Gandino - The Salone della Valle

The town plan of the historic urban settlement of Gandino is medieval, despite the fact the majority of its buildings were built subsequently.
Its winding streets, once interrupted by internal doorways and the open spaces of squares dominated by important monuments, have shaped this town significantly.
In one of these squares known as Piazza del Comune, exactly opposite the Town Hall, one finds the Palazzo della Valle (the Valley Building) with a 17th century façade that is sober, embellished only by the crafted contours of its windows and main door. The building cannot certainly be considered prestigious if compared to the many noble residences in town. Nonetheless, it is a place which symbolises the civil community. Debates are still held on problems regarding work, the management of public affairs, of relations between single individuals, as the statutes governing civic life in past centuries once stated.

The Building underwent continuous transformations in particular on its internal parts, but the large hall on the first floor and sandstone staircase with crafted balustrades remain practically intact. It starts from the lobby which opens onto the square with its regular shape, dominated by the fountain and the Town Hall, redesigned with a neoclassical form in the 19th century.

The Salone della Valle is a large room with a cloister vault, where lateral walls are hidden from sight by period walnut cabinets, with their clean and essential lines.
The central insert of the vault is decorated with a painting from the early 20th century by local painter Pietro Servalli, representing the deed of deliverance of Gandino from the Ficieni family in 1233.

The Palazzo della Valle was built at the beginning of the 17th century, almost twenty years after the construction of the Vicar’s new residence, decided by the Consiglio di Credenza (privy council) with a resolution on 8 August 1590 and obtained from the eastern wing of the Town Hall. It housed the Vicar’s administrative and judicial offices (bancum iuris) but moreover it was the official seat of the Council of the Community of Val Gandino, the collective body which met in the hall of the same name presided over by the Vicar or the Podestà or Rector, the highest local authority.
Currently the premises of the Town Council, the Salone della Valle is the site where the highly valued historical archives of the community of Gandino and homonymous Valley are kept in antique cabinets.