Ciao from a rainy morning in Rome.
I know I said I was going to write on this here blog more often but work this year has been very hectic. Perhaps things will slow down during Spring ’22! I’m not complaining as these are good problems to have, especially during these strange pandemic times.
I went to Milan last week, just overnight, for the Salone. The energy in Milan was incredible. I felt safe going to showrooms and events as there were Covid protocols in place. Milan and the surrounding area were hit hard last year and no one wants to return to a lockdown.
I’m writing this while still on a Design Week high. I went to Milan in July for work and I was finally able to visit this palazzo. It has been on my list for ages and seeing the movie IO SONO AMORE/I AM LOVE only added fuel to my desire. The full name is Villa Necchi Campiglio but most know it as Villa Necchi.
Villa Necchi was designed and built by architect Piero Portaluppi from 1932 -1935 for the owner of the Necchi company, Angelo Campiglio, his wife Gigina and his sister-in-law, Nedda. There were some modifications and additions added by Architect Tomaso Buzzi after WWII. His style was a bit more traditional and you can see the difference as you walk through the villa. The villa was occupied by the fascists during the war and the family called Architect Buzzi once they were able to finally return to their home.
It took my breath away and pictures do not do it justice. It’s amazing to see how modern these rooms from the early 20th century look and feel! It takes serious talent to design spaces that are classic yet contemporary. Portaluppi and his clients were truly ahead of their time. The Necchis entertained often and the house’s public area’s layout reflect this. This house was THE place to be back in the day.
The family had no children and instead donated their home to the non-profit FAI, the Italian National Trust.
The home has a large private garden with a swimming pool and tennis courts. Remember this is in the center of a large city! The villa is also filled with art, mostly 18th century, including artists Canaletto, Marieschi, and Tiepolo.
I won’t say anything to spoil the film for those who haven’t seen it yet but one of the most important scenes in the movie takes place in this location.
The bathrooms were to die for. Again, I couldn’t believe there were built in the 1930s. The veranda was another favorite room. The furniture was original and I could see those pieces being sold today. Even the utility rooms were design heaven. The Necchi family had custom Richard Ginori dinner service. I love the design of the “C” logo.
Style/fashion lovers will get a kick out of the sisters’ built-in closets. The custom pieces from Gucci, Ferragamo, and Hermès are gorgeous. Quality and design like that never goes out of style.
The guides were very helpful, bilingual and there were two or three on each floor. I cannot recommend visiting this gem enough. My pictures and videos from this fantastic tour are in my Instagram highlights.
All villa photos: Giorgio Majno, © FAI — Fondo Ambiente Italiano