Born in Turin in 1920 to a family originally from Dronero, Luigi Mallè was an esteemed art historian and served as director of some of Turin’s most important civic museums. A university professor, he travelled frequently, amassing a large collection of works of art and other objects.
The Museo Mallè was created in 1995 when Luigi Mallè left his house to the municipality of Dronero so that it could become an exhibition space for his collections.
The first floor of the museum hosts works belonging to the permanent collection, ranging from the 16th to the 20th centuries, while the second floor is dedicated to Luigi Mallè himself, including his personal life: family photographs, furnishings, objects and paintings of great value which he had collected over time.
The museum’s diverse collection includes 42 pieces of furniture; 59 ceramics from various countries including China, Japan, France and England; 129 paintings and drawings from the early 17th century to the second half of the 20th century; 204 photographs; eight 19th-century clocks; 38 prints from 1750 to 1890 and 15 pieces of glassware such as carafes, goblets and vases, including one Gallé and one Daum, as well as majolica ceramics, Art Nouveau vases, small ornaments, toys, fans and opera records.
Visitors can explore the first and second floors of the museum. The first floor is organized chronologically, from the 16th to the 20th century. Of particular note are some canvases from the late 16th century and a statue in multi-coloured wood from the Trentino school of Stefano Lamberti. The 17th-century section includes works by painters active in Piedmont at the time, including Charles Dauphin’s “Allegory of the Guardian Angel” and a series of Flemish and Dutch works. The 18th-century room is home to antiques and works by Giovanni Battista Crosato, Francesco De Mura and Giovan Domenico Molinari and rococo prints by Johann Wolfgang Baumgartner.
The next room features landscape painters of the late 19th century, while the final display area is dedicated to 20th-century painters. Family photographs, furnishings from a late-19th-century parlour, a neo-Renaissance dining room and objects and paintings of various kinds can be found on the second floor.
Local sights: church of Santa Brigida, church of San Rocco, historic hospital, Ponte del Diavolo bridge, parish church of SS. Andrea e Ponzio, the Torrazza, church of the Confraternita del Gonfalone, Berardi tower-house, wheat market, church of the Cappuccini, noble palaces, medieval walls and gates
In the area: Filatoio di Caraglio silk factory, Roccolo castle in Busca, Maira Valley
Typical products: polenta, raviolas, game, chestnuts, cheeses, anchovies, “Droneresi” sweets
Sports: hiking, rock climbing, skiing, ski mountaineering
Events: “Palio dei Rioni” (May), anchovy festival (June), medicinal herb festival (July), patron saint’s day dedicated to Madonna di Ripoli (September), Christmas markets (December)
Bookshop, conference room with 50 seats.