Discreetly tucked away from the chaotic centre of Milan is the Villa Necchi Campiglio, the home of sisters Gigina and Nedda Necchi and Gigina’s husband, Angelo Campiglio.
The Necchi sisters were important producers of cast iron and enamelled sewing machines but it was their elegant parties which really made them well known, and the house. Designed by Milanese architect Piero Portaluppi, the villa was built between 1932 and 1935 at the height of rationalist and Fascist architecture. The house’s marble-trimmed façade and no-nonsense layout (three upstairs bedrooms and bathrooms branch off from a long corridor) ensured the Villa Necchi Campiglio was a modernist palate cleanser in a city brimming with ornate palazzos. Outside, the villa boasts a tennis court, a garage and the city’s first heated swimming pool; it was a shining beacon for Italy’s brave new elite.
With the dawn of the Second World War, the house was abandoned by its owners and occupied by the Fascist army. Once back in the safe hands of the family the house was partly refurbished in a 17th century style by architect Tomaso Buzzi. Today, it is home to an extraordinary collection of early 20th century Italian artwork, including pieces by Giorgio de Chirico and Arturo Martini. In 2009 the film I Am Love, starring Tilda Swinton, was filmed in the Milan home escalating the property’s glamorous status further. The house is now open to the public so if you’re after your own I Am Love moment, floating down the dazzling central staircase or lounging by the pool then we suggest you book your flights now.