A true landmark, and one of the most beautiful and degraded monuments in the area. It’s historical and artistic heritage is overwhelming. Built early in the 16th-century it was subsequently purchased by the dukes and used for representative events, parties and ceremonies. Elisa Bonaparte, the youngest sister of Napoleon Bonaparte, who was the emperor of France at the time, also used the villa as she would've probably liked to wander around the gardens and enjoy the panoramic view.
Through the centuries the villa witnessed countless additions and renovations. It can be deduced that nothing remained of the original ancient building constructed over 400 years ago. Nonetheless it resulted in this beautiful piece of architecture.
During the Second World War, the villa got requisitioned. It housed the local command of the Wehrmacht. After the war, the roof needed to be repaired because it got damaged by allied shootings.
From this moment on the history of the villa remained obscure. For three decades it hosted parties for the Italian Communist Party. And most recently a murder between the two heirs took place just outside its gates. The heirs both had different plans for the villa resulting in one of them driving over the other with a car.
The current state of the villa is even worse. Being neglected for decades it turned into a sorrowful condition. Various initiatives have been promoted by local associations resulting in thousands of signatures from people who believe this villa and its history need to be preserved.
An old photograph of how the garden used to look like. Filled with fruit, palm, and cypress trees. The garden's layout changed a lot over the decades due to different ownerships. Besides being abandoned for a couple of periods it also has been open to the public to visit as a park. Nowadays only the tallest balustrades rise above the overgrown plants and trees.