Visit to the Villetta...
A mistake to have thought the villa would be perfect. Not a lot, but just enough. Turns out, Could be perfect, would have been the proper verb construction. Bad boy. I should never have done that! It compromised discovery and adventure. I must be rusty. Or, deep down I wasn’t much into it. Sometimes dreams are keener than reality. Or, reality kills them off. My subconscious surely had an inkling. I consistently refused to acknowledge the messages. So…
I went, I looked, I left. Done.
Charm and fascination are funny commodities. What appeals generally might not elsewhere. I don’t think you are supposed to crawl & scratch to get to them. Am I spoiled in my old age? Others, like You, for instance, may disagree. By my guest: scratch away.
The interior of the mock-Palladian villa and its older sister’s Fin du Siecle’ wing left me disoriented, distanced, bludgeoned by way too much stuff. No… excuse me… let me put it like this… WAY TOO MUCH STUFF!!! Furniture, books, clothes, pictures, paraphernalia, every pot ‘n pan known to Man…. farm-equipment!!!… cluttered, disordered and dirtied by the dust of neglect. Hey! Where are the house vibes? Stifled. Unreachable. Hidden. No room for its spirit to breathe. Not even a whisper heard of the villa’s abandonment when i nonni passed away in quick succession back in ‘00. I doubt the three heirs have yet to put a foot inside a doorway. Shame on them!
The villa is in three parts. Normally, Oh! Goodie, would be the response here. The oldest part is the wing lent up against… or squeezed in between… a very tall stone wall of the passing street to its left and the cube-like white & cream frescoed villa in prime picture-taking stance on the right.
The former has a big open terrace and window & door cornices bordered in terracotta brick. Easily spotted and enjoyed. A basement of cantine and a garage capped by that big open terrace, a gracious adjunct to its First Floor salotto of an immense length and little width. An 8 x 3 proportion. A modest fireplace inhabits one corner. This is followed by a luxuriously blu-tinted grey tiled 50’s styled bathroom with classic Italian early-chromed fixtures. The Second Floor has three bedrooms. Their bathroom is at the end of the hallway. A quirk of sorts: the staircase communicating between this wing’s floors fills what would have been the fourth Palladian-squared room in the white stucco-ed main villa. The dimensions fit a stairs.
The later part was either re-styled in a severe Deco mood or the terracotta window & doors mouldings were elaborated and summarily stucco-ed over after the Big Quake of ‘22. The Assessment? Tiny rooms. Stuffed to the gills tiny rooms. Four per its two floors. Scaled down Palladio, if there ever was. Overwhelmingly, each tiny room has A MAJOR FIREPLACE!!! Nice motif, baring the later modifications of shrinking them to miniscule… fits tiny… or plugging up entirely their fireboxes. Stepping through the entrance doors, on the left is a kitchen with its MAJOR FIREPLACE!!!, the quirky staircase, and then, on the right a library with more books than you can imagine… skyscrapers of books in front of skyscrapers of books… and its MAJOR FIREPLACE!!! and a salotto with its EVEN BIGGER MAJOR FIREPLACE!!!!! and the ubiquitous clutter and disorder and dust. Up the stairs… risking one’s neck to climb over the farm-equipment with sharp, jabby things… very scary looking prongs… to the three bedrooms and the proverbial… The bathroom’s at the end of the hallway, dear. Ditto clutter and disorder and dust. Cobwebs too.
Behind these two sections and up a treacherous series of stone stairs and through the accompanying jungle is the small Servants Quarters… I suppose. Could not get through the door to find out. An apartment. Once-upon-a-time, servants and/or other could come & go undetected by escaping up another series of dangerous stone stairs to the bridge above. To Freedom!!!
The garden in front of the two houses is a lumpy grassy terrace. BIG LUMPS. Sorry, no badminton or soccer. The Good News is you could land a helicopter on it. The surrounding foliage is quite picturesque. Italian evergreens mixed in with deciduous Italian nature. Cluttered and disorder. Cement and terracotta planters repose underneath the overgrowth in a scenic sort of distribution. Now that IS charming.
No deal. No perfect-ness. Off onto new horizons. We might build.
May I speak of stuff? No doubt about it: SUPERCALIFRAGILISTICEXPIALIDOCIOUS!! Just look at what’s on the mantle of the EVEN BIGGER MAJOR FIREPLACE!!! Merely a hint of what could not be adequately photographed. Peccato. The house may not have moved me, but the stuff surely did. I may go back with You and rummage for some gems. A woven cane seated bent walnut three-seater sofa. I know he’d be up for that or, he wouldn’t be You.