From the “broken house” to the “house that has recovered”: a path
This site is about Cascina Simonetto, an old farmstead in Villarbasse, in the province of Turin, Italy.
In 1945 it was the scene of a heinous crime, when ten people were murdered during a robbery. The culprits were sentenced to execution by firing squad. That was the last death penalty in Italy before capital punishment was abolished in 1948.
Those tragic events shed a gloomy shadow over the village of Villarbasse and the farmstead which, in the twenty-year period between 1925 and 1945, had been an innovative farm enterprise under the enlightened and reformist leadership of the lawyer Massimo Gianoli.
Nevertheless, despite the mortal wound it suffered on that fateful date of 20 November 1945, life at the farmstead soon resumed its normal course: with new inhabitants and the birth of a baby in May 1946.
That baby grew up to become the priest and writer, Don Bruno Ferrero.
Now, after a long period of oblivion, Cascina Simonetto is determined to get back on its feet and express the full potential of its Genius Loci.
The desire to start all over again, together with the beauty and strength of the place, have inspired creative processes of knowledge and transformation that have come together in two books: La casa rotta, (The Broken House) a journey into the soul of the house through poetry, and La casa ritrovata, a history of the place from its origins up to the present day through a process of reflection and purification of memory.
This site stems from the conviction that it is time for Cascina Simonetto to come out of this state of oblivion and open up to a creative and constructive dialogue with the world, to find a new definition of itself and
its future vocation.