Stradella: the homeland of the accordion

Between origins and culture, the tale of the accordion history in Oltrepò Pavese.

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Article description

Stradella, today. A provincial town at the point where the Apennines is closest to the Po, or even better it literally enters it with its spur. Halfway between Pavia and Piacenza, the entry point into the Val Versa, the beginning of those gentle hills so famous for the red and white wines of the Oltrepò Pavese... and of course, famous for the song by Paolo Conte "La fisarmonica di Stradella” which immortalizes the quintessential instrument. But today, more than one hundred and fifty years after the first accordion made in Stradella, what remains of this symbol?

In the city there are still some artisans who make accordions. Stradella no longer hosts all the workers necessary to produce every single component, so some parts are ordered from outside and assembled on site. This does not necessarily mean lower quality, on the contrary: expert players are able to recognize the particular sound generated by the instruments finalized in Stradella when they compare them to instruments from other parts of Italy and the world.

For human life and civilizations, cycles begin and end. Even if the cycle of accordion production in Stradella is destined to run out, today it is still possible to enjoy the famous intonation made by ear by the artisans of Stradella. Just as it is possible to listen to their anecdotes and tricks of the trade, if you visit them in the laboratory while they are busy working. Between an instrument being repaired and a new one under construction, you might find them restoring an old barrel organ or accordion from a few decades ago.

Yes, because the historical instruments of Stradella are a cultural heritage of the city, the tale of its history that from the second half of the nineteenth century stretches until the present day. It all began with Mariano Dallapè, the genius from Trentino who, after settling in Stradella, gave rise to the production - first handcrafted, then industrial-handcrafted - of the accordion. The city museum is named after him, a collection of almost two hundred instruments that span the two centuries of this musical and productive adventure. From the very first diatonic to modern and contemporary accordions, passing through the life of a city which, at the height of its productive strength, had more than forty factories and hundreds of artisans-workers intent on producing.

Stradella is therefore the city of wine, hills, the accordion and its museum. Visiting it is an exceptional time machine that takes us into the fascinating history of Italian craftsmanship.

For more information visit the page: Accordion Museum of Stradella

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Music in Oltrepò

In an area rich in traditions and products such as Oltrepò, the musical aspect is not lacking. The Accordion of Stradella is the best known example of how a product of the territory, not tied to the earth, is known all over the world.

The Museum dedicated to it was born in 1997 with the aim of celebrating its origins and always remembering an important piece of history for Oltrepò Pavese, as well as being a way to introduce a particular musical instrument to all those who are passionate of music and who love to rediscover the territory in all its forms and facets.