On 21 May, ADSI (Associazione Dimore Storiche Italiane – Italian Association of Historic Homes ) organised a day of visits to courtyards and gardens, inviting the owners of historic villas, monumental gardens, and period residences to participate by opening their properties to anyone who desired visiting them.
As an ADSI member, Villa Monsoglio enthusiastically welcomed the invitation to participate in the proposed event.
To our great surprise, many, many visitors came to see our splendid estate and view all its finest details, its hidden corners and suggestive spaces normally not open to the public.
Many of our guests were residents of our immediate area; that is, people who are familiar with the villa, its history and anecdotes concerning the family that has owned it since 1884: the Cepparello Pasquali family, forebears of the current owners.
People who had seen its former glory and its decadence, and who now see the villa in its renewed splendour and its new life made of events, celebrations and weddings.
I listened with great interest to those of our guests who, when they came to visit, recounted personal experiences connected with this place to add to the volume of snapshots of history and tradition that should never be forgotten . . .
The tractor mechanic who came to the farm to repair engines and machinery, who told me how the former owner (today’s owner’s father) was a strict man, but very able and respectful of everyone.
The daughter of the hairdresser who in the 1940s came to the villa to style the marquise’s hair and who suggested that her daughter visit the villa to discover its beauties.
The boy, now a father in turn, who came to the farm in the summer to harvest melons and then rested on the bank of the Arno, fishing pole in hand.
A woman whose father had an emergency operation at the villa, which during World War II was commandeered to serve as hospital and shelter for Allied troops.
Stories, anecdotes, memories and – why not? – some well-intentioned fancies centring on Villa Monsoglio, its farm and the estate: precious snippets for keeping the memory of past history alive and for creating its future.