In December 1981, when Gian Marco Moratti, husband of Letizia Brichetto Arnaboldi, decided to acquire the entire property, a new adventure began for Cigognola.
The following year, a disastrous fire destroyed most of the building. Gian Marco and Letizia Moratti entrusted its reconstruction to Renzo Mongiardino, a legendary master of historical décor, to whom they were connected by friendship and prior client relationships.
In this way, resplendent rooms were restored with an assortment of fantastic decorations using furnishings, paintings and antiques alongside Mongiardino’s ingenious reinventions.
15th century Florentine Damier murals are combined with Mannerist quotations from Palazzo Te in Mantua, inspired by the figuratively painted wooden ceiling of the Church of St. Martin in Zillis near Graubünden.
Mongiardino worked side by side with Letizia Moratti during the entire creative journey. Many of his best artisans later joined the San Patrignano community’s school of arts and crafts, an institution of recovery from drug addiction and for professional training, passionately supported by the Moratti family since its inception.
Cigognola’s plan is distributed over several buildings, surrounded by a wall and an embankment, on which a high crenellated tower with long corbels stands. An entry stairway leads off from the inner polygonal courtyard.
The castle has a fairy-tale effect on the surrounding landscape, conjuring up the chivalric tales described in the novels of Sir Walter Scott, Massimo d’Azeglio and Tommaso Grossi, playing a central role within the geometric texture of the vineyards that frame it.
The tower is the sentinel, the characterizing vertical element that soars beyond the mighty wall mass that outlines the ancient fortress.