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Bracing mountain air: from alpine holiday camps to Zegna Camps

From 10 September to 30 October 2016

Once upon a time it was an alpine summer camp. It was in 1952 when, on the initiative of Ermenegildo Zegna, a summer school for kids was opened on the slopes of Monte Rubello. The inauguration was a big event, as it was attended by the President of the Republic, Luigi Einaudi. Children started using the facility on a regular basis in 1953.

Thanks to funding by Lanificio Ermenegildo Zegna & Figli and other industrial concerns in the area, the camp organized two 25-day holidays a year (until 1969for up to 144 children at a time. The purpose was to provide an educational and therapeutic program for children of employees in local industries (Biella, Vallestrona, Coggiola and Ponzone). And not only: community life in this alpine setting, as well as hiking and outdoor games, helped improve children’s health.

After the turn of the century this valuable tradition was revived in the form of Oasi Zegna summer camps. Kids are now accommodated in facilities in enchanting and panoramic locations (Trivero and Bielmonte) and given a formative experience in a familial and stimulating environment, with sport, educational workshops and recreation.

The fascinating evolution of this former holiday institution can be seen in an exhibition at Casa Zegna - “Bracing mountain air: from alpine holiday camps to Zegna Camps” – running from 10 September to 30 October 2016.