Every building tells a story, revealing clues as you strip back the centuries of plaster and paint. The same is true for Palazzo del Vice Re, where the recent renovations offered up exciting – and surprising – echoes of its storied past. Over the centuries, this area at the foot of the Alps was under constant attack for its access to the important trade routes of the Rhine to the north and the Po to the south – whether it was barbarians, rival Italian communes or the European powers that be. One particularly bloody conflict was the ten years’ war between Como and Milan in the early 12th century, which ended with the Duke of Milan’s troops burning lakeside towns like Lezzeno to the ground. Charred timbers from the original medieval structure found during restoration evoke scenes of those fires, and the stone-clad vault (today’s La Cantina!) is thought to have provided refuge. With the next incarnation of the building, the owners made sure to install a watchtower where sentinels could keep a vigilant eye out for enemy ships on the attack – and thanks to that, we have those stunning lake views from the rooms in the tower.
When Milan was taken by the Spanish Hapsburgs in the 16th century, the once flourishing towns of Lombardy suffered under the taxes imposed by the Spaniards throughout their 170-year reign. All the more curious, then, that such a fine building as today’s Palazzo del Vice Re would find itself in Lezzeno during that time. And with finishings like a fine stone balcony, wrought iron details, original hand-carved wooden chests and ornate ceilings with hardwood timbers or opulent frescos, the evidence suggests that a very important person indeed walked these halls – most probably the Spanish Viceroy himself. Who else would want to commission an exact replica of a marble fireplace from Versailles? Or a fresco of the Roman goddess Juno in full battle gear to impress (or intimidate) his dinner guests?
Dates back to 1700/1800s : The Pertusini Family (Owners) discovered it and then started working on conserving it as it was originally. It represents the Mythological Roman Goddess Juno and Hercules on a Cloud. It was restored in 2007 by two students from the Brera Academy.
Note: WHILST THE BREAKFAST ROOM IS FRESCO : the two areas below seem to be frescoes but they are TEMPERA ie it is basically a different technique that looks like frescoes.
Dates back to 1700/1800 – The owners conserved it as it was originally. It represents floral motives, decoration and grotesque dragons. It was restored in 2007 by two students from the Brera Academy.
Junior Suite – La Vista
Dates back to 1700/1800 – The owners reconstructed the base of the paintings and were able to conserve the decoration. It represents Gold Decoration, Floral Motives, Poppies, Light Blue flowers on White Background. It was restored in 2006 by two students from the Brera Academy in Milan.
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