Umberto Bonini, Museo della Galassia [Museum of the Galaxy]

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About the Artist/Site

Umberto Bonini, a trader in men’s clothes, lived in Calice al Cornovigli in the Liguria area of Italy. In the 1960s he suffered a nervous breakdown, and was admitted to a psychiatric hospital. He described a vision he had while in a coma, a circular structure like a whirling vortex, turning towards the light. He remembered this vision, and in the 1970s began constructing a series of structures on his 6,000 square meter property, continuing to work until his death.

He named the site after the galaxy due to his vision, which he reproduced physically through the construction of a large circular castle, constructed from stones from a nearby river, as well as with a series of metal spheres, tubes and cylinders that cover the grounds. Taken together, they depicted the galactic universe for Bonini.

The site is enhanced with a beautiful botanical garden, laid out by Bonini himself, which includes terraces, ponds, fountains (some in the form of genitalia), footpaths, lawns, and more. The complex is currently cared for by Bonini’s son Mario, and may be visited as a museum on Sundays and public holidays.

~Henk van Es


Map and site information

13 Via Rapallini
Calice al Cornoviglio, Liguria, Italy
Latitude/Longitude: 44.244092 / 9.837336


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