Casalzuigno (VA) Villa della Porta Bozzolo

Built in the 1500s as a country villa, it later became a represetntative noble residence and was embellished, in the first half of the XVIII century, with an imposing Italian garden, one of the most majestic and harmonious landscape creations today surviving in Italy. The interiors preserve one of the most sophisticated and unitary decorative cycles of the Lombard 1700s, essentially attributable to Varese workshop of Magatti. The body of the villa is flanked by interesting farm buildings, including cattle sheds, stables, cellars, hay lofts and a monumental wine press.

The Baroque garden

The scenic Baroque garden is unusually laid out along a main axis parallel to the facade of the villa and links in surprising succession, from bottom to top, the long access avenue, the main “parterre” with flower beds, four terraces linked by a grandiose staircase, a huge, sloping lawn named “the theatre”, closed by the large fountain at one end, and the steep avenue of cypress trees leading into the wood as far as the top of the hill that overlooks the valley and the estate.

The secret garden

An elegant gate, surmounted by four statues depicting the seasons, separates the main “parterre” from the secret garden, where a shady oak-lined avenue leads to an impressive aedicule with pronaos, with a fresco portraying Apollo and the Muses.

A secluded and private place for solitary thoughts in the company of the god of poetry and music, far from the magnificence of the main garden.

The ballroom

The huge central hall on the ground floor of the villa was probably used as a ballroom; it is embellished with a large marble fireplace and trompe-l’oeil frescoes imitating architecture, trabeations, cornices, niches and gates opening onto landscape views; the ceiling of the vault relinquishes every aspect of materiality to become a sky where mythological figures flutter and putti support medallions.

The library

A singularly secluded place far from the high-society frenzy of the large garden and the other rooms close to it, the dark and silent library was undoubtedly intended for solitary intimacy.

The splendid 1700s wall-mounted walnut bookcases were home to the ancient papers of the family, social and economic history of the villa, from the 1500s onwards, as well as important works by Italian and international authors.

The long gallery

Leading to the apartments on the noble floor was intended to welcome guests visiting the villa by anticipating through a profusion of decorations the splendor of its owners. In this setting, the walls, ceilings and the doors themselves are transformed to give life to a fantastical scenography in typically Rococo’ taste, rich with flowers and garlands, that overcomes – through the illusion of the tromp l’oeil architecture, perspective views and the profusion of colors – the constructional simplicity of the environment.

How to get there without a car:

Take the LeNord train from Milan Cadorna station. Check on the site of the railroad company for their current schedules, they have two trains every hour, about 1 hour and half from Milan to the station of Cittiglio.

Villa della Porta Bozzolo can be reached with the Autolinee varesine bus departing from the train Station LeNord of Cittiglio.

Courtesy of FAI Fondo Ambiente Italiano