It was 1932 when St. Luigi Orione , priest of Tortona who founded the “Piccola Opera della Divina Provvidenza

now present in over 30 countries worldwide, acquired Villa Lomellini, an elegant mansion dating from the eighteenth century. From Montebello Don Orione set out willingly on his frequent journeys and stopped here during his last journey, one that took his coffin from Milan to Tortona in May of 1940. In one of the rooms, the “Chapter”, in August of the same year, the first General Chapter was held, that of his succession.

The “Casa” was in the first place a seminar, then a shelter for the Guests of the Institute of St. Catherine of Genoa and, in later years, a thriving professional training school that has taught hundreds of children the craftsmanship of mechanics and carpentry. School activities stopped in 1984 to make room for the novitiate and reception of groups for retreats and spiritual exercises. In the 90s, a renovation project was finally launched, which further changed the face of the Facility, leaving its current connotation of Convention Centre and Casa per Ferie.