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Hidden City

Orèggia: an exceptional intercom

Trust your most precious wishes to the orèggia, the might come true

When I go for a walk I always give a glance at the entrances of houses, sometimes I hold my breath because I know that the shadow could hide a marvelous surprise: a courtyard, a garden, a majestic staircase or a luxurious atrium. Doors, intercoms, gates… but I had never seen a gigantic ear before!

I stop, observe and scrutinize what reproduces in every detail the once shown in science books, complete with eardrum, stapes and malleus. I am curious, I want to know more. There is no such thing as something weird that doesn’t have a story to tell. I discover that Palazzo SolaBusca is a work of architecture in liberty style, and even named by the Milanese “Ca de l’orèggia” (ear house that is).

The ear is a marvelous sculpture in marble by the artist Adolfo Wildt, teacher among others of Lucio Fontana and dated 1930. But that’s not all: incredibly at the time, thanks to the transmission of sound through a channel inside the building it worked as a real intercom! It would be so cool to try it out!

An interesting fact: the work is also pictured on the cover of an album by Eugenio Finardi. A legend: if you whisper a wish in the ear, it will come true. Trust your most precious desires to the orèggia!

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