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

William Dellorusso
Lombardia in Cucina: The Flavours of Lombardy

Milan-style risotto, pizzoccheri Valtellinesi, and pumpkin tortelli to start; casoeula, Milan-style cutlets, frogs stewed in tomato to follow, and to send, a slice of sbrisolona cake or panettone.
Lombardy surprises with the richness of its culinary traditions and natural ingredients, which modernity has barely affected.
"Milano in Cucina" captures this kaleidoscope of flavours, with contributions from some of the most celebrated chefs on the culinary scene, who pay homage to their territory, and whose skill is able to present a modern vision in keeping with the region's progressive spirit.

The Italian Academy of Cuisine
La Cucina: The Regional Cooking of Italy

Fifty years ago, a group of Italian scholars gathered to discuss a problem: how to preserve traditional Italian cooking. They formed the Italian Academy of Cuisine to document classic recipes from every region. The academy’s more than seven thousand associates spread out to villages everywhere, interviewing grandmothers and farmers at their stoves, transcribing their recipes—many of which had never been documented before. This is the culmination of that research, an astounding feat—2,000 recipes that represent the patrimony of Italian country cooking. Each recipe is labeled with its region of origin, and it’s not just the ingredients but also the techniques that change with the geography. Sprinkled throughout are historical recipes that provide fascinating views into the folk culture of the past. There are no fancy flourishes here, and no shortcuts; this is true salt-of-the-earth cooking. The book is an excellent everyday source for easily achievable recipes, with such simple dishes as White Bean and Escarole Soup, Polenta with Tomato Sauce, and Chicken with Lemon and Capers. For ease of use there are four different indexes. La Cucina is an essential reference for every cook’s library.

Milano in Cucina: The Flavours of Milan
The famous Risotto Alla Milanese gets its golden hue from the precious spice saffron. Legend has it that the dish came about when a Milanese painter decided to gild the risotto served at his wedding banquet with a harmless gold-colored dye. In Milan, they traditionally serve Risotto Alla Milanese with ossobuco (braised veal shank).
Traditionally made with raisins and candied citron, or with a creamy cream filling, the light, fluffy brioche-like bread called panettone may be tall or short, covered with chocolate or flavored with various liquors, but it’s always a symbol of the Christmas season.
With its hallmark domed shape, panettone graced Christmas tables in Milan since at least the 15th-century. Common knowledge claims its invention is from Milan. It is the most famous Christmas Lombardia food.

The Pax side of the Moon featuring Cesareo
Lombardia (Dicon tutti che sei mia) Quarantine Version - feat. Cesareo (Quarantine Version)

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