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The small but important Herman Hesse Museum is situated in the Camuzzi Tower, an integral part of the historical ensemble of buildings of the Camuzzi House, a wonderful example of the prestigious work that architects from Ticino carried out in 19th Century Saint Petersburg. In 1919, when Herman Hesse was forty-two, he rented a modest apartment here. After a period of crisis motivated by the separation from his family and by the terrible consequences that he had foreseen for the first world war, Herman Hesse started writing again and discovered painting as a source of serenity and peace of mind.
It is at the Camuzzi House that “Klingor’s Last Summer”, “Siddharta”, “Death and the Lover”, “Steppenwolf” as well numerous poems, short stories were written and many watercolours painted. In 1931, Herman Hesse moved with his third wife, Ninon, into the Pink House, in whose garden he took pleasure in growing flowers and vegetables. His creativity was further confirmed by later works such as “Time in the Vegetable Garden” and “Magister Ludi”, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1946 and “Letters”. Many important people (among whom Theodor Heuss, Thomas Mann e Bertolt Brecht) came to visit the writer in Montagnola. Herman Hesse became a Swiss citizen in 1924 and felt very much at home in Montagnola: the incredible landscape and the special conditions of light on the Golden Hill fascinated the artist. To this, we must add, the friendly welcome he received by the people of Ticino whom he continuously praised in his stories.
His works have been translated in 60 languages; 150 million copies have been published globally. The Herman Hesse Museum in Montagnola, the first of its kind and the only one in Switzerland, was inaugurated on July 2, 1997 in occasion of the 120th anniversary of the writer’s birth and preserves precious tokens of the last 43 years of life of the artist and painter, who died in Montagnola in 1962.
The museum is a place of encounter for visitors from all over the world. In the video room a documentary is projected in Italian, German and French; books in different languages exhibited at the entrance and in the garden invite one to read and think. Along the route called “On Herman Hesse’s Footsteps”, one can admire the unique landscape of the Golden Hill.
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Entrance CHF 8.50 / 7.-
Free entrance until 12 years
Motorway – Lugano Sud Exit. Continue in the direction Lake of Lugano, at the first traffic light turn left towards Ponte Treso/Agno Airport.
The road then ascends to Sorengo. At the Sorengo crossroad (Pizzeria Giardino) turn left, pass Gentilino and go straight until one gets to Monatgnola (about 2.5 km).
In the town square (Piazza Brocchi) where there is a post office and several cafès there are three public parking lots.
From here one departs to reach the centre of the old town and after about 150 metres one reaches the Camuzzi House and the Camuzzi Tower (follow the signs).
Go in the direction of the Lugano train station. Just before the station follow the indications for Ponte Tresa/Agno Airport.
At the traffic light turn left in the direction of Gentilino/Montagnola. Then follow the above indications.
Take a train to Lugano. From Lugano (from the bus station at the centre of town in Via Balestra or from behind the railroad station in Via Sorengo) a bus leaves for Agra that stops in Montagnola in Piazza Brocchi. The trip takes 15 minutes.