History and Tradition
THE NEEDY LOGGIA – LA LOGGIA DEI POVERI
The Fontemaggio House has a long and well established history that dates back to the 1500 or before, in fact according to evidences, it was already inhabited during the Middle Ages. It was of common use to conncect the castle to the houses outside the stronghold through secret underground passages (those tunnels were used both as winter food and drink storage areas during peaceful times, and secret passages for citiziens seeking refuge inside the castle). Evidence of the underground passages were found during the restoration and renovation process of the Fontemaggio House.
The most virtuos time though, was certainly between 1700 and 1800.
The property was already registred in the Gregorian registry in 1813, named number 1082 and described as “rent house” (nowadays “second home) owned by Antonio Barbizzi, son of Angelo.
In Artemisia Travaglino memoir, who was teacher in Cossignano for 50 years, the Barbizzi family was described to be so wealthy that they had a sort of “Needy Loggia”: an open space where poor wondering people could take shelter and get some food (the two arches can still be seen today in the house’s north-east wall). This was such a well rooted tradition that even priest Don Guerino Capriotti (owner from the XIX to the XX century) wanted to leave this house to “wayfarer, as a refuge where they could freely rest”.