29 March 2016

Villa Necchi Campiglio – House-museum

Villa Necchi Campiglio shows off a perfectly preserved garden and interior, originally built between 1932 and 1935. Located in the heart of the city, the villa offers an escape from the daily hustle and bustle of city life.
The atmosphere is impressively austere, and although it is of course no longer inhabited, it still retains the character and essence of the habits and tastes of its bourgeoisie owners. A very attractive destination for those visiting Milan.
The sisters Gigina and Nedda Necchi and Gigina’s husband, Angelo Campiglio, all had a decisive role in 20th century Lombardy. They were the part of one of the wealthiest families in the city of Milan, thanks to the production of enameled cast iron and the famous sewing machines.
Unlike other house-museums of Milan, this villa is considered rational and modern in its style, typical of the early ’30s, and influenced by Deco elements of the architect Piero Portaluppi. This is a single-family detached house with a garden, a tennis court, a swimming pool and several outbuildings – something of a rarity right here in the centre of Milan.
The house is divided according to traditional use; we find the kitchens and service rooms in the basement and the bedrooms on the top floor for the servants. The Necchi Campiglio Family adorned the interior of their home with antique furniture and “objets d’art” of the 17th and 18th centuries. Today, the villa is owned by FAI (Italian Environmental Fund), which takes care of maintenance and guided tours. Two major donations enrich the villa: an art collection of the early 20th century by Claudia Gian Ferrari and a collection of paintings and decorative pieces of the 18th century by Alighiero de ‘Micheli.
In addition, the villa hosts regular cultural events such as the exhibition in October, “Speriamo che piova!” (We hope it rains!), dedicated to autumn, rain and all the paraphernalia to deal with it. In November the villa has a market exhibition “Le stanze dei giochi” (the Games Rooms). Notably, the villa itself starred in a recent Italian movie “Io sono l’amore” (I am Love) by Luca Guadagnino, garnering recognition in  the International Film Festival of Venice and the Golden Globes of 2011, with a nomination for Best Foreign Language Film.
The villa is part of the network of house-museums in Milan, which also includes the Poldi Pezzoli Museum, the Bagatti Valsecchi Museum and the Casa Boschi Di Stefano.