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The splendid Villa Arconati, located in the Parco delle Groane, just 10 km from the city centre, is an illustrious example of a Milanese aristocrat’s “villa di delizia”. The architectural complex, now home to the Fondazione Augusto Rancilio which is promoting the restoration and enhancement plan, consists of the Palazzo and the Garden, and boasts a timeless charm enriched by four centuries of history.
Thanks to the work begun by Count Galeazzo Arconati in 1610, Villa Arconati has grown from a simple country residence to an imposing aristocratic residence. Referred to as “the little Versailles of Milan” in the eighteenth-century Grand Tour guides of nobles and intellectuals who travelled around Europe, it has miraculously maintained its identity intact.
This authentic testimony to Lombard taste and patronage, can be visited every Sunday from April to December. With the help of volunteer guides, you can take a 90-minute tour to discover the ancient stories and secrets of the place.
Finally, for a tasteful break, we recommend Caffè Goldoni, a small refreshment point named after the famous Venetian playwright, who was a guest at the villa at the court of Giuseppe Antonio Arconati in the summers of the mid-eighteenth century.
The Villa‘s treasures still include the imposing classical sculpture of Tiberius, from the first century AD, the Sala di Fetonte with its beautiful fresco by the Galliari brothers, the set designers of La Scala in Milan, the Sala da Ballo, an example of the finest Lombard Baroque, and the Sala della Caccia (Hunting Room).
The Garden is a twelve-hectare monumental park, one of the very few examples of Italian and French-style gardens preserved in the whole of Lombardy, with water features created from a direct study of Leonardo’s “Codex AtlantiVcus”, donated by Arconati to the Biblioteca Ambrosiana in 1637.