VILLA BELVEDERE RADICATI - SALUZZO (CN)
The Villa Belvedere Radicati is set on a natural terrace and there is a splendid avenue of locust trees leading up to it. The foundation of the building is probably very old and dates back to the beginning of the 1300s: the building was originally used as a watch tower, while between 1400 and 1500, the site was chosen by the Marquises as a place suitable for hunting and leisure time pursuits immersed in nature.
It was around 1550 when the Marquisate of Saluzzo died out, that the building took on its present day aspect, to become a stately residence surrounded by an extensive and lush “rustic garden”, with terrace, arbour and a well with a characteristic coloured shingle roof. The indoor rooms were also renovated with large fireplaces and umbrella vaults; the walls were frescoed with allegorical and grotesque figures and scenes of battle and armour bearers, which reflects the Manneristic culture that was diffuse all over the area by the painters’s workshops of the Dolce brothers and Cesare Arbasia.
The Radicati di Marmorito’s family took possession of the Villa Belvedere in the second half of the 1600s and kept it uninterrupted until 1977 when it was bequeathed to the Town of Saluzzo, complete with furnishings, paintings, prints and porcelains: a heritage of over 300 movable objects, plus photographs, personal documents and over 1.000 volumes from the big private library. Currently, some rooms have been set up that recall the history of the last owners of the villa: Augusto Radicati (1879-1939), captain of a vessel at the Italian Navy and first commander of the ship Amerigo Vespucci, and his daughter Anna Maria, to whom we owe the donation to the Town of Saluzzo.
In 2017 the Town Council of Saluzzo transferred the Villa, on free loan for use terms, to the Art, Earth, Sky Association that has pledged to preserve and promote it.
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