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The largest italian museum: the historic mansions

The seventeenth-century Collegio Innocenziano building which hosts today Eitch Borromini is part of the so called “Historic Mansions” – that is, of properties considered by the Italian Law as of cultural, historical and anthropological interest. Let’s take a closer look to this huge open-air italian museum, of which our’s is one of the very few inside the Eternal City.

The Italian heritage
He first European mapping, made in 2019 by interviewing more than a thousand owners of sixtyseven Historic Mansions – most of which concentrated in France, Italy and England – was about approx five billions euro of annual investments only to ensure the opening to the public, a turnover of more than three hundred billions and nine millions jobs. More interesting, though, it was another aspect emerged from this study: the strong ties with local communities and the resulting contribution of Historic Mansions to local cohesion and development.
In Italy, maintenance alone of private historical assets worths one per cent of italian employment, and every euro invested in Historic Mansions generates two for the local economy. The Italian Historic Mansions Association deals with houses and palaces, villas and castles but also with gardens and agricultural estates, many of which UNESCO world heritage sites. And each of these properties has a precise identity, for both its value and the bond with places and people. A real estate heritage of more than thirty-seven thousand mansions, mainly located in the countryside as well as small municipalities and, for one third, outside urban centers – which therefore determines landscapes.
We are talking about properties and sites of cultural and historical reference, today a bulwark against depopulation and abandonment of territories but also of knowledge. In fact, Historic Mansions involve many production chains, from the artisan and restoration ones to that of tourism. Not to mention the economic even if profoundly cultural dimension, where for instance – in addition to the permanent and traveling exhibitions’ spaces, and in addition to the hospitality for public and private events – a third of Italian wine production is linked to one of these mansions. And this means generational transmission, training, research, investment and enterprise. Valorisation of stories, traditions and productions. Up to the rediscovery - and, hopefully, the recovery – of ancient but already forerunners of environmental and social sustainability crafts.

The Art of restoration
In 2022, the interventions on the building in which Eitch Borromini is located concerned both the exterior and interior, including the vast frescoed vault of Library’s Aurora Room – a figurative cycle of Divine Wisdom Triumph made between 1667 and 1672 by Francesco Cozza.
Diagnostics, research, design and (art)workers: only in 2020, the case histories of excellence concerning the restoration of protected assets and historic building without the use of modern materials were about a hundred, fifteen of which in Lazio (Rome’s) Region. This is one of the largest Italian intangible capitals, made by techniques and technologies but – above all – by professional excellence. Hundreds of thousands of artisan companies at the service of more than four thousand museums and Art galleries, almost six hundred monuments and about three hundred archaeological parks. Especially today, against the background of contemporary pollution factors, climate changes and consequent extreme weather phenomena. In few words, of Time’s signs.
A deep-rooted and attentive knowledge, the one of Italian restoration. Not by chance, considered among the best in the world.

Once arrived at the center of Navona’s Square, raise your eyes, look at Sant’Agnese in Agone Church and the building immediately to the right: Eitch Borromini, our Historic Mansion in the heart of Rome, renewed with utmost care and profound respect, is awaiting you.

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