The Bronze Ear of Casa Sola-Busca – Milan, Italy - Atlas Obscura
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Milan, Italy

The Bronze Ear of Casa Sola-Busca

Before there were doorbells this bronze ear was installed for visitors to announce their arrival. 

Sitting quietly among the early-modern buildings of Milan’s Zone of Silence neighborhood is the Casa Sola-Busca which would almost go unnoticed if it weren’t for the huge ear made of bronze jutting out next to the doorway.

The Zone of Silence is so named thanks to its location, tucked away from the main traffic of urban Milan. It is filled with buildings that reflect the transition from traditional Middle Ages architecture into modernist design. The Casa Sola-Busca, or as it is nicknamed, the “Ca ‘de l’Oreggia or “House of the Ear”, is one such building which is fairly classical in design but features the outstanding flourish of a large, ear-shaped arrival horn. Crafted by master sculptor Adolfo Wildt and maestros Lucio Fontana and Luigi Brogginiin in 1930, the bronze auditory organ was equipped with an early intercom. Guests would announce themselves by shouting directly into the building’s ear.

The ear was still in use long after its original creators vacated the building, but was finally stoppered after the modern tenants grew tired of curious passersby shouting into it. However the formerly functional sculpture can still be visited today, just begging visitors to turn the Zone of Silence into a Zone of Loudness.

Know Before You Go

It's really simple to go here. Take the metro (M1) and exit on Palestro station. It's about two minutes by foot.

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