Thursday, 31 May 2012

New Guzzi museum at Mandello: MG MUSEUM

Motociclismo magazine reports today that there are plans afoot to build a new museum at the Guzzi factory at Mandello. There's a museum already of course, but opening hours are a bit loose at best, and though there's plenty of bikes to see, some of the exhibits have gone awol over the years. Plans are to make the museum bigger, and have it open independently of whether ther factory is open, or whether any activity is actually going on in there. There would also be a decent shop too, a bit like the setup at the excellent Piaggio museum in Pontedera.

Apparently the museum would be called the 'MG MUSEUM', and would be supported by the local Lecco regional council who sees the Guzzi factory and museum at Mandello as a vital part of the local tourist trade. It'll all cost about 8 million euro though - so in these times of financial rack and ruin, it's doubtful it'll happen very quickly.

I first went to the museum in 1992, and I was the only person there. I had called beforehand and was told to be there at 3pm, which I was. A little old man unlocked the door, and ushered me in, and said I had 15 minutes! It was all in one room in those days, and the floor had an aged but fantastically period 1950s green linoleum covering. The bikes on display were unloved and not looked after, covered in dust and cobwebs. There was no 750 S3, and I asked why. "Don't know came the reply." Some bikes had bits missing, or different sidepanels. Anway, an experience, and how the museum has changed nowadays.

Here are some shots of mine from that very visit. The Motozappa was my favourite exhibit, and I regret not buying one cheaply a few years ago when I lived in Italy.


Anonymous said...

I was on holiday a few years ago staying at Varenna a few short miles up the road from the factory. Part of the plan for the holiday was to visit the museum but it turned out it was shut for the fortnight in August. That was a big disappointment, but an excuse to return some day.

ITALIAN MOTOR magazine said...

Most of Italy is shut for business during most of August, so that's no real surprise - they're all at the beach - and I doubt that will change even if they build a new museum with continuous hours. I think the idea is that it'll be accessible during 'normal' working hours, rather than opening at 3pm and only if there are enough people to warrant it. In other words, give some certainty to travellers like yourself that it'll b eopen at more or less any time of the day someone arrives in Mandello. Just doesn't sound very Italian though...