arguably the most beautiful book wrote in Italian on cycling. The relationship between the author and cycling is very interesting; in fact Alfredo Oriani is considered the inventor of cycling holidays.
The “Cardello” is surrounded by a huge and luxuriant park that is considered, since 1975, area of special interest by the Italian ministry for Cultural heritage and Environment.


  • Indirizzo: Via Il Cardello
  • Città: Casola Valsenio (RA)