One of the last walks of the year took me and my daughter to some forgotten and deserted places near our home, that we never tought about before….
First, Villa Levi-Tedeschi……..
It was built in 1825 as home of the Laurent family, being Lodovico Laurent at that time the banker of the Court of Maria Luigia, Duchess of Parma. The villa is now the private property of a lawyer, but as you can see, in need of a deep restoration. Even the adjointed keeper’s house (once the stables) is now empty (don’t get fooled by the open blue windows)…
Then it was an old factory, now dismissed, a mill that was a tradition for my hometown, and that employed so many people over the years providing sustenance to so many families in the area. The factory (Figna Mills, built in 1874) closed some time ago, after the expansion of another factory just outside town, and unfortunately has been home at night for homeless and addicts until a fire took place last summer….and this is the result. The gate were open and we carefully wandered around…..
The place is a bit dangerous, open to everyone who wants to enter (and I think about kids – my daughter posted a mail to the local tv to alert about it) but it was so sad to see that messy place that once meant so much for the local economy….even the guard house is closed and it’s a pity considering all the homeless who, especially in winter, are in need of a roof….
On our way back home we found another open gate, this time of a villa…..
As we came closer to the house we noticed a car and then a man…..so we apologized for entering a private property.
It was obviously our lucky day, because after my daughter explained to him his passion for photography and old houses and architecture, smiling he invited us inside, telling us that he was the keeper and the gardener, payed by the heirs of the original owner to keep the place safe and clean, even if they never lived in or used the house….and it’s such a shame because the house has charm even if neglected and a lot of potential….