That red one above is the back of my little car, that I drove one very hot saturday afternoon, in early may, a few miles outside town to Villa Malenchini. The fields surrounding the villa were turned into a big parking lot, because the two-days-event is always supposed to attract lots of people, and it always does. Beside the entrance gate to the huge park, there’s the little house of the concierge. I would make a deal just for that…..
The event held there is called “De Gustibus” and this was the X edition….It’s a mix between a trade fair, a place where to taste and try new products that represent the local and italian excellences, and a crafts markets.
The park itself was worth the long walk to the villa…..between so many different kind of flowers and plants, all for sale….
These little animals and objects are made of vegetable ivory, and my daughter now is the proud owner of a dolphin and a turtle….
These beautiful jewels are made of capim dourado, and we bought a ring and a pair of earrings …..
Can you see me reflecting on the mirror, taking the photo? Under the tent they were selling frames, soaps and bath salts, knitted caps and shawls, tableclothes, wines, chocolates, etc…..
But my real interest was the building itself. I’ve never been inside the villa and I couldn’t wait, even if just the first floor was open…..
Villa Malenchini dates back from the sixteenth century in the little hamlet of Carignano. The main building dates back to the second half of the sixteenth century, while the two wings were added at the beginning of the ‘ nineteenth century. It is surrounded by a park of 15 hectares that extends southwards towards the village of Felino , with a 1.5 km long central avenue lined with hedges cut alternately in hemispheres and cubes. At the end of the park the avenue is extended with a double row of poplars which are showing in the distance the hills, exactly on the direction of the castle of Felino.
The villa was built by the Marquis Lampugnani , Milanese nobles who were vassals of Carignano and Felino from 1650. The decoration of the interior rooms was entrusted to the Tuscan painter Cesare Baglioni. At the end of the seventeenth century it was bought by Giuseppe Cervi who embellished the villa and enlarged the park by adding other surrounding land. At his death the estate was inherited by his sisters Francesca and Rosa. Rosa married the noble Giuseppe Maria Corradi, beginning the House of Corradi-Cervi, still present in Parma and surrounding area with many palaces In 1808 the estate became the property of the family Zileri: Camillo (1764-1848) and his brother Alessandro, who was mayor of the near Vigatto village in 1820-1823. It was then bought by Count Camillo-Zileri Dal Verme (1805-1876), created Earl by Maria Luigia in 1836. After his death the house was inherited by his son Camillo (1830-1896).
Below, the main hall of the villa, a passage from the front to the back terrace. Not bad don’t you think? You can see the windows looking down from the upstair floor, and the balconies used as passages from one wing to the other of the villa.
Around 1878 the house was purchased by the genoese Marquis Monticelli, only to pass just four years later to another genoese, Lodovico Peirano. His heir Enrico Amilcare sold the villa to Count Edilio Raggio, who gave it as a wedding gift to his daughter Fortuny, who married in 1895 the Marquis Luigi Malenchini. The villa still belongs to the family Malenchini and is open for visits for groups of at least 6 people. The villa is available also for banqueting and wedding parties.
Below, this beautiful room, once the dining room, (as you can see, all the rooms are fully furnished and decorated with original pieces of the family) was used as a dressing room for the fashion show planned for the evening….
The next one was the living room, and for the occasion was the place for a local company to sell their leather and canvas purses and bags…
The old library/study was choosen for a wine testing class…
And the billard room was the place for a personal exhibition for the local painter Enrico Bonaretti.
From the back terrace, almost ready for the fashion show, you can start a visit to the park
The back of the villa has nothing less than the front….
The old stables (now a restaurant open only by appointment) were used as stands as well….
In the park there’s a typical country house still used by the sharecropper’s family….
and statues and little lodges to rest during a walk….
There’s even a little private chapel, apparently still in use
We had a really nice stay, I bought some gluten-free pasta and flours (beside the jewelry) we had a vegan ice-cream (so very good) and a cup of champagne….not bad for just one afternoon….
(See here for my previous visit)