#61 / Spring in Milan at Villa Necchi Campiglio
It’s a shame olfactory newsletters haven’t been invented yet, otherwise today I could have taken you to somewhere bathed in the aromas of roses and peonies, freesias, violets and lilacs.
After all, flowers are the real stars of this email: symbols of spring, beauty and rebirth, they help us escape from the unpleasant times we’re currently living in.
And so, let’s trust the beauty of nature which, in spite of everything, continues to press on. In fact, the flowers have already started to blossom and are tingeing the cities with shades of pink, white and yellow, at least here in Italy they are.
Italy’s most beautiful gardens will take centre stage in these spring newsletters: let’s use colour as an antidote to the greyness!
First stop: Villa Necchi Campiglio, in Milan.
I love the many hidden spots in and around my city, and when this beautiful 1930s villa-museum was reopened (in 2008, after undergoing restoration from the FAI*), I rushed to admire the garden before even seeing inside.
A WALK IMMERSED IN GREEN
I can still remember my very first glimpse: a pathway lined with a veritable urban garden! On one side, seasonal vegetables – tomatoes, courgettes and aubergines in summer; while in winter – chard, lettuce and cabbage in a thousand shades of (beautiful!) greens and purples. On the opposite side, aromatic herbs – sage, thyme, and rosemary. Not forgetting strawberries and raspberries...
The grounds of Villa Necchi Campiglio are built around the swimming pool: it feels incredible to sit on one of the marble seats and admire the pergola, take a deep breath and soak in the first scents of spring.
Magnolias, lime trees, beech trees and sycamores stand tall all around you. The grounds feel just like a small forest – and the incredible thing is that we are in the heart of the city centre here, nestled amongst the most elegant and stylish streets.
Not to mention the box hedges and hydrangeas, geraniums and violets...
AND WHAT A VERANDA!
I gaze at the front of the Villa from here, fantasising about how wonderful it would be to live within these walls. Of course, the original furniture might prove challenging... but who knows what brilliant ideas I could come up with while sitting on the famous veranda, which overlooks the garden and is itself entirely green: not only because of the colour of the armchairs and sofas, but also due to those tufts of ferns in the small conservatory housed in the space between the double glazing. What an idea!
A PERFECT SET
In short, between both the garden and the interior, this Villa is a must-see. And if visiting in the near future isn’t on the agenda, you can admire it in a couple of films that are set here: I Am Love, by Luca Guadagnino, starring Tilda Swinton (2009). And a few scenes from Ridley Scott’s recent House of Gucci, starring Lady Gaga.
Lots of love, hooray for spring!