“Art is never finished, only abandoned.”
Leonardo Da Vinci
Felix De Vecchi, a Count who had traveled many parts of the world and been a soldier came home to Italy. He bought with him a passion for the East which is reflected in the home he was about to create Villa de Vecchi.
Only in his thirties, it was a time of travel and romance. I imagine him wandering the area near Lake Como and deciding on the perfect place to build his summer house.
He chose the architect Alessandro Sidoli, and work progressed. The many innovations included are well documented, such as the use of heating tubes within the walls similar to those used today. Serving hatches were used to bring food from the kitchens to the upper floors, and the fountain was able to shoot into the air using pressure from the slope of the mountain.
It was a home created with passion and imagination. Extensive gardens and parkland were planted, a keepers house built, parties held, and many summers were spent living a charmed life.
Exquisite decorative fresco’s covered the walls and ceilings, in the hall there are the remains of a grand piano and a huge fireplace in the next room. We can only begin to imagine how glorious it must have been.
Villa de Vecchi was a stunning work created from the imagination of both men.
That it still brings forth such a response so many years later is a fitting testament to the creative genius of these men.
Sadly Alessandro was not to see the final result, he died a year before completion.
The count and his family were said not to live a full and happy life together at the Villa. It’s been reported that one day he returned home to find his wife murdered, her face disfigured and his daughter missing. He searched the woods for weeks without finding a trace. Distraught he killed himself. I do not in any way say this story is the truth but it is the popular story of what happened.
It was 1862, he was only forty six years old.
After his death the house was passed to his brother Biagio, who at the end of the sixties completely removed the Eastern influence from the keepers house replacing the dome and decorations with stone. The Count’s family owned Villa de Vecchi and spent many summers in it’s beauty till the early forties.
Abandoned for the next twenty years it was sold and has had a number of owners.
This glorious dream a young man began so many years ago fell into decay, the pipes that had been so innovative helping in it’s downfall as they slowly broke within the walls. Vandals and time began the process which continues today.
The urban legend grows with talk of ghosts and tragedy.
Even as I look at these images I can picture Felix De Vecchi strolling through the grounds notebook in hand, dreams in his heart. Those who fell in love with the house and it’s beauty are attempting to save it. The process is complex yet I can only hope it succeeds.
Perhaps the legacy of Felix De Vecchi and Alessandro Sidoli will live on, with help not only from those close by but from all over the world. His story and that of Villa De Vecchi will one day be fully told and shared.
Please note every effort has been made to verify the above information for Villa de Vecchi, if you are able to update, correct or give any further information I would be very happy to hear from you. ciao lisa