Palatium Vetus, now home to Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio of Alessandria, is the first municipal building of the town of Alessandria and preserves important traces of medieval history. The Gae Aulenti architectural firm managed its restoration, enhancing the historic structure, allowing legibility of the stratifications of almost eight centuries of history, but also to merge contemporary taste: the lightweight glass and steel structured roof of the inner courtyard allows this open yet sheltered area to be enjoyed.
The building, town hall during the Middle Ages, then home to Spanish governors, the House of Savoy and Napoleonic Prefects, was the centre of the political and administrative life of the town for many years. The layout of the original centre of medieval origin preserves several Gothic decorative elements, such as the three-light windows, frescoes and decorations of the indoor environments. It could be called broletto, namely seat of the town government in the 13th and 14th centuries that features a specific type of construction with a portico on the ground floor and a spacious upper room.
The inner rooms, both the exhibition room on the ground floor and the conference room on the first floor, where part of the Fondazione’s art collection is on show, are open to the public by appointment or during events.
The collection includes works of painters and sculptors with strong links to the area at a time that stretches from the latter decades of the 18th century to the second half of the 20th century. The stars are artists such as Pellizza da Volpedo, Morbelli, Barabino, Bistolfi, Carrà and Morando. A section of the collection is dedicated to the Battle of Marengo and makes it possible to trace a crucial period in local and international history.
The exhibition in the ‘ice-house’ of Palatium Vetus preserves the finds emerged during the work carried out in the palazzo: an extraordinary journey through history, the Roman epigraph of Calpurnia, originating from Villa del Foro and restored thanks to Fondazione Cral, was presented in the courtyard.
On the outside, one of the Hundred Canons donated by the town during the wars of Italian Unification is walled up in the corner of the Palazzo.
Opening times: Saturdays and Sundays 9.00 – 13.00 and 15.00 – 19.00.
Closing times during the Christmas period: from 24 December 2021 to 7 January 2022.