A beautiful villa with a view over one of the most beautiful lakes in Italy. The sunrise was beautiful and made this moment absolutely perfect for me, especially since it had been a very rainy day. I will forever find places like these fascinating, and I’ll keep on asking myself questions about why the previous owner let it waste away?
I wouldn’t hesitate about moving if it meant having such an amazing view. By now this house has become uninhabitable for people like us,
but mother nature is making it her home in our place.
The abandoned villa overlooking a small inhabited island
Why is the villa abandoned?
In the early 1900s, a group of entrepreneurs had destined the area around the lake as a site for the construction of an “intellectual, sports and entertainment center”. This led to the creation of a beautiful Art Nouveau building, of which now no trace is left, surrounded by a park that was 12500sqm (2.25 hectares). Residents around the lake called it the most beautiful garden at the lake.
In the 1920s, the entertainment center’s entrepreneurs wanted to expand it into a spa and designed a pipeline that would bring the “arsenic water” from Val Anzasca to the Lido. At the time, the papers described it as: “It is the greatest folly the human mind can conceive, it is the maximum of vandalism, the continuous progressive, studied and calculated depreciation of a priceless possession”. The papers were right. The company had to close its doors, the center was closed and later demolished.
On the site of the demolished spa town, an engineer built this glorious villa overlooking a pair of beautiful islands on the lake. The love for his house led him to take care of the construction, down to the last detail, which ultimately took 3 years to complete. The engineer didn’t have to worry about the costs and was able to indulge himself; the statues and the balustrade that adorn the villa were built in Vicenza, with local tufa; the plants that the owner wanted to plant there were brought to Italy by train. During the Second World War, the villa was requisitioned by the german Wehrmacht, who made it a strategic stronghold at the lake and at the foot of the mountains.
At the end of the war, the area of the Villa Castelli returned to a holiday area. Over the years, the villa received a lot of attention from book writers and filmmakers. The Villa was used several times as a film set. Around the 1970s, just after the last films were shot, the slow and inexorable decay of the building and the beautiful park began.
In the late 1970s the villa was sold to hotel owners but unfortunately they neglected the building and it has been forgotten ever since.
The ivy plants camouflaged the villa
The roof tiles has been taken over by plants
The beautiful sunrise made the picture complete