Rising next to the historic cellar is Palazzo Lana Berlucchi, strikingly handsome and truly inspiring, for it is the elegance of its salons, in particular the radiant Hall of the Caminadù, the imposing fireplace in Botticino marble, that encouraged Ziliani to pose that unexpected question to Guido Berlucchi, suggesting the creation of a sparkling wine “in the manner of the French.”
The residence was built in the 16th century, over pre-existing medieval structures, by the Lana de’ Terzi, a noble family with roots in Bergamo, ancestors of Guido Berlucchi. The Palazzo, which reached its current appearance in the 17th century, exhibits an amalgamation of architectural styles that are quite diverse but decidedly harmonious in their present configuration.
This noble residence served as an iconic symbol of the Franciacorta business world, in which the Lana de’ Terzi exercised a leading role, but it extended hospitality as well to illustrious guests, such as Caterina Cornaro, Queen of Cyrus and patron of the arts, whose 1495 portrait reigns over the Salone del Camino.
Climbing the stairs to the main floor of the Palazzo, one reaches the Salone dei Cavalli (Hall of the Horses), named for the equestrian motifs painted on the walls; flanking the proud horses are odd figures in Oriental clothing. Very fine is the detailed depiction of the castle of Brescia as seen from the San Giovanni quarter, where the Lana de’ Terzi family lived when they preferred the urban bustle to the bucolic tranquillity of the countryside.
The graceful appearance and priceless furnishings of Palazzo Lana Berlucchi, in which Guido Berlucchi lived up to his death, are today jealously protected by the Ziliani family. The residence, which serves as the headquarters for Berlucchi’s medical-research foundation, may be visited by participating in the Experience Gli Esclusivi programme.