If you have not seen Luca Guadagnino’s movie I am Love, you need to immediately…and not just because it is set in the place I call home in Italy, in Milan, and on the Riviera. It’s one of the most beautifully shot and styled movies of the 21st century.
One of the major stars of the movie is Villa Necchi Campiglio, a beautifully appointed Art Deco masterpiece that warrants it’s star status. Of course the brightest star in the movie is Tilda Swinton who plays Emma, a mother of three and wife of the wealthy Milanese industrialist.
Much like the real life of the original Milanese industrialist family that lived there, the movie mirrors their life; a life full of drama and trials and tribulations.
Villa Necchi Campiglio is in the city center of Milan. Although it’s in a residential neighborhood, it looks like it’s in the outskirts in the suburbs.
I had the great pleasure of touring the home, Villa Necchi Campigilo; it is an exquisite representation of Art Deco architecture. The doors opened to the public after a full renovation in 2008. The property was bequeathed to Italy’s national trust (Fondo per l’Ambiente Italiano) following the death of the heirless Gigina Necchi Campiglio in 2001. Interestingly, I overheard one of the guides telling someone that the family had long run out of money; the last heir was in her 90’s when she died, and the house was in disrepair. It’s so wonderful that the Italian trust so lovingly renovated it to it’s current glory.
It was designed by Milanese Architect Piero Portaluppi during the 1930s. In addition to designing this home, he worked on some of his most important projects in Milan including Villa Campiglio (1932-1935). Villa Necchi Campiglio was designed in 1932 for Angelo Campiglio, his wife Gigina Necchi and her sister Nedda. The Necchis were an industrialist family who manufactured sewing machines. If you look carefully ,you can see many details that are a subtle nod to that fact. Delicate roping on the ceilings and scallops as well. The house is an elegant backdrop to the beautiful family collections housed all around.
One of my favorite places was on the second floor: the bathrooms and the dressing rooms were modern, functional, and so elegant. I also loved the dining room which you see many times in the movie; it’s warm and stunning with sharkskin walls and an enormous dining table. On the ceiling there is a relief of astrological signs.
I highly suggest you take the tour next time you’re visiting MIlan. It’s a morning or afternoon well spent. This house is one of the most elegant and pleasingly modern spaces I have visited. I loved every scrumptious morsel of it.
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