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Old Austro-Hungarian Customs House from 1777


The Centro Parco information point in what was once the Austro-Hungarian customs house of Lonate Pozzolo is situated in Tornavento, on the edge of the river terrace, in a panoramic position overlooking the Ticino valley. The old customs house, which in more recent times was used as a farmhouse, (it is known as Cascina Parravicino) is the last of the information points in the Parco Lombardo. The customs house was built in 1737 as can be seen from the inscription which is still visible on the front of the main building. In the second half of the 19th century it lost its original function as the borders changed with the wars of independence and it was turned into quarters for the farm labourers working on the lands of the Parravicino family. There were considerable modifications to the property. In order to create as many living quarters as possible, the arches of the porch on the south facade were bricked up. A number of fireplaces were also built for the new apartments. The farmhouse was abandoned at the end of the 1960s. In 1997 it was bought by Ente Parco, the park administration body, and completely restored. In the first phase of the project, a museum was built with ancillary facilities (reading room and bookshop), offices, guest quarters and conference rooms. A second phase will involve the adjacent buildings and the creation of a pic-nic area and workshop areas for visiting school groups.