La Fabbrica del Cioccolato

is a non profit swiss foundation that serves as a platform for the support of contemporary art, culture and entertainment, as well as for the preservation of the historical and archaeological heritage of the former chocolate factory, built at the dawn of the 20th century by the Cima Brothers from the city of Dangio, and then taken up and developed by Giuseppe Pagani under the name of Cima Norma. The production of chocolate was discontinued in 1968. Since then the former industrial complex served different purposes, most recently a residential one, until 2016 when some investors decided to acquire the main building, making of Cima Norma a place of cultural interest for the entire community and its economy, thus satisfying the desire of the local authorities expressed in Blenio Valley’s Master Plan.

The Foundation was therefore established, granting to it a surface area of approximately 3000 m2 to be used for artistic, technical-scientific and educational activities, with timing and methods to be fixed.

The Foundation immediately sought to position itself with a own perspective in the vast and fundamental world of culture. Under the direction of Franco Marinotti, involving artists and organizing seminars together with academies and universities, a curatorial path has been undertaken opening the institution to a Swiss and international audience, and focusing on the development of its potenciality and to the related commitments, overcoming various difficulties, hoping to achieve a lasting and balanced structure.

After identifying the dynamics between real estate and the contents, and thanks to experience and deepening of the strategies, there has been reached the convjnction to clearely separate, in the short term, the private spaces to those pertaining to the Foundation cultural projects, thus facilitating the sustainability of the project. At the same time, the divestment of spaces not directly linked to cultural activity will allow the Foundation to obtain valuable liquidity.

The Foundation trusts in the growth potential deriving from a strategic alliance with the Re/fugium circle from Zurich, an organization of young professionals and protagonists in the Swiss cultural and scientific milieu with their operational base in Cima Norma, Lea Loeb, Lukas von Blarer, Maximilian Stern, Stefan Breit and Jessica Huber.

Cima Norma, from the perspective of those who know and frequent it, represents an unicum both on regional and national scene. It deserves the highest attention from the private circles that continue to show loyalty to the project, without forgetting the Public body for the role played in the country’s cultural and social education. The patinated and secluded charm of the buildings and their location in the north-south connecting axis between the productive districts of Milan and Zurich, give the institution a natural mandate toward the attainment of the common good.

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 Credit: Carola Merello