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Villa Rossi-Martini

viale Brianza,15, Sovico

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History and Architecture

The origins of the villa date back to the 17th century, when a first substantial residential structure was laid out around a courtyard, with stables and a garden near the houses of the old village of Sovico. With the decline of feudalism, a number of noble families took possession of the major estates. Among them, the Landriani, Giovio and Rossi Martini families were involved for centuries with the history of the ancient fortified village. Rather than the Landriani, it was the Giovio, an illustrious family that can be traced back to the Isola Comacina in Como, in the 9th century, who were responsible for the construction of the residence. From a marriage between Elisabetta Giovio and Pietro Martire della Torre di Rezzonico was born Virginia Giovio della Torre, who in turn married Count Francesco Martini, a native of Crema, initiating the history of the Villa Giovio della Torre. On the Theresian maps dating from 1722, the site of the villa is already clearly identified as a large estate, with the buildings shown abutting onto the southern edge of the property and the vast garden extending to the north, effectively represented by the drawing of flower beds and volutes, typical of the rural maps of the 18th century. In 1867, at the time of the next historical mark laid down by the Lombard-Veneto Land Register, the whole of the property is identified, with the internal courtyard clearly shown. Italy had only been unified for a few years when Count Alberto Martini arrived in Sovico, marrying into the Giovio della Torre family. Of humble origins in the Crema region, he became one of the area’s most distinguished citizens and its largest landowner. Towards the end of the 19th century a tie was established with the Rossi family of Genoa, when the last descendant of the Martini, Alberto’s daughter Countess Emilia, married Senator Gerolamo Rossi. Under the royal decree of 1895, he assumed the title of count for himself and his firstborn male descendants, along with the family crest of the Martini. So by the end of the century the villa was known by the name of the Rossi Martini, who retained ownership of it for the whole of the first half of the 20th century, until it was requisitioned during the Second World War. The long process of decay of the villa was brought to an end in the middle of the century by its current owner, the engineer Pier Luigi Tagliabue, who in 1953, following the death of the last heir, bought the villa and its park. The first urgent interventions of conservation were followed by the restoration of the 18th-century wing and the renovation of the buildings facing onto the courtyard, with the reopening of the four-sided portico, much of which had been walled up. The work was gradually extended to the whole building, which has been returned to its former splendour.

Hours of opening to the public

Private property, closed to the public.