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The Scarzuola

TSt Francis allegedly stayed here in a straw hut, returning from Perugia ; on the spot where later Nerio di Bulgaruccio would stand a small church. In 1400 then the area was enlarged by building the Monastery lately known as Scarzuola, property of Franciscans till 1876.
The architect Tommaso Buzzi (1900 - 1981) bought the area surrounding the Scarzuola convent in 1956 and he planned and realized the Città Buzziana, rising near the convent, in twenty years' time.
The aim of his plan was to create a sort of "ideal" city where a blend between nature and culture could take place.
The result has been an architectural complex where symbolisms, allegories and any kind of citations are scattered throughout it and where there are many small and empty rooms that make it appear like a giant termitarium. Tommaso Buzzi is considered one of the most interesting Italian designers of the XX century and he has been a subject of research during the last years.
He was a protagonist in Milan in the 20's and the 30's of the XX century. He played an important role as the organizer of numerous manifestations and reviews about national and international applied arts.
He worked in the domain of furniture and planning. Fantasy and irreverence, together with the continuous use of humanistic, literary and classical quotations that distinguished his works, earned him the sympathies and the loyalty of the nobles and the high society, even though they probably prevented the architect from being renowned outside these environments.
In 1956, when he retired, he decided to buy the convent of the Scarzuola and to transform it into a sort of "autobiography on stone" of his career as an artist, as he himself states in his book "Lettere Pensieri Appunti 1937-1979" (Silvana, Milano 2000).
This is how he created this bridge between old and new, keeping the structure of the convent and adding his "ideal city" to it. The Città Buzziana is an architectural composition inspired from neo-Mannerism as it can be inferred from the staircases that cross the complex and by the extension and the lack of proportion of its shapes, but also from the numerous statues that are present everywhere.

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