Villa Lucia in Naples
Villa Lucia is one of the Bourbon royal palaces, today the only private one; built in the 1816 by court architect Antonio Niccolini on the committment of Ferdinando IV for his second wife Lucia Migliaccio, princess of Partanna and duchess of Floridia, married morganatically only two months after the death of the first Maria Carolina of Habsburg. It is the only palace that can be defined as a "token of love", offered by the sixty-three-year-old groom to his forty-four-year-old and charming Sicilian consort.
A beautiful Canova fountain, Canova at that time was in Naples, stands in the heart of the romantic park of the villa and is proof of this love; he represents two winged figures, the divinity of conjugal love, Hymenaeus, next to an Eros. Below, the dedication: on the left, a head of Bacchus, a mythical representation of Ferdinando, on the right, the goddess Flora, represents Lucia, Duchess of Floridia. Between the two figures, a royal crown, intertwined with a floral wreath, symbol of indissoluble love.
The polychrome entrance façade of the villa is that of a Dorian Pompeian temple, in whose tympanum is inscribed a scene that, also in this case, depicts Flora crowned with flowers, among maids and cupids, further down, on the entrance door to the the so-called "festival pavilion", the famous three Canova favors invite to dance. The façade overlooking the sea overlooking the most amazing of Neapolitan landscapes is in perfect neoclassical style; decorated with stuccoes with mythological scenes. In the vault of the vast hall, the "Carro del sole" advances, led by Apollo and surrounded by hours, a beautiful copy of the famous "Aurora" by Guido Reni.
Among the furnishings, a neoclassical style dresser with a miniature portrait of Ferdinando, conceals the secret of a desk, and a comfortable armchair for Lucia. Also in the hall, a grand piano made for the king of Naples. In the adjoining mauve hall, the equestrian family portraits; King Charles III and his son, the young Ferdinando IV, later Ferdinando I of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. A unique eighteenth-century cabinet is a chest that reveals the landscape of a forest, the background of a hunting scene, with figures of dogs and horse hunters, in Capodimonte porcelain.
On the ground floor, the dining room is decorated with garlands of flowers, flights of birds, fruit, game and fish. Among the furnishings, an eighteenth-century table with precious flowery onyx top, consoles and assorted antique chairs, a beautiful Canovian fireplace and neoclassical porcelain.
Villa Lucia, one of the most beautiful Neapolitan historical houses, so beautiful as to have been copied by Schinkel, architect of the King of Prussia, in the park of Potsdam, has recently been completely restored, under the strict control of the Cultural Heritage, thanks to the aid, for structures and facades, by the architect Fabio Mangone and, for the interiors, by Paolo Colucci.
The story of Villa Lucia
Place of prayer of the Benedictine Fathers at the end of 500, a holiday home of the Lucchese Fathers in the middle of 600, purchased in the 1807 by Giuseppe Saliceti, Minister of Gioacchino Murat, was already an elegant temple-shaped coffe house arranged by Francesco Maresca in the 1809 , when it was purchased by Ferdinando I in 1816, becoming part of the Floridiana complex.
It was then rearranged together with the rest of the park by Antonio Niccolini, a Tuscan architect, named in Naples by Giuseppe Bonaparte in the years of his regency, who completed the roof and refurbished the Pompeian facade, giving it a four-column portico. he gave the appearance of a Doric temple. The "casina di delizie" then became a pavilion for dance parties and social nights that followed one another in the royal residence, and was joined to the rest of the park by a high bridge 16 meters (necessary to overcome the strong difference in level ).
Its current name derives from that of the King's favorite, Lucia Migliaccio, Duchess of Floridia, to whom the entire Floridian complex was donated.
At the death of the duchess, the complex was divided into three parts by his heirs in the 1827 and Villa Lucia passed to one of his sons, Count Luigi Grifeo, prince of Partanna, minister of the king to the grand duchy of Tuscany.