the history


Bear hunting

This unique and impressive architectonic complex, its suggestive originality, its secular park, its tasteful location in the serene and restful panorama between the Lake of Lugano and the high mountains, is the true and most precious jewel of the province of Varese. The house itself had been built around 1400 AD by unknown architects by order of the Mozzoni family, feudal lords of large estates around Varese. Originally this building was supposed to be used during frequent visits as hunting lodge, because of very good hunting - even bear-hunting - in the near surroundings. According to Cicco Simonetta exciting bear and bear-hunts were offered to the Dukes of Milan by the brothers Agostino and Antonio Mozzoni, excellent huntsmen and refined hosts.


Ascanio Mozzoni

Later on, the whole Mozzoni family established itself at Bisuschio and commissioned the brothers Campi of Cremona and their school to decorate the walls of the house with frescoes. The order was given around 1500 AD and the decoration completed in 1559, as can be seen in one of the rooms on the first floor .In the 16Th century the marriage of the last descendant of the Mozzoni family, Angela, to a Count Cicogna originated the new family Cicogna Mozzoni. The Cicogna, natives of the province of Novara, had received the citizenship of Milan by ducal decree in 1492.
The serenity, which must have reigned, in this house is illustrated on the frieze between the ground and the first floor. All is a festive dance, a lively play of putti leading hunting dogs, racing carts, embracing each other, holding escutcheons. The third side is a camp of pagan gods: Jupiter tonans, Diana the huntress, etc.; in the three oval frames of the frieze are representation of Aretusa at the fountain and other forest nymphs. The small arches below the cornice of the roof are filled with moral mottoes and aphorism, faded through time.


The italian garden (Photo by Vincent Berg)

The exterior walls of the Casino, facing on the court, are simple but elaborately decorated with frescoes. The ground rises so rapidly that the long House Terrace west of the Casino is level with the second story . This terrace carries around the south-west corner of the private garden; and a wall and hedge, continuing at the same height round the south and east sides to the house again, give one the distinct feeling of being in a “giardino segreto”. A more thoroughly fascinating spot could not well be imagined. The flower-beds are bordered with dwarf box, and are of pleasing shape; and the west side, made unsymmetrical by the width of the house there, is filled by two balustraded pools that mark the cross axis. ROBERT WHEELWRIGHT (January 1914)
You can download a document (in italian) that explains the history of the Mozzoni family, from “il Calandari dra famiglia Bosina par ur 2003”, Varese 2002 pp. 44-70, 71-82 written by Gianpiero Buzzi e Leonida Besozzi.