Piero Manzoni’s childhood was spent in a number of key locations. The first was the country house at Soprazocco, acquired in 1903 by his grandfather Piero Meroni. A village in the municipality of Gavardo, Soprazocco is situated in the province of Brescia, at the foot of the Valle Sabbia, not far from Lakes Garda and Idro. Together with his younger siblings Maria Melania, known as Mariuccia, born in 1937 (died 2013), Elena, 1939, Giacomo, 1940 and Giuseppe, 1946, Piero spent much of his summer holidays there.

The other residence of choice was Albisola Capo, near Savona, the home of a branch of Valeria Meroni’s family, which represents one of the fundamental stages in the understanding of his vocation for art.

In Milan, the family lived initially in Via Saffi and then, from 1938 in Via Cernaia 4, a stone’s throw from Via Brera, the home in which Manzoni was to spend his life and in which his mother was to live until her death in 1994.


Manzoni and his father (both standing), Lake Ledro, Trentino, Italy, August 1940

Piero Manzoni, Lake Ledro, August 1940

Piero and his sister Mariuccia, Soprazocco, September 1941

Valeria Meroni with Piero, Mariuccia and Elena, Bagni Pescetto, Albisola, August 1941

Piero Manzoni’s first-grade class picture (the artist is third from the right in the second row from the bottom), Milan, 1940