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The historical context

 

The outcrop of Montefiorino is the last land stretch of the northern Apennine, intruding in the Po valley to form the strip of Stradella. The millenary Rocca, built upon an ancient Ligurian site,overlooks the place and represents a fundamental crossroads which contributed inthe Middle Age to the development of Stradella.
In the 19th century Stradella, with its 8,000 inhabitants, was a bustling business and cultural center, whose title of City was conferred by Royal Decree of Vittorio Emanuele II dated May 25 1865. It hosted manifold industrial, commercial and wine production activities. Since 1858, Stradella is being served by the railway Alessandria - Stradella, and, since 1882, by train connections with Pavia and Milan. Since 1872, Stradella is also terminus of the tramway line starting from Voghera. In 1892, electricity was introduced in the city, enhancing the flourishing of industrial activities,such as the wine production establishment (Stabilimento Enologico), the silk spinning mills, the tannery (since 1780), four lime furnaces and three cereal mills. In1871, the Cariplo Bank opened, accompanied by the Popolare di Alessandria Bank one year later.Stradella also hosts the Social Theatre (Teatro Sociale), established in 1846 as an evident sign of prosperity and cultural vivacity. The Stradella Mayorship financially supported the appointment of a professional organ player to the great Organo Serassi, the constitution of a Philharmonic Society (since 1838), and the institution of two newspapers. Fundamental for the life of Stradella was also the activity of skilled craftsmen, whose workshops could provide the local community with every commodity. The local art craftsmanship, including that of the accordion craftsmen, was the historical heritage of the famous Maestri Lombardi of the Middle Age. They were there fore naturally able to use their professional wisdom in realizing the new musical instrument created by the brilliant mind of Mariano Dallapè.