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Villa Griffone

Via Celestini, 1 - 40037 Pontecchio Marconi Sasso Marconi (BO)

Date of last update: 24/05/2016, 18:13

Main residence of the Marconi family since mid-nineteenth century. It was precisely in Villa  Griffone that Guglielmo Marconi set up his first workshop and completed his first experiments in wireless telegraphy  (1895), as reported also on a plaque on the façade of the villa.  Marconi went on with his experiments mainly in the UK where his system of wireless telegraphy was developed and established on a global scale. In over 40 years of scientific and entrepreneurial activity, Marconi became a living symbol of the radiocommunications.
The Mausoleum of Guglielmo Marconi below, inspired by the Etruscan tombs and flanked by two staircases that go up to the villa, was designed by architect Marcello Piacentini. The scientist’s rests were transported to the Mausoleum with solemn ceremony in 1941. The entire complex is a national monument.
At the scientist's death in 1937, the villa became the seat of the Marconi Foundation, set up in 1938 to keep alive the memory of the great inventor.
Integral parts of the asset of the foundation are the Library, which includes some editions of the XVIIIth century and the Archive with numerous Marconian funds and the Catania-Meucci fund (concerning the inventor of the telephone) recently entrusted to the Marconi Foundation.
The Villa is seat of the Marconi Museum, dedicated to the origins and development of radio communications. Thanks to the integration of historic apparatus, videos and interactive devices, the visitor has the chance to retrace the events that characterized the formation, life and activity of the entrepreneur Guglielmo Marconi in the Company which he founded in 1897.  The focal point of the visit is the so-called "silkworm room" (for the cultures that were bred there). Greeted by the words of Marconi, the visitor enters the laboratory in which the aspiring young inventor took his first steps "playing" with electricity until, a few years later, he intuited the possibility of communicating wirelessly from a great distance and overcame natural obstacles, the first of which was the Celestini hill located in front of the window of his laboratory.
The park contains the bust of Guglielmo Marconi by the sculptor Arturo Diazzi  (1941), the bronze statue of the scientist, 8 meters high, made by the sculptor Antonio Berti (1974), the reconstruction of the antenna used in his experiments, a part of the Elettra yacht,  the radio amateur station with the IY4FGM special name and two milestones assigned by IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers) to Villa Griffone in 2011 (international recognition as a place of absolute significance for the history of science and engineering).

In Villa Griffone researchers work, as well as the Marconi Foundation, the Department of Engineering of the Electricity and Information “Guglielmo Marconi” – DEI - of the University of Bologna and the Ugo Bordoni Foundation, which operates in the field of telecommunications.

 

MARCONI ITINERARY IN BOLOGNA AND SURROUNDINGS

Villa Griffone is located in Pontecchio Marconi, about 15 km from Bologna, along SS 64 “Porrettana”. The closest motorway exits are A1 Bologna-Casalecchio and A1 Sasso Marconi. A bus is also available (blue line, no. 92), which leaves the Bologna bus terminal every half hour.

Villa Griffone