Regarding the fact that I was in Milan only for a weekend I wouldn´t dare to say that I know the city. We tried to explore the city by walking around and letting Milan to surprise us. Besides of seeing the obligatory cathedral Il duomo and the Galleria Vittorio Emmanuel II, we spent the weekend going up and down in sometimes sunny and sometimes rainy city.
Milan, that is broad streets, fashion stores, green vegetation, roof gardens and ivy-wrapped buildings. I guess that the most charming thing we saw was Brera, the design district with beatiful streets, restaurants and design stores.
However, the main reason why I was looking forward to seeing Milan was to visit The Villa Necchi. I had been enchanted since I saw the movie with Tilda Swinton “I am love”, which takes place in this Milanese villa.
The Villa Necchi Campiglio is a beatiful mansion situated close to Corso Venezia on Via Mozart, which was built for family of Angelo Campiglio, his wife Gigina Necchi and his sister-in-law Nedda. The Necchi Campiglio family used to live outside of Milan, but then they decided to move to Milan so that they could be part of Milanese society of the era. Their wealth was based on the invention of Necchi sewing machine and the production of cast iron.
The house with its beautifully green garden is a peaceful place right in the center of this busy city. You can just sit down for a while, walk around or order something from the café and enjoy the pleasing atmosphere of the place where a good taste, elegance and art are joined together.
If you are interested in seeing the house from the inside, you can buy tickets for a less than a hour tour and learn some interesting things.
The villa was built between 1932 -1935 according to the design of renowned architect Piero Portaluppi who brought his vision of modern house to the smallest details. Although after the Second World War, some rooms were designed by other architect, Tomaso Buzzi, who brought a different style to the house, more traditional and classic, in general the dominant style of the mansion remains modern and minimalist.
When you enter the house you will see the stairs leading to the first floor and the entire ground floor on both sides. Thanks to the combination of open space, large windows and high ceilings, Portaluppi created an impression of even a larger space than it is in reality. Also, the light has a crucial role in Portaluppi’s design. There are no walls to block the stream of the light, so the rooms are really brighten and naturally lit. However, in case it is necessary to have privacy, the rooms can be separated and closed by sliding built-in doors. The best quality materials were used in the construction, such as walnut, marble, alabaster, lapis lazuli, stucco, and many others.
The Villa Necchi is not only an example of art-nouveau but also an example of functionality. Portaluppi took part in esthetic aspect of the design and in its functional realization as well, even the furniture was designed by him. The most advanced technology of the era can be seen in the entire house. It was used with intention of making more comfortable the life of the owners as well as of the servants. Built-in radiators, lift, dumbwaiter, security safes and other modern conveniences made the higly artistic house more modern and sophisticated.
My favorite room was the one called “Winter Garden” which used to be closed in the winter. It has too external walls made of glass, it is very bright room harmonized with the green color of the garden.
Photography by Gabi AR