Thursday, June 14, 2012

Villa Necchi-Campiglio, something special to see in Milan

The beautiful residence built between 1932 and 1935 by architect Piero Portaluppi. The villa was built right in the city centre by the Italian industrial family Necchi who made their fortune by manufacturing sewing machines and enameled household goods. Silver doors, inlaid mirrors into precious woods and parchment covered walls are some of the details.  The villa encloses one of the most beautiful Milanese gardens, a heated swimming pool and tennis court.

The two sisters Gigina and Nedda Necchi as well as Gigina’s husband, Angelo Campiglio, lived in the villa until the 1940s – when the Fascist minister Alessandro Pavolini sequestered the villa as his command headquarters. After the end of the war, the British moved in, afterwards the Dutch consul. During all these decades, the interior decoration remained unchanged. As late as in the 1960s, the former owners were allowed to move in again. And right away they told designer Tomaso Buzzi to spruce up the dusty interior decoration by Portaluppi with more lively style elements. Buzzis measures were characterized by a traditional style, quite different from his predecessor – now the stern marble fireplace faces baroque tapestries. This eclecticism is unique, and remains hotly debated among purists. 

It was donated to the FAI in 2001 by the sisters Gigina Necchi Campiglio and Nedda Necchi. After three years of restoration and 6 million Euros Villa Necchi is now open to visitors. The house is displayed as if the sisters were still in residence.  The wardrobes contain couture and family photographs remain on the tabletops. The bathrooms are a particularly ahead of their times, the guest bathroom’s use of a freestanding wall to conserve space is more akin to a contemporary design.  

Inside the villa, two wonderful collections: Claudia Gian Ferrari’s collection of works of art dating from the early 20th century (with 44 works by various artists, from Arturo Martini to Giorgio Morandi, from Giorgio de Chirico to Mario Sironi) and the collection of 18th-century paintings and decorative arts donated from Alighiero and Emilietta De’ Micheli (with paintings by Canaletto, Tiepolo, Marieschi and Rosalba Carriera as well as precious Chinese porcelain and Lombard majolica, miniatures by Jean Baptiste Isabey belonging to Napoleon).

Villa Necchi is part of ‘The Historic House Museum of Milan’, which includes Bagatti Vasacchi Museum, Boschi-Di Stefano Home and Poldi Pezzoli Museum.

For further information please visit


Source: Italian Government Tourist Office

1 comment:

  1. Milan is not an easy city to visit as a tourist, especially compared to Venice/Florence/Rome. Other than the Duomo and the shopping it can feel very cold, busy, dirty and commercial, but there are so many hidden treasures like this one if you put in the time and effort to find them. Great city.


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