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Villa Pompeo Mariani, the abode of art

When Mariani bought the small villa in via della Madonnetta in Bordighera from Countess Fanshawe in 1909, he had in mind an ambitious project. He had been visiting Bordighera since 1889, until he became convinced to move permanently from Milan and to transform the Liguria estate into a casket full of art.

His new home, where he lived until his death in 1927, witnessed an extremely prolific artistic phase.

Since 2008, the Villa is part of the 900 preserved Worldwide Artist Houses which can be visited; it is also part of the Italian Historic Houses (ADSI).

Mariani’s Villa is surrounded by a park of about one hectare that was originally part of the Moreno Garden, renowned because in 1884 it welcomed Claude Monet who painted three canvases here: Views of Ventimiglia, Studio of Olive Tree plants, Garden in Bordighera – morning impressions. Not only the views, but the olive tree painted by Monet are currently still visible.

In 1911 Mariani commissioned the architect Rodoldo Winter to build a large atelier in the park, which he will call “the Observatory”.

After careful research, the current owner and president of the Foundation Pompeo Mariani, Dott Carlo Bagnasco, has recovered all objects existing at the time in the studio and has placed them in their original location.

Everything, therefore, has remained precisely how it was at the time. The visit to the atelier is a fascinating and unforgettable experience in a world of art that keeps all its old flavour intact.

[Rosanna Calò]

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