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Historical building

Villa Recalcati

P.ZZA DELLA LIBERTA', 1, Varese

Seat of the Province and the Prefecture of Varese, Villa Recalcati is one of the most important examples of eighteenth-century Italian suburban architecture, built on an area sloping down to Lake of Varese. Its first unit was built actually in the second half of the seventeenth century, which country villa of the noble Milanese family Recalcati. After several changes of ownership, the house passed from Recalcati, by inheritance, to Don Giuseppe Melzi and later, to purchase, to Giovanni Battista Morosini, until it was transformed in 1874 into the "Grand Hotel Excelsior," which became one of the most important and popular in northern Italy, attended by personalities such as Verdi and D'Annunzio. The gradual decline in tourist numbers following the First World War, led to the failure of the hotel in 1927 and its purchase, in 1931, by the newly formed Province of Varese. The villa consists of a central core oriented towards the city center, which opens in two wings connected by a portico with three arches, a real scenic backdrop baroque. This gives great prominence to the courtyard, whose optical axis extends in the street in front. Appearance and moved to the dynamic profile of the body input opposes the austere facade, but grandiose, facing the park, punctuated by the projection of higher portions and the rhythm of the windows interspersed with pilasters, at different intervals. This view is partially compromised by adding a porch at the time of the transformation into a hotel, whose extensions have unfortunately led to the loss of many symmetries and axes reading. The interior is decorated with numerous frescos, most of the eighteenth century, the work of the most important painters of the time in Varese, such as Pietro Antonio Magatti and Giovan Battista Ronchelli. It also kept several fireplaces and rich stucco decorations from nineteenth century.

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