The Tornielli family represents one of the most distinguished and important lineages in Novara; the palace was one of their many properties. Today it is a property of the Community and of the Museum Space, where temporary exhibitions of contemporary art, conferences, lectures, and cultural events take place, spaced out throughout the year.
The Tornielli lineage was important in Novara for the role it has played throughout the course of history, since the Middle Ages. They are decorated with many noble titles tied to the villages of our region, including those of Barengo, Briona and Vergano, the gentlemen of Borgomanera and Romagnano Sesia, the gentlemen of Arboreo, and, in 1776, marquise of Borgolavezzaro.
The nineteenth century building consists of a closed sleeve with an adjoining courtyard inside. The palace serves as a vacation house; strolls, balls, concerts, and parties took place in this posh settings during the nineteenth century, as well as in its elegantly frescoes halls.
Of particular importance inside the palace are the wrought-iron grand staircase that provides access to the upper floors and the mythological frescoes that decorate the ceilings. In front of the main elevation and beyond the square lies the neo-Gothic Park that was once connected to the palace, accessible through an underground passage that crossed Marconi Piazza; lovely ornate autochthonous flowerbeds, a small circular neo-classical temple, a completely frescoed tower, and the surrounding walls that enclose the part decorate the garden, giving it a charm unique in this region.
Neo-Gothic architecture and an old circular ice house lend a distinctive atmosphere to the garden, which was shared with all in 1920, when it became a public park. The palace’s frescoed grand staircase is the headquarters of the welcoming and tourist information office, open from the spring until the end of September and promoted by the Associazione Culturale Asilo Bianco (Asilo Bianco Cultural Association).