Grandi Giardini Italiani Srl

c/o Villa Erba
Largo Luchino Visconti, 4
22012 Cernobbio (COMO)

© Gardens of Switzerland

© Gardens of Switzerland

© Gardens of Switzerland

Parco del Museo Vincenzo Vela


Modern art park
Wheelchair accessible

How to reach

By train
Coming from either North or South (Chiasso) get off at MENDRISIO train station.
Continue by bus. Stop at Ligornetto Posta.
The museum can be reached in a 5 minute walk.

By car
From Lugano, Como and Milan: exit the autostrada (A2) at MENDRISIO. Take the superstrada in the direction of Varese-STABIO as far as the traffic-lights at STABIO.
From Varese: Cross the frontier at Gaggiolo. Continue to STABIO and follow the road signs.


Vincenzo Vela (1820-1881) was one of the greatest European sculptors of the nineteenth century and an important spokesman of the realist movement. He commissioned a Villa from Cipriano Ajmetti which was built between 1862-65 with the triple function of residence, studio and private museum for his collection of plaster casts at Ligornetto, the village where he was born.
The Villa was donated to the Swiss Confederation in 1892 by Vincenzo's son, the painter Spartaco Vela (1854-1895). In 1898 it became the second federal museum and the first in the Ticino area.
The park is a perfect example of a refined dwelling designed by the artist himself on a hillside which marked the edge of the town and the beginning of the countryside in the nineteenth century. Its function as a link between plain and hillside has been resuscitated by the recent improvement of the park in 2001 which emphasised the juxtaposition of a structured aristocratic garden, very visible from the town, with a more natural, less rigid, hidden space.
Today a stroll in the park reveals elements included by the artist: the formal Italian garden with its geometric layout, and the romantic English landscape containing a pond, citrus trees and ornamental plants. Particular attention has been paid to the recovery of botani- cal species present in nineteenth century gardens: evergreens (box, yew and bay) and ornamental plants (roses, camellias and peonies). The citrus collection is particularly varied, including the conspicuous Bushukan (“Buddha's hand”), a variety of Citrus medica. Contempo- rary art exhibitions are held regularly in the park.
Opening hours
Open all year round, Tuesday to Friday
Closed Mondays, 24, 25 and 26 December and 1 January

  • Tuesday to Friday
    - January - May 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
    - June - September 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
    - October - December 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Special openings
- 19 March
- Easter Monday
- Ascension Day
- Whit Monday
- Corpus Christi
- 1 May
- 1 and 15 August
- 1 November
- 8 December
- 6 January
Free entry

Adults: CHF 12.-
Reduced Prices and groups: CHF 8.-
Contact us
Casella Postale
Largo Vela
6853 Ligornetto (CH)

T. +41 584813040/44
F. +41 584813043
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Parco del Museo Vincenzo Vela