Italy is undoubtedly a wonderful country, full of natural and artistic beauties that are the envy of any other nation.
Among the most enchanting places in this country, they are counted villas and historic houses, often still private but open to visitors.
Here you will find a taste of the most deserving.
10 - Castle of Brolio, Madonna in Brolio (SI)
The medieval castle has been owned by the Ricasoli family since 1141. Over the centuries it has suffered several attacks, both for the clashes between Florence and Siena, for the Aragonese and Spanish invasions, and for the bombings of the Second World War; for this today shows different styles ranging from medieval to Romanesque architecture with neo-Gothic and nineteenth-century additions. The property has gardens of extraordinary beauty and is surrounded by several hectares of Chianti vineyards, oak and chestnut woods and typical Tuscan hills.
9 - Castello di Gabbiano, Mercatale in Val di Pesa (FI)
Built around the year 1124, it has undergone several changes over the centuries, first under the ownership of the Bards, then under the ownership of the Soderini, up to achieve today's form during the seventeenth century: the families that have succeeded in the property after the Soderini have no longer changed the appearance of the castle but have continued a careful work of conservation and maintenance of the structure.
8 - Dal Pozzo Castle, Oleggio Castello (NO)
Built around the year 1000, it took its present form in the nineteenth century when Claudio Dal Pozzo D'Annone ordered the renovation of the structure to Richard Popwell Pullan. Today the Victorian neo-Gothic style structure has become a Luxury Boutique Hotel.
7 - Villa Piovene da Schio, Castelgomberto (VI)
Lying on a glue, the villa was commissioned by the Piovene family in 1656 and built in 10 years with a austere and aristocratic style, of sure Palladian inspiration. In 1700 the portico that runs through the villa on three sides and the Italian garden, home to precious sculptures, were added.
In the main hall of the villa there are three paintings by Tiepolo.
6 - Gabiano Castle, Gabiano (AL)
Located in the Monferrato, it appears to be previous to the year one thousand. Equipped with a strategic position, the castle was of enormous economic importance and, in spite of itself, the scene of wars and looting. The restorations began in 1908 and have been carried out over the years, with the hope of keeping intact a historic residence of enormous prestige.
In the 30s, in the heart of the castle park, the architect Lamberto Cusani installed a labyrinth, emphasizing the contrast between the rigid and geometric lines of the castle layout and the naturalness of the garden.
5 - Malpaga Castle, Cavernago (BG)
Malpaga Castle is an emblem of 1300 architecture. The property has one crenellated walls and a tower that dominates the plain of the Serio river. Not being built on a hill, the castle was protected from external invasions by a moat, which gives it a fairytale atmosphere. With the invention of gunpowder, changes were made to the castle, building a second moat and raising the walls, in order to make it more defensible.
Even today the structure is perfectly integrated with the nature that surrounds it.
4 - Casa Lajolo, Piossasco (TO)
Casa Lajolo is a classic country house of a Piedmontese gentleman. The villa, whose appearance dates it to the eighteenth century, has a Italian garden on three levels: the first, in front of the house, the second which hides an English garden and the third which houses an orchard.
The class of 1700 still lives today for the rooms of this historic residence of high artistic value.
3 - Orsini Apostolic Palace, Lecce
Today a bed and breakfast, the Orsini palace in Lecce has undergone many transformations over the years that have given it a late nineteenth-century style facade, a large entrance hall with a lowered vault, which houses the staircase to the upper floor, built in 1700. The structure has also of a courtyard linked to a raised garden that houses a centuries-old araucaria and a Renaissance well. Very beautiful neoclassical fountain enclosed between two ovoid scales.
2 - Palazzo Litta, Milan
Located in Corso Magenta, Palazzo Litta is one of the main symbols of Milanese Baroque architecture. Commissioned by Bartolomeo III Arese in the early 1600s, the palace was enlarged a century later when it became the property of the Litta family. It undergoes several changes of ownership and is damaged during the wars before being restored. There is no deep knowledge of its history but its own architecture is of extreme value and symbol for the Italian Fine Arts.
1 - Eremo delle Grazie, Monteluco (PG)
Built in the sixteenth century and enlarged in the seventeenth, the hermitage of Santa Maria delle Grazie hosted famous people, such as Michelangelo Buonarroti, who called it a place of peace. Passed to a private residence at the dawn of the unification of Italy, it was opened to the public in 1991, with the aim of preserving it and making it known to as many people as possible. It offers an enchanting view of the Spoleto mountains and is a luxury hotel.
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