Museum of the Tasso family and of the postal service

Description

This cobblestone path leads to Cornello dei Tasso small historic centre, which still conserves its original medieval structure. In the past the village was placed along 'Mercatorum road', and was therefore the centre of trade with Valtellina, Bergamo and Venice.

The decline of such commercial road began at the end of the 16th century, which is when the Republic of Venice, in an attempt to increase trade with Valtellina, built a new valley road, the Priula, which crossed the entire Val Brembana but no longer passed through Cornello. The village was thus cut off from traffic. Its centuries of isolation helped preserve the original layout of the village. Cornello dei Tasso rises on a rocky spur ('corna' or 'cornel' means 'rocky spur') and is characterized by the superimposing of four levels ofbuildings. In the lower part, a number of buildings are aligned horizontally, overhanging the Brembo river, which shows the original fortified character of the village.

Between the first and the second level of building is the layout of the old Mercatorum road, whose stone arcades and wooden beam ceilings make the village unique. The third level of building is wider and more diversified; it comprises remarkable architectonic buildings as well as humble houses that preserve their external old structure.

Cipriano and Cornelio church dominates the village. It was built on an original structure from the 11th century whose ruins are still observable in the sacristy. Its elegant bell in Romanesque style has got mullioned windows and an ogival on its faà§ade.

Inside the Church is an interesting fresco cycle dating back to the 15th and 16th centuries, some of which have been attributed to the Baschenis family from Averara. Of great interest are 'The Miracle of Saint Jiles ' ( the patron of blacksmiths) for the environments, dresses and working tools from the 15th century, 'S.George', 'S.Agatha', and ' The Adoration of the Magi'.

Cornello was the hometown of the Tasso family. They established a private mail company which monopolised all postal services in Europe from the 14th century.

The Tasso family: men of letters and postmasters The name Cornello is linked to the Tasso family. Even though the latter is widely renowned only for its two men of letters who are Bernardo Tasso and his son Torquato (author of 'Jerusalem Delivered'), it can be also considered as one of the first multinationals in Europe, given that for centuries it had the monopoly of the postal services in Europe.

Initially the whole family took part in the foundation and management of this company (Compagnia del Corrieri della Serenissima). After 1460, some members of the Tasso family were put in charge of the Papal postal services and carried out such a task until 1539. In the meantime other family members, especially brothers Francesco and Janetto, undertook on contract the Tirol postal services.

The King of Spain Filippo I and the Emperor Carlo V officialised such contract with a series of postal treaties. This marked the beginning of a new, golden era for these people, who were the postmasters of the Imperial posts for centuries. Such role allowed the Tasso family to create a thick network of relations with various European cities, which made them earn special privileges, honours and coat of arms. In the 17th century the German branch of the family, also known as Thurn und Taxis, attained princely rank.

The documents conserved in Bergamo archives confirm that the Tasso family was originally from Cornello and that its first member was Omodeo. Despite its complexity, the Tasso line unanimously managed to defend his economic interests and family privileges. One of the most significant documents is the will of Ruggero Tasso, who was the brother of the famous Giovan Battista, Simone, Maffeo and Davide.

They replaced their uncle in the management of the Imperial postal services and organised them in Germany, in Milan, in Spain and in Venice. After inaugurating the Imperial postal services in Venice, Davide spent his last years in Cornello, in the palace that still conserves the family coat of arms, decorated by an imperial eagle. Exhibition criteria The Museum spans two estates, one of which is owned by the Town Hall, while the other is a gratitious loan by the Province of Bergamo.

Once the visitor reaches the small square in front of the Church, he can get to the Town Hall estate by going up some steps in local stone. The first small room of the Town Hall building contains some documents, materials, volumes, dissertations and old books about Bernardo and above all Torquato Tasso. The room is dedicated to Mons.Daniele Rota, who donated all the exhibited material.

There are also the copy of a bronze bust of Torquato Tasso, realised in plaster by Attilio Nani, and different editions of 'Jerusalem Delivered'. In the second upper room are some documents concerning the postal activity of the Tasso family in Bergamo, Zogno, Bretto and the hamlet of Camerata Cornello. The same room comprises a section dedicated to the history of the postal services after the Tasso family; such section gathers material from the History Museum of the Ministry of Communications in Rome.

Of particular interest are a stamping machine used in the post offices of the Kingdom of Italy (1877 -1890), a Morse telegraph (1873) and a copy of the first transmitting antenna device (1895), which Guglielmo Marconi used for his experiments in Griffone Valley in Pontecchio. On the ground floor is the audition room, which screens educational videos. The estate belonging to Bergamo Province is used to welcome the visitors and provide them with educational material. Along the walls of the ground floor is a genealogical tree draft of the main branches of the Tasso lineage. The most famous Tasso postmasters are also represented (for instance, Francesco Tasso 1450-1517).

The modern methods they introduced are explored as well, such as the establishment of ordinary rather than random connections among the most important cities, stop stations every 20-25 kms for the change of the dispatch rider (a man or a horse), well-defined travelling times, and prices depending on the service.

Another section features the House of Absburg, which put some members of the Tasso family in charge of various postal services. The centre of the room is dominated by a copy of Penny Black, the first postage stamp, which was issued in 1840 by Hill and that Angelo Bolaffi donated to the Museum. There are also five stamps issued in Italy by the Lombardo Veneto Kingdom and donated by Adriano Cattani. At the entrance, the Bookshop showcases publications and educational material produced by the Museum.

On the upper floor, a series of display cabinets exhibit some Tasso stamps as well as the history of communications in various European countries. The third room contains an interesting postal station model from Piemonte from 1815 as well as James Van Der Linden's and Paolo Volmeier's donations, which have enlarged the Museum throughout the years.


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This cobblestone path leads to Cornello dei Tasso small historic centre, which still conserves its original medieval structure. In the past the village was placed along 'Mercatorum road', and was therefore the centre of trade with Valtellina, Bergamo and Venice.

The decline of such commercial road began at the end of the 16th century, which is when the Republic of Venice, in an attempt to increase trade with Valtellina, built a new valley road, the Priula, which crossed the entire Val Brembana but no longer passed through Cornello. The village was thus cut off from traffic. Its centuries of isolation helped preserve the original layout of the village. Cornello dei Tasso rises on a rocky spur ('corna' or 'cornel' means 'rocky spur') and is characterized by the superimposing of four levels ofbuildings. In the lower part, a number of buildings are aligned horizontally, overhanging the Brembo river, which shows the original fortified character of the village.

Between the first and the second level of building is the layout of the old Mercatorum road, whose stone arcades and wooden beam ceilings make the village unique. The third level of building is wider and more diversified; it comprises remarkable architectonic buildings as well as humble houses that preserve their external old structure.

Cipriano and Cornelio church dominates the village. It was built on an original structure from the 11th century whose ruins are still observable in the sacristy. Its elegant bell in Romanesque style has got mullioned windows and an ogival on its faà§ade.

Inside the Church is an interesting fresco cycle dating back to the 15th and 16th centuries, some of which have been attributed to the Baschenis family from Averara. Of great interest are 'The Miracle of Saint Jiles ' ( the patron of blacksmiths) for the environments, dresses and working tools from the 15th century, 'S.George', 'S.Agatha', and ' The Adoration of the Magi'.

Cornello was the hometown of the Tasso family. They established a private mail company which monopolised all postal services in Europe from the 14th century.

The Tasso family: men of letters and postmasters The name Cornello is linked to the Tasso family. Even though the latter is widely renowned only for its two men of letters who are Bernardo Tasso and his son Torquato (author of 'Jerusalem Delivered'), it can be also considered as one of the first multinationals in Europe, given that for centuries it had the monopoly of the postal services in Europe.

Initially the whole family took part in the foundation and management of this company (Compagnia del Corrieri della Serenissima). After 1460, some members of the Tasso family were put in charge of the Papal postal services and carried out such a task until 1539. In the meantime other family members, especially brothers Francesco and Janetto, undertook on contract the Tirol postal services.

The King of Spain Filippo I and the Emperor Carlo V officialised such contract with a series of postal treaties. This marked the beginning of a new, golden era for these people, who were the postmasters of the Imperial posts for centuries. Such role allowed the Tasso family to create a thick network of relations with various European cities, which made them earn special privileges, honours and coat of arms. In the 17th century the German branch of the family, also known as Thurn und Taxis, attained princely rank.

The documents conserved in Bergamo archives confirm that the Tasso family was originally from Cornello and that its first member was Omodeo. Despite its complexity, the Tasso line unanimously managed to defend his economic interests and family privileges. One of the most significant documents is the will of Ruggero Tasso, who was the brother of the famous Giovan Battista, Simone, Maffeo and Davide.

They replaced their uncle in the management of the Imperial postal services and organised them in Germany, in Milan, in Spain and in Venice. After inaugurating the Imperial postal services in Venice, Davide spent his last years in Cornello, in the palace that still conserves the family coat of arms, decorated by an imperial eagle. Exhibition criteria The Museum spans two estates, one of which is owned by the Town Hall, while the other is a gratitious loan by the Province of Bergamo.

Once the visitor reaches the small square in front of the Church, he can get to the Town Hall estate by going up some steps in local stone. The first small room of the Town Hall building contains some documents, materials, volumes, dissertations and old books about Bernardo and above all Torquato Tasso. The room is dedicated to Mons.Daniele Rota, who donated all the exhibited material.

There are also the copy of a bronze bust of Torquato Tasso, realised in plaster by Attilio Nani, and different editions of 'Jerusalem Delivered'. In the second upper room are some documents concerning the postal activity of the Tasso family in Bergamo, Zogno, Bretto and the hamlet of Camerata Cornello. The same room comprises a section dedicated to the history of the postal services after the Tasso family; such section gathers material from the History Museum of the Ministry of Communications in Rome.

Of particular interest are a stamping machine used in the post offices of the Kingdom of Italy (1877 -1890), a Morse telegraph (1873) and a copy of the first transmitting antenna device (1895), which Guglielmo Marconi used for his experiments in Griffone Valley in Pontecchio. On the ground floor is the audition room, which screens educational videos. The estate belonging to Bergamo Province is used to welcome the visitors and provide them with educational material. Along the walls of the ground floor is a genealogical tree draft of the main branches of the Tasso lineage. The most famous Tasso postmasters are also represented (for instance, Francesco Tasso 1450-1517).

The modern methods they introduced are explored as well, such as the establishment of ordinary rather than random connections among the most important cities, stop stations every 20-25 kms for the change of the dispatch rider (a man or a horse), well-defined travelling times, and prices depending on the service.

Another section features the House of Absburg, which put some members of the Tasso family in charge of various postal services. The centre of the room is dominated by a copy of Penny Black, the first postage stamp, which was issued in 1840 by Hill and that Angelo Bolaffi donated to the Museum. There are also five stamps issued in Italy by the Lombardo Veneto Kingdom and donated by Adriano Cattani. At the entrance, the Bookshop showcases publications and educational material produced by the Museum.

On the upper floor, a series of display cabinets exhibit some Tasso stamps as well as the history of communications in various European countries. The third room contains an interesting postal station model from Piemonte from 1815 as well as James Van Der Linden's and Paolo Volmeier's donations, which have enlarged the Museum throughout the years.