Villa Erba


Erected around 1894-98 in the Mannerism style (already obsolete for that time), the building was commissioned by Luigi Erba, the brother of Carlo Erba and founder of the Milanese chemical industry named after him. One of the two architects, Gian Battista Borsani, became famous thanks to the restoration of the historical buildings situated in Piazza Mercanti as well as Palazzo Marino in Milan. Owing to its neoclassical style and imposing monumental structure, Villa Erba represented the belated swan song of an entire society and its interpretation of territory and architecture. On the 10th of November, 1900, Carla Erba married Count Giuseppe Visconti. Their union resulted in the birth of Luchino Visconti, the famous film director. Luchino once recalled his happy youthful days at the villa:
"Villa Erba is a place we really love. We will meet there all together, brothers and sisters, and it will be like the days when we were children and lived in the shadow of our mother”.
The villa is still privately owned today and is open to the public on specific occasions. The park, built over flat land with a total surface area of 100,000 m2, hosts the International Exhibition and Conference Center and features a modern exposition area.

Today the dining room is used as a restaurant.

Right: the master bathroom. Worth noting are the bathtub handles made of marble.

The villa at the time of the Visconti-Erba family. Right: Carla Erba, Luchino’s mother.

Luchino Visconti’s film studio. Here the famous director finished editing his film Ludwig (1973). Right: an original frame of the film Ludwig, where you can see Wagner
played by Trevor Howard.

Orticolario, the international Flower and Garden Show, takes place every year in October.