The LUXARDO Museum marks markedly another phase of development for the historic brand, a leader in the production of liqueurs and ingredients for artisanal confectionery, as well as one of the oldest existing distilleries in the world.
The family’s long history, which celebrated its 200th anniversary in 2021, finds its ‘home’ here: it is a place that invites visitors on a highly evocative journey, accompanying them with an immersive and emotional experience from its origins in Zadar, Dalmatia, to the Euganean Hills where the company has been based since 1947, to bring them closer to the memory of an important past and, through the stages of a growth punctuated by significant achievements, bring them up to the present by following an itinerary marked by tireless industriousness and constantly looking to the future.
The museum found space, in the 600 sq. m. walkable space of an unused floor of the factory, left unfinished.
The access system to the museum, from the resale area, thanks to a 150-square-meter forepart overall redesigns the front of the factory and identifies the museum. A slow ramp, which makes the exhibition area accessible to all, leans against one of the two fronts of the building and is enclosed by an open envelope made of corten blades that, in some places, bend and rotate to form an inscription that identifies the building in its function and in what it houses. Corten, an alloy made of steel and copper is a true, concrete, sincere rough material has great qualities of durability thanks to its natural passivation process; it was chosen as the material because it was considered, in its colors and marked materiality, the most appropriate from a landscape point of view. It makes the volume fit into the landscape of the Euganean Hills in a coherent and silent way. But its materiality and the compactness of the volume is surprisingly negated by the presence of these cuts, these wounds that allow light to enter this path.
The system of vertical blades, detached from each other and twisted, creates a play of light and shadow, depending on the time of day and season, making it so that along the path (walls and floor), one can read the projection of the writings always differently, in 365 different ways throughout the year. More intimately, the wounds that let in light always in a different way are nothing but a metaphor for the experience of pain that generates light and strength in human consciousness and determines, where the capacity is there, the power of rebirth.
Again the twisted blades that open gashes in the envelope, generate new vantage points toward the landscape, bending the material to the new and the future.
The factory was founded by Girolamo Luxardo in 1821 in Zadar on the Dalmatian coast.
With the fall of the Serenissima Republic of Venice in 1797 and the seizure of power by Austria, Zadar was elevated to capital of the Kingdom of Dalmatia. Girolamo Luxardo a genoese patrician was sent to Zadar with his family in 1817 as consular representative of the Kingdom of Sardinia.
Girolamo’s wife, Maria Canevari, devoted herself to producing liqueurs at home and in particular a liqueur known since the Middle Ages under the name “Rosolio Maraschino.” The liqueur produced was of such high quality that Girolamo, took advantage of this family initiative by founding a factory in 1821 intended for the production of Maraschino.
In 1829 Girolamo obtained a privilege for the exclusive production of such liqueur for 15 years from the Emperor of Austria.
In 1913 it was possible to build a very modern factory, one of the largest in the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
At the end of First World War Zadar was annexed into the Kingdom of Italy. The Luxardo company soon became one of the most important distilleries in the country.
In 1940 the outbreak of World War II led to significant restrictions on industrial activity and later, with the Anglo-American bombing raids in November 1943, to the almost total destruction of the factory.
Following the retreat of Italian and German troops from Dalmatia (1944), occupation by Tito’s communist partisans took place. The inhabitants of the town were forced to leave as exiles to Italy, but many were killed: among them Pietro Luxardo and his brother Nicolò with his wife. With the factory destroyed, the family dispersed, it seemed that Luxardo’s business was destined to cease.
The only one of the surviving brothers of the fourth generation, Giorgio Luxardo, had the courage to restart the old business and in 1947, together with the young Nicolò III, of the fifth generation, built the Torreglia plant in the Euganean Hills, thus beginning a new chapter in LUXARDO history.
With a strong sense of family ownership, the company managed to get back on its feet after the countless vicissitudes it had faced in the preceding years. In the early 1980’s, came an era of substantial investment in the Torreglia plant, which is still operating
The traditional copper stills, aging vats, marascacherry orchards, warehouses and brand new bottling lines are all pillars that still distinguish Distilleria diLusso, as it was in the past.
The museum tour
The museum is divided into 5 narrative sections, in a circular visit path where the titles are: the factory, design and communication, from Zadar to Torreglia , Luxardo in the world, Your Luxardo.
The tour begins with an immersive experience, which through metaphors represented by images and language that aims at emotional involvement, allows the interlocutor two different levels of reading:
– The events that shaped the family’s history
– The emotions that the images evoke in each of us, and which open to the sphere of universal values understood as those that unite each of us in life:
- hope in the future,
- the dance of life,
- the crumbling certainties,
- the tragedy that overwhelms and upsets, and sometimes you lack courage,
- the fear of the unknown
- the serenity of a new balance
The immersive hall experience can be summed up by this sentence, “What you will see will be a bridge between the visible and the invisible, between the tangible and the intangible, a narrative of a human story that has in it concreteness and emotion, strength tenacity pain and ambition, but above all courage.”
LUXARDO – The company
Established in 1821 by Girolamo Luxardo and still entirely controlled by the same founding family, Luxardo exports its specialties in over 86 different countries around the world. With the arrival of the seventh generation, today three generations work together to continue Girolamo’s legacy
Via Romana 46, 35038 Torreglia – Padova – Italia
Tel. +39 049 99 34 090
The Museum is open Wednesday through Saturday for tours by reservation or invitation, to groups of up to 12 people per shift:
Visiting the Museum is free of charge.
FIRST SHIFT 09:30 A.M.
SECOND SHIFT 11:00 A.M.
THIRD SHIFT 3:30 P.M.
FOURTH SHIFT 5:00 P.M.
For groups of more than 12 people, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Abano.it would like to thank the Luxardo family for the material and photos used to compile this article.
Updated April 13, 2023