Torre Galfa on the big screen

Milan is a city that changes continuously and in recent years, in particular, has been the center of serious redevelopment that has radically transformed some neighborhoods of the city. Just think of Porta Nuova, which today has redefined the horizon of the Lombard capital with a whole series of futuristic skyscrapers. Similar, albeit smaller, is the Isola district which has become one of the most chic areas in the whole city, frequented by young people over the weekend and home to important shops, restaurants, and communication companies.

Currently under construction, and now in the pipeline, is the Torre Galfa project curated by Unipol where Halldis will manage new apartments. Galfa has its own history, which has roots in the cinematography of the last 50 years. Right from when it was built, Torre Galfa quickly became one of the symbols of Milan’s boom. It was designed by architect Melchiorre Bega in 1956 and was home to the offices of Sarom and BP. Its construction was completed in 1959 and already managed to attract the attention of important film directors of the time.

The tower has appeared in 2 Italian films. This contributed to highlighting the skyscraper in the collective imagination of the Milanese. Today its hard, anodized aluminum facade is likely to become a glass composition capable of reflecting both the blue sky as well as the nearby Pirellone and the transformed face of the Porta Nuova district, perhaps the most modern crossroads in Milan today.

For example, one of these films is a 1964 production directed by Carlo Lizzani and starring Ugo Tognazzi. Based on the book by Luciano Bianciardi published in 1962, La Vita Agra tells the story of a provincial intellectual who leaves his family to go to Milan to plan an attack, but then renounces his revolutionary ideals to become an advertising creative, in the most propulsive Italian city in communication. It is worth knowing that the internal scenes were shot in the Pirelli skyscraper, rather than in Torre Galfa. Nonetheless, the skyscraper designed by Bega looks great even from the outside.

The presence of the tower in Italian cinema, as anticipated, does not end here. A few years earlier, precisely in 1961, Michelangelo Antonioni shot La Notte. A film in which the aesthetics of the skyscrapers that make up the Milan skyline today become a metaphor for modern business and the nature of capitalism. Antonioni's film plays on contrast that is visible from the first scene in which a 19th century liberty building is framed alongside the Pirelli skyscraper. A frame that recounts the passage of time and the same transformation that still contributes to relaunching Milan moreso into the world every day.

Even those who are not keen on cinema cannot help looking up at these architectural wonders that, on the one hand defy gravity, and on the other tell us which peaks human ingenuity can reach.
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