Project Description


From Basiglio, continuing on to Binasco, crossing the bridge over the Roggia Carlesca, you reach the old suburb of Cascina Vione, at the centre of a dense texture of canals that originate from the rocks Speziana and Olona, ​​hidden by thick vegetation.
In the past, this settlement was a granary of the abbey of Chiaravalle, one of those agricultural structures that the monks, since the 13th century and because of the numerous wars sustained by the Ducato of Milan, transformed into fortified and organized rural nucleuses, endowed with an autonomous legal status with special privileges.
However the village was founded in the Middle Ages:
the name appears for the first time in a notarial act of 1086, as the De Villiono’s family property. Around 1240 the castrum of Vione passes by the families De Villiono and De Brembis, the Visconti’s feudalists, to the monks of Chiaravalle, who buy it to increase the heritage of the nearby abbey. In 400 BC, by the will of Cardinal Ascanio Sforza, he was handed over to the monastery of S. Ambrogio in Milan, and remained under the control of the monks until 1796. From the territorial point of view, Cascina Vione then moves from the Sforza feud to that of the Birago and over time to some noble families. The village, however, has full administrative autonomy, such as the Commune of Viglione, until 1725, when, while being much more populous than the neighbouring country, it is unified to Basiglio territory.






The farm, like other Cistercian’s granges, was thought to be almost completely autonomous and to withstand for some time in the event of an attack or need, so that inside there was also a furnace to bake bricks and material for the maintenance of the buildings, in addition to that of the mill, of blacksmith’s forks and large silos to hold the grains.
Even today, a long walls lapped by a moat recalls its appearance as a fortified agricultural centre, while inside the space is articulated in numerous courtyards that develop around the central architecture of the St. Bernard’s church. The defensive character of the farmhouse is also evident in the most important historic buildings, such as the manor house: the small porches on the ground floor limit communication with the outside, revealing clear defensive vocations despite the lack of specifically fortified equipment.


THE FARM FROM 500 ‘TO 700’


From above Vione looks like a mosaic of houses, red roofs, courtyards and gardens, in the middle of the regular camps of Bassa Milanese.
A landscape unchanged since the Middle Ages, since the farmhouse began to appear in the local chronicles, in the maps with a name ranging from “Villone” to “Vione. A 1573 paper illustrates pastoral visits by Carlo Borromeo in the parishes and in the piers of the “Ticinese road that goes to Pavia”, and already appears Cascina Vione, near Basiglio, in the southern events of Milan.
The contours and layout of the buildings change over time, but the agricultural vocation of the area around the farm remains unchanged: in the history the boundaries of the Duchy of Milan before and then the Province change, but the geography of human settlements in this area of the Plain rests the same.
In the 18th century Basiglio and Vione are already very important centres. We can see it from paper drawn by the astronomers of Brera in 1722 of the whole territory that goes from Novara, then from the river Ticino nearby Mantua. Milan is still almost all enclosed by the ancient Spanish bastions of 1546, and develops just outside the walls. Cascina and the neighbouring village of Basiglio being on the main road connecting Lombardia’s chief town to Pavia, are at the centre of a deeply agricultural area and a network of streets and canals which allow to transport the products from the countryside to the markets of the nearby city of Milan.




In the 18th century the traces of the transformations of the farm were made more apparent: in 1853 the noblewoman Carolina Minetti, owner of Vione, in a letter, a sort of condone presented to the Lombardo Veneto land register, describes the interventions made to the farm. Many buildings have been built and many others have been modified; the village looks like a well-established settlement, characterized by large buildings with wide porches that gather around an older central body built around the primary nucleus of the church and the manor house.
It is already a structure that is very close to today’s layout. In the period between 1866 and 1887, the current system of roads is built around the farmhouse it consolidates that of waterways and rocks that are indispensable for communications and transport in the Po Valley.
In a sales act of 1912 a map shows almost unchanged property in boundaries and in buildings, virtually in its present physiognomy. The act describes the farm not only as an architectural complex but also as a true monument and place where agricultural and economic activity takes place in a flourishing and intense way. A large part of the farm’s territory, from the documents it is already intended for paddy fields, pasture, woods and gardens, a characteristic that will remain the same over the time to this day.
The conservation of the farmhouse has been facilitated by the establishment of the Parco di Milano sud: the whole territory is constrained and the buildings and the land surrounding the farm (highlighted in yellow) have been preserved by changes and transformations and are and will be in future uneditable and protected. On 26/9/2007 an agreement was signed with the municipality of Basiglio and the surrounding areas were made uneditable.