Not just coins! ... The origin of Palazzo Morani, seat of the Municipality of Prevalle

Palazzo Morani-Cantoni (18th century) Going up the bank of the Chiese river before Gavardo, this door leads to Valsabbia, where the roughness of Serle degrades and the Prevalle plain opens up at the foot of the winding Mount Budellone. Here, in time immemorial, once the marshy lands had been healed, the districts of Goglione arose and here the history of the town began. Today, Prevalle still preserves numerous corners that exude the past and among these some real treasures. Perhaps the most important and certainly the most fascinating is Palazzo Morani-Cantoni, now the Town Hall. Thus begins Lechi, author of a monumental work on the Dimore Bresciane, in the chapter dedicated to it: "There, where the plain is interrupted here on a terrace looking towards the Churches, and here stands this great unfinished building alone but, in many ways , very interesting. Palace of great size but well balanced in the volume of the masses. The central body rises not too much, but just enough, to make the whole harmonious. The palace was built by Count Giovanni Morani towards the first half of the Eighteenth century. The Morani family, which represents a fleeting reality of the Brescia aristocratic panorama, bought the land in the Notica locality in 1731 from the Conter family forced to do so by the huge accumulated debts. We do not know exactly the start date of the works but on the arch in the backdrop of the vast orchard located at noon, there is an inscription with the date 1752. It seems to confirm the time of construction of the factory. it was never completed. Count Morani, probably due to family misfortunes, abandoned the building which still remains an unfinished work. We do not know, for example, the function attributed to the vast central tower-shaped body, perhaps a huge ballroom, while the other room next to it still has the remains of a fresco with a perspective that perhaps heralded its use as a theater. Even in popular tradition it has always been referred to as the "theater room". These imposing rooms are accessed by means of a staircase of great scenic effect. By subsequent inheritance, the Morani family extinguished, the building passed to the Camplani family and then to the Cantoni family but none of these was ever completed. Precisely because of this peculiarity that saw it uninhabited for long periods and in any case with large spaces never completely inhabited, it was also surrounded by an aura of mystery. The stories of the tunnels below and the presence of the famous trap have accompanied many generations and still today there are many who ask where they are and where they lead these enigmatic underpasses that branch off from the building in several directions. Notorious festivals culminating with the sacrifice of young men and women thrown into a pit dotted with sharp blades. How many times have we heard the whisper of this and more in a subdued and fearful tone. What about the small and proud colomberina that rises from the roofs. Once this was considered the imperturbable seat of the ghosts of the old inhabitants of the palace. Not infrequently people competed to bring the evidence by telling episodes in detail on the presence of a ghostly ghost in the guise of a friar, perhaps in memory of a Count Morani who became a friar and buried in the church of San Zenone towards the end of the eighteenth century. Therefore, a palace pervaded by the charm of mystery and legend but which holds even more unusual curiosities. For example, the unpublished and very curious graffiti which is covered in the rustic room overlooking the rooms on the first floor. Here, several generations have left with means and expressions linked to the changing times, from charcoal to chalk, from pencil to felt-tip pen, the signs of their boredom, of their goliardic streak, of the desire to be there and ... finally, of their own personal suffering. The first charcoal strokes can be dated towards the end of the eighteenth century while the last writings date back to the restorations of the eighties. Among the first stands a powerful and eternal "will be a cojò who reads" with immediate and equally unequivocal reply "and a pig who wrote above". A real repertoire of rare expressiveness! But the history of the palace does not stop there. In the past it was the site of a real weather station. In 1883-1884 the owner, the engineer Geronimo Cantoni, already a fighter on the occasion of the glorious Five Days of Milan in 1848, Deputy in 1865 and in 1867 installed his own personal meteorological survey station, of which he published the "Thermopluviometric Observations" in the Commentaries of the University of Brescia. In 1869, the same ing. Geronimo Cantoni, tried to give a new name to the place, from all, including local maps and cartographies, indicated as "Palazzo", proposing to the Municipal Council of Goglione Under the new name of the estate: "Aratro". The City Council, unanimously, took sides instead to leave the current name unchanged. But we are sure that the history of this palace is not all here: who knows how many other secrets are hidden among the stones of these walls, among the ravines and niches of this imposing building. Once upon a time, the local elders called it "Palace of the hundred windows", entranced by the interminable sequence of openings that overlook the magnificent "Viale dei Gelsi" in a perspective of great effect. One last surprise is revealed here too: the real facade of the Palace turns not, as it seems evident, towards the town, but towards the green countryside of the Chiese and towards the gentle morainic hills with explicit reference to the style of the noble Garda residences of the XVIII century. Perhaps, we want to imagine, a happy premonitory intuition, which today makes it visible and known to many travelers who, from the Brescia-Salò ring road, greet its imposing body and "true" facade, discovering its inveterate beauty. size = "medium"