Villa Mezzabarba

Villa Mezzabarba is located in Via Principale 2 in Borgarello (PV). It is a 1700-century mansion with a great historical and artistic value, surrounded by a beautiful park. Around 1700 its feudatory Giovan Battista Mezzabarba assigned to his trustworthy architect Veneroni the planning for the construction of the residence in order to build and locate it in the center of his remarkable agricultural property. It was located close by the wall of “Certosa di Pavia” and near the water ways indicated as the “Naviglio channel” that connected Mediolanum with its Ticinese capital. In that period the villa appeared majestically in a context of rural settlements existing of just small and modest homes. The area however belonged already to the game reserve of the Visconteo park and it became the set for important bloodsheds connected to the Pavia battle of 1525 nearby the County of Tre Miglia and for the imprisonment of the French prince Francesco I in the farmhouse of Repentita. The Mezzabarba family sojourned in the villa mainly during the summer and autumn months coinciding with the intense activities during the agricultural seasons and according the usual contract expiry dates. The residence design was inspired by the architecture of the Lombard villas around 1600 and 1700. Its porch, today closed by a glass window, was symbol for a particular quality element: a large shade area in which two Tuscanian pillars supporting three large semicircular arches stood out beautifully. All though the villa in Borgarello at that time didn’t represent the grandeur of some other residences in the Lombard area during the XVII and XVIII century, thanks to the simplicity and brightness of its architectural design, today it shows still a beautiful sober and decorative elegance both on the in- as the outside. Today the central part of the building is consisting of two floors. On the ground floor you will find the glass windowed porch, the entrance, six rooms, four hallways, two bathrooms and four stairways. On the first floor you will encounter ten rooms, three bathrooms and a closet. The north wing is being composed of three bedrooms and two bathrooms. Overall the north and south wings are consisting in seven rooms on the ground floor and a large salon on the first floor. In 1763 the heritage was left to Count Pious, the last successor of Gian Battista and Girolamo Mezzabarba. The Count appeared to be a poor administrator and the property, now covered by debts, was abandoned and in the end left to the Milan noble Luigi Calvi. At that time the villa lost its elegant residential image and used as a home for the agricultural estate’s tenants. The change in usage heavily influenced the safeguarding of the villa, by now partially interrupted in its functionality and damaged in some of its architectural and decorative characteristics. In 1946 thanks to the deposit of will by Paolina Calvi, the Archiepiscopal Seminar of Vengono (VA) became the owner of the villa and its agricultural property. For years the villa was abandoned and therefore ended to be completely decayed; in 1991 the mansion was bought and entirely renovated by the famous make-up artist Diego Dalla Palma who destinated it as his home and atelier. Today the Villa is going for auction with the concrete risk that further speculations could impact on the main property and irrecoverably destroy the historical heritage that it represents.
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