Story: Marvelling in the Mara Valley

Mi casa es tu casa

In Rovio, Mendrisiotto, the artist Yuri Catania invites you to his home to explore art.

A truly unique house stands on the slopes of Monte Generoso, in the historic village of Rovio: CasaGalleria.ART. Those who decide to cross its threshold can enjoy an unconventional art experience. Their hosts are the international photographer and visual artist Yuri Catania and his wife Silvia Torricelli.


Silvia Torricelli e Yuri Catania, hosts in CasaGalleria.ART.

 Silvia Torricelli e Yuri Catania, hosts in CasaGalleria.ART.
We want to share our home – our most important place – with others, because art needs to be experienced.

Yuri is a fashion and design photographer. Since 2012 he has also been working as an artist, taking part in international exhibitions and displaying in famous museums around the world. In 2018, after years of non-stop travel, he settled in Rovio, in the Mara Valley, where he and his life partner Silvia fell in love with the local area and decided to make a dream come true: CasaGalleria.ART. A house that is both their home and a modern gallery at the same time. Silvia and Yuri welcome visitors, pamper them and offer them an informal artistic experience in an evocative natural setting. It’s just like visiting friends in their home.


The home is usually a person’s most important and intimate place. The idea of arranging this space in a new way and sharing it with others wouldn’t suit everyone. For Yuri and Silvia, the home, like art, should be experienced in company, and above all in a relaxed atmosphere. The CasaGalleria.ART sets out to offer people a truly unique experience.

People like discovering how artists live: what they do, where they sleep, where they work.

Indeed, in addition to visiting the works on display, guests have the chance to get to know the artist, to chat with him, to watch him at work in his studio and to stay if they so wish. The house overlooks a beautiful garden lovingly tended by Silvia, who grows all kinds of flowers. “Those who want to stay longer… can,” explains Yuri with amusement.


CasaGalleria.ART is open to the public by appointment 7 days a week to guarantee that the artist is always here. Different offered packages include a visit to the gallery with the artist and customised photo sessions, all combined with the opportunity to enjoy an aperitif or a lunch. Silvia picks seasonal, local produce that she skilfully pairs with Merlot wines from the region.

“We therefore manage to convey the local area through art and help to promote it,” adds Silvia. 

CasaGalleria.ART, Val Mara
Pro tip
Did you know that Gerhart Hauptmann, Nobel prize for literature in 1912, often visited the town of Rovio? His piece “The Heretic of Soana” was actually set at the foot of Monte Generoso.
With the exhibition “I gatti di Rovio”, for several months the historic centre of Rovio was populated with blow-ups of cats that Yuri had glued in place thanks to the invaluable support of the locals.
In addition to the vegetable garden, there is a small table in the centre surrounded by some seating and comfortable chairs that invite us to take a break and contemplate Monte Generoso.

Silvia and Yuri have slotted perfectly into Rovio’s social fabric. Much of this is due to their spontaneous way of relating to other people, who enrich them with their emotionality and wonder.

Yuri is an inquisitive and eclectic artist. Over the years this has led him to experiment with new languages, such as collages. A key example was “I gatti di Rovio” exhibition, the street art project produced using a technique called paste-up.

“Doing art means conducting social experiments,” explains Yuri. This is a concept that the artist once again put into practice with “Black Flower Secret Garden”, a collection of nocturnal shots of the flowers grown in the garden by Silvia. After talking about the project with some neighbours, many of them decided to take their own shots of nature in the dark. Recently, the garden has also been enhanced by spectacular edelweiss.

In the Mara Valley, surrounded by lush nature, the art of good living becomes something accessible to everyone, which can be experienced in person.

To do so, simply cross the threshold of CasaGalleria.ART. 

“Art has to be wide-reaching. It has to touch the heart and mind.”