Villa Corinna in Ventimiglia
Villa Corinna is one Saracen Tower of late sixteenth century, built to protect the Italian coast of Riviera dei Fiori from raids by pirates and Saracens. Today Villa Corinna has opened its doors to those travelers who know how to appreciate the charm of a private residence with still original furniture and architectural solutions of the time (including a lift bridge). The property is surrounded by a Mediterranean park of 2 hectares planted a olive, cypresses e webbed. Villa Corinna is located on the border between Italy and France just 15 km from Montecarlo and 40 minutes by car from the airport Nice.
Customers are accommodated in the upper part of the tower which has a magnificent Terrace, living room, dining room, kitchen and 4 bedrooms with 3 bathrooms. The furnishings and furniture are the original ones of the Biancheri family who has stayed in the house for centuries. From the bedroom windows and from the terrace you can admire the wonderful view from Ventimiglia to Cap Martin in France. On a clear day it is possible to see the horizon on the horizon Corsica.
Villa Corinna overlooks the Piana di Latte, a corner of pristine paradise on the border between Italy and France. This is the last strip of the Riviera dei Fiori overlooking the Ligurian Sea. At just 2 Kilometers then the Côte d'Azur. This stretch of coast, today decreed Marine Nature Reserve, began to be since 1,700 the favorite destination of the English aristocracy who came here to winter and left important architectural and cultural testimonies. With the construction of the railway in the first half of the nineteenth century, it became even more holiday destination for British, Russian and noble families such as the Rothschilds, Queen Victoria and King Edward VII at the time Prince of Wales.
In the first half of the twentieth century it was frequented by artists and writers such as Picasso, Matisse, Edith Wharton, Somerset Maugham ed Aldous Huxley, and by wealthy European and American entrepreneurs. The territory of the Piana di Latte is full of memories and anecdotes such as the cultivation of the Encantadora rose, created here and dedicated to Evita Peron on the occasion of his trip on the Riviera. THE Hambury Gardens, which slip from above to dive into the sea of Punta Mortola, created by the English aristocratic Thomas Hambury, are a destination for botanical enthusiasts from around the world, for their extraordinary variety of plants and flowers from every corner of the planet. Today, during the summer season, the Hambury gardens host cultural events, classical music concerts and literary presentations. A short distance later stands the house that was built by the rich Russian scientist Serge Voronoff which is said to have turned it into a clinic where experiments on monkeys and their testicles were looking for medicine for youth and virility! It is said that Voronoff even hired a former circus owner to raise his hundreds of monkeys.
The history of Villa Corinna
Villa Corinna, in the middle of a property of about one hectare that extends on the lower eastern side of the Monte Bellenda, is one of the most important historical and architectural evidence of the Piana di Latte, a place traditionally preferred by the nobility of Ventimiglia, but also Piemontese, to spend the summer holiday.
The Villa is the result of several construction phases: the oldest core, which corresponds to the central body of greater height, presumably dates back to the first half of the sixteenth century, a period in which many sighting and defense towers were built throughout Liguria di Ponente. against the Turkish-Barbarian raids particularly frequent in those decades. With the well-known 1971 census, De Maestri had identified the public defense constructions built in the 16th century by the coastal communities of the western Riviera, under the directives of the Maritime Republic of Genoa, among which there are, for example, the coastal ramparts of Alassio, Andora and Laigueglia. (1)
This list does not include Villa Corinna as a private building since its foundation, for which, however, it is clear the adoption of the same construction typology of public defense buildings: the Villa, in fact, is in effect a typical example of a square-shaped fortified house-tower, characterized by a certain height development, thick perimeter walls, flat roof and creasing that separates the base from the top of the building.
Villa Corinna is also one of the few buildings of the sixteenth century in the area to have retained the supporting structure of the drawbridge: it today looks like a U-shaped body, occupies the whole side of the central core up to the height of the second floor . At the center of this structure has been fixed the ancient drawbridge through which it is still possible to enter inside the building.
The Villa presumably retained its original appearance until the second half of the nineteenth century when the whole property was still called "Soprana Tower", to distinguish it from another property that is located in the area below where there was a similar constraint (today known as Casa Ammirati). The interesting testimony of the tower-houses of the Piana di Latte has remained Miss Gretton, an English tourist who in the 1854 had been hosted for a few days at the Villa Honesto Otio. (2)
At the current state of research the name of the client family is not known, but it is known that in the nineteenth century, presumably in the first half, it was bought by Andrea Biancheri, known trader of Ventimiglia, who in the 1868 left his three sons, in the 1881, according to the act of dividing his father's property, Villa Corinna touched Emanuele Secondo Bancheri that, after a few years, the superelivery of a plan.
The central core of the building, that is the first real tower house, has been increased even if, at present, it is still possible to distinguish the original body from subsequent additions: a first enlargement occurs in the twenties of the twentieth century when it comes built the two-storey square body on the southern facade.
The Villa, due to the declivity of the terrain, has three floors on the West and South sides and four on the North and East, without external decorations, excluding the attic fascia with a series of shelves that are repeated even in the body two floors south, has a rather severe and impressive, characteristic of the defense buildings.
Inside there are the interesting vaulted structures - pavilion and cruise - as well as the perfectly preserved well in the second floor dining room, still full of water, to witness the defensive function of the building.
The Villa is surrounded by a park that represents the natural completion of the building, with a purely orthotic character and cultivated more than ornamental. In fact, although there are still several ornamental highland shrubs (palms, pines, eucalyptus, cypresses) as well as olive trees, mimosa and brooms, the land of relevance is purely agricultural, as evidenced by the permanence of some rural buildings still used. Still preserved is the pergola-line that connects the south side of the building with the entrance on the Aurelia road, once the main access to the property.
(1) De Maestri "Defense Works"
(2) Gretton M "Diary of an English woman in Italy", London 1860.
Service trasporto to / from airport o railway station of arrival
Motorboat rental semicabinato of 10 meters to explore the Riviera dei Fiori and Côte d'Azur
cleaning e cook on request
Catering on request
Sessions (individual or group) of yoga, pilates e meditation they can be arranged on request
Swimming pool e Bowls field
Prices vary between high and low season, for more details contact the residence
Places of interest nearby
The quantity and variety of activities and places to visit is immense between Italy and France both on the coast and inland. Below are just some of the main opportunities:
Distances from Villa Corinna to the main ones tourist spots in France:
MENTON 2 KM, Montecarlo 10 KM, Nice 36 KM, Cannes 63 KM, Villefranche 24 KM, Saint Paul de Vence 49 KM, Grasse 73 KM, Biot 57 KM, Saint Tropez 143 KM, Parc Naturel du Verdun 172 KM, Aix-en -Provence 200 KM.
Distances from Villa Corinna to the main ones tourist locations in Italy:
Ventimiglia 5 KM, Bordighera 10 KM, San Remo 22 KM, Dolceacqua 15 KM, Apricale 19 KM, Alassio 88 KM, Genoa 150 KM, Portofino 196 KM.