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Country: ItaliaCategory: Professional

Villa Feltrinelli – Gargnano, Italy

Gargnano near Lake Garda is generally viewed as one of the most beautiful places in Northern Italy. Uniquely situated directly by the lake is Villa Feltrinelli. The former summer residence of a wealthy merchant family from the 19th century was very caringly transformed into a luxury hotel. Not a very simple task, given that the building was strongly affected by its varied history while Italy’s stringent regulations for the protection of historic buildings needed to be observed.

Villa Feltrinelli was originally built in Liberty style by the architect Alberico Barbiano di Belgioioso. Similar to art deco, this style was also influenced by the neo-Gothic school. It is reflected in the abundant ornamentation at the façades and in the interior rooms as well as the castle-like little towers. After World War II the villa fell into ruin, until it was discovered by hotelier Robert H. Burns. Over a construction period of five years he had it converted into a hotel for sophisticated travellers who would find a combination of antique elegance and modern convenience. The hotel has 21 rooms and suites overall, 13 of the rooms being located in the villa. The other rooms are in the adjacent buildings as well as the former garden and boat house in the surrounding parks.

Designer Pamela Babey, partner at BAMO which is located in San Francisco, was responsible for the restoration and modernization of the interior rooms. Her team gently managed to combine the new and the old successfully. The villa’s interior decoration was kept, restored, and complemented by details in tune with the Liberty style. All the furniture – in Italy it remains part of historic premises until they are handed over to the museum – was lovingly restored, just like the precious original frescos by the Lieti brothers that decorate the rooms and the staircases.

A series of modern design details give the hotel this certain something: next to heated marble floors, modern air conditioning and LCD television, the owner installed specially constructed hifi systems in each room. The visitor can choose from among eight different music styles using remote control. The programme was put together by the host, who is himself a board member in the jazz section at New York Lincoln Center.

Even in the daily cleaning and care of the premium textiles that were used in the house, nothing is left to accident. The most modern technology by Miele handles this task safely and reliably.

Villa Feltrinelli
Architect: Alberico Barbiano di Belgiojoso
Completed: 1892 / Modification: 1996–2001
Interior design: Pamela Babey / BAMO (San Francisco)
Miele product category: Professional