sabato 31 agosto 2013

Il marchese Orso Serra e la sua Villa, souvenir d'Inghilterra.



Faceva ritorno da uno dei suoi viaggi in Inghilterra, il marchese Orso Serra, viaggiava molto (era uso secondo la cultura del XIX secolo che le famiglie facoltose provvedessero a far viaggiare i propri giovani "rampolli", al fine di ampliare i loro orizzonti culturali e.. perchè no, facessero esperienze di mondo prima di accasarsi con ingenue fanciulle), un po' per piacere ed un po' per affari, ma questa volta si era portato nel cuore l'estasi di quella terra, le sua atmosfere fiabesche, i suoi paesaggi che hanno ispirato poeti e pittori e, come loro, sentiva di volerla ricreare, ma non in poesia o in pittura, bensì per tramite di altre arti, quella dell'architettura e quella del giardinaggio.







L'anno precedente, nel 1850, la famiglia Serra aveva acquistato dai Pinelli un loro antico feudo solcato dal torrente Secca, di antica origine medioevale, situato nel retroterra di Genova proprio dove il litorale cede poco a poco il passo alla vegetazione, dove al pino marittimo, all'olivo e alla mimosa  subentrano il castagno e la quercia dei boschi della verde val Polcevera, località di villeggiatura delle famiglie liguri più benestanti, in località “Cà dè Galli” (o “Sul Piano”, le fonti storiche risultano  non precise); si trattava di una "villa" (ovvero di un'abitazione fornita di un ampio terreno e complesso agricolo) ristrutturata nel corso del settecento ed era questo che innanzitutto il marchese voleva mutare, la destinazione del territorio, trasformando il tutto in un parco, un parco all'inglese, come quelli che aveva testè lasciato oltre la Manica, quegli immensi giardini in cui si alternano spazi naturali, a vegetazione arborea spontanea, con altri in cui è evidente l'intervento del paesaggista che, con arte, riesce ad inserirvi elementi "artificiali" di decoro e di valorizzazione della natura stessa, siano essi grotte, laghetti, cascate, cespugli, pergole, tempietti, rovine etc., insomma, un giardino "paesistico" in cui poter trascorrere gradevoli momenti di svago, passeggiando e godendo della suggestione indotta dall'avvicendarsi di scenari sempre ... sorprendenti.

L'estro che era necessario per operare questo tipo di trasformazione lo trovò in Carlo Cusani, architetto dilettante e pittore di origine milanese allora operante in liguria, che si dedicò con passione per circa dieci anni al restauro del complesso settecentesco rimodernandolo nell'allora imperante stile neogotico che rivisitava l'austero stile elisabettiano, quello Tudor, rifacendosi ad un modello trovato tra le pagine dell' “Encyclopaedia of cottage, farm and villa architecture” ( Londra, 1846 ) 







di John Cloudius Loudon, autorevole paesaggista scozzese, e alla "reinterpretazione" dei nove ettari di terreno che ne costituirono il parco. 

(Sfogliando questo manuale dell'epoca si è facilmente presi dall'entusiasmo nell'osservare la minuzia con cui Loudon descrive le varie tipologie di cottage, ne illustra le relative planimetrie, gli elementi specificamente tecnici,
 da quelli architettonici, alla carpenteria, all'idraulica, per giungere ai componenti d'arredo, ai focolari, caminetti e ai mobili, alle scale interne caratterizzate da stili e forme svariate dettate dalle esigenze in fatto di spazio e di gusto, per giungere ai dettagli per le rifiniture interne persino quelle più meramente estetiche .. dai supporti per i bastoni da tendaggi allo stile con cui creare mensole ..... è entusiasmante per me vedere come i testi del XIX secolo fossero così dettagliatamente curati e a chiunque, anche alla persona più profana in materia, fosse data la possibilità di attingervi .. sì, credo che prima o poi dedicherò parte del mio tempo ad approfondirlo ...!)



Tornando alla Villa Serra, chissà che fosse così che il marchese immaginava in origine il suo progetto ...



   


Onestamente stupisce vedere in Liguria esempi architettonici e paesaggistici come questo, in cui il contributo della cultura anglosassone si inserisce così armoniosamente nel paesaggio naturale dell'entroterra diventando forse ancor più suggestivo di quanto lo sia nella sua terra di origine ...


Ma lasciate che ve lo racconti, così, come l'ho vissuto, alcuni giorni or sono ..
sentieri ornati di ciottoli, espressione della più autentica antica tradizione ligure, 







accompagnano alla scoperta di maestosi esemplari, superbi nella loro secolarità, di sequoie, cedri del Libano, cipressi calvi provenienti dalla Florida, magnolie, sofore, liquidambar che aspergono nella brezza di fine estate la fragranza finemente esotica sprigionata dalle loro chiome e che riportano la mente alle loro terre di origine, (l'elemento esotico era tra quelli qualificanti i parchi inglesi ottocenteschi) e ad essi sono mirabilmente ed armoniosamente coniugati i nostri tassi, abeti, pini ed altri esemplari a foglia caduca quali carpini, aceri, salici che, gradualmente, ed in modo apparentemente quasi casuale, a dare al parco un aspetto così sorprendentemente spontaneo e naturale, digradano verso i grandi tappeti erbosi che incorniciano specchi d'acqua che catturano frammenti di cielo ...







e, sul paesaggio così squisitamente anglosassone, sulla sinuosa, graziosa, piccola valle solcata dal rio Comago, domina la palazzina in stile Tudor,(affiancata dalla sua torre merlata), costituendo il tocco architettonico che più rende lo scenario suggestivo ed appagante per lo sguardo .. :







aggiunta al settecentesco Palazzo Pinelli, con le sue ampie vetrate foggiate secondo i rigorosi principi dettati dal neogotico, 






sembra osservare inesorabilmente e quasi sorvegliare sull'incessante "movimento" della fauna che qui trova dimora, custode di un segreto meraviglioso, quello delle amabili creature che sono vicine alla Natura tanto più degli uomini e che hanno con essa un rapporto innocente ...;






corsi d'acqua artificiali sormontati da piccoli ponti, 






cascatelle, 










stagni in cui si tuffa il sole di fine agosto,








giochi d'acqua che innalzano e sormontano il più grande lago, coniugati da un "belvedere" 














colmano acusticamente l'atmosfera, costituendo gli unici suoni che l'orecchio percepisce,
e lo stesso sole di fine agosto trova stinte le innumerevoli infiorescenze delle Hydrangee che rendono questo parco così prezioso nella sua unicità (il parco storico di Villa Serra conta circa 1300 piante tra hydrangee storiche e botaniche di recente ibridazione di 170 specie differenti), .. 










i loro petali stanno ora assumendo sfumature rosate che sembrano avere attinto da un alba della trascorsa estate ed incorniciano gli scorci paesistici con un tocco di sapore d'altri tempi ...








fieri pavoni, anatre selvatiche, cigni maestosi ( due bianchi ed uno nero, come voleva la tradizione dei più prestigiosi giardini anglosassoni di fine ottocento), padroneggiano i tappeti erbosi 





e le acque del rio abilmente canalizzate ed utilizzate per creare affreschi vitali, spontanei, gioiosi che muovono l'animo .. 




















Qui l'atmosfera è realmente fiabesca .. sembra di respirare la magia incantata e rasserenante di una delle fiabe di Andersen, di un irresistibile, fatato sogno d'infanzia 
...






A congedarsi da un luogo del genere si è quasi colti da un velo di mestizia ...

e, con un espressione dolcissima e quasi rassicurante, con l'intenzione, sembra, forse, di volermi riconfortare, mi si è infine avvicinato un pulcino di cigno, 








.. chissà che si trattasse del brutto anatroccolo, Das hässliche Entlein di Andersen, appunto ... ho pensato ... eh, ma allora per qualche istante in una fiaba ho realmente vissuto !!








Con affetto e gratitudine vi invio il mio più caloroso saluto.


A presto 




Dany




Fonti bibliografiche:

S. Ghigino, Villa Serra a Comago, un giardino all’inglese, Genova, Sagep, 2000

John Claudius Loudon, An encyclopædia of cottage, farm, and villa architecture and furniture; containing numerous designs for dwelling ... each design accompanied by analytical and critical marks ... , Longman, Brown, Green, & Longmans, London, 1846

( per consultarla on-line: http://archive.org/details/encyclopdiaofc00loud )







 




Marquis Orso Serra and his Villa, souvenir from England.



He was returning from one trips of his to England, the Marquis Orso Serra, he traveled a lot (according to custom of the culture of the XIXth century, wealthy families provided for let their young "offspring" travel in order to broaden their cultural horizons and .. why not, to let them make experiences of the world before settling down with naive girls), a little for pleasure and a bit for business, but this time he had carried in his heart the ecstasy of that land, its fairy-tale atmosphere, its landscapes that have inspired poets and painters and, like them, he felt that he wanted to recreate it, but not in poetry or painting, but by means of other arts, that of architecture and that of gardening.


- picture 1


The year before, in 1850, the Serra family had purchased from Pinelli an ancient ancient feud of theirs, bathed by Secca, with a medieval origin, located in the hinterland of Genoa just where the coast gradually gives way to the vegetation, where the pine maritime, the olive and mimosa superseded by chestnut and oak woods of the green Val Polcevera, a resort for the most affluent families of Liguria, in a place called "Cà dei Galli" (or "Sul Piano," the historical sources aren't precise ), it was a "villa" (that is a house equipped with a large piece of land and an agricultural complex) restored during the eighteenth century and it was this that first the Marquis wanted to change, the destination of the territory transforming it into a park, such as those that he had just left over the English Channel, those immense gardens where natural spaces with spontaneous vegetation alternate with others in which it is clear  the intervention of the landscaper, who, with art, has got to be able to incorporate "artificial" elements to decorate and enrich the same nature, whether they are caves, lakes, waterfalls, bushes, arbors, temples, ruins, etc.., in short, a "landscape" garden where spend pleasant moments of leisure, walking and enjoying the suggestion induced by the alternation of scenarios always ... surprising.



He founded the talent that was needed for this kind of transformation in Carlo Cusani, amateur architect and painter originally from Milan then operating in Liguria, which he devoted himself with passion for almost ten years in the restoration of this eighteenth-century complex modernizing it using the then prevailing style that revisited austere neo-Gothic Elizabethan style, theTudor one, referring to a pattern found on '"Encyclopaedia of cottage, farm and villa architecture" (London, 1846)


- picture 2

- picture 3


by John Cloudius Loudon, a prominent English landscape designer, and in the "reinterpretation" of the nine hectares of land that made up the park.



(Leafing through this manual it is easy to observe the enthusiasm with which Loudon describes meticolously the various types of cottages and illustrates its plans, the elements specifically technical, from the architectural, to carpentry, plumbing, for coming to the interior design components, to hearths, fireplaces and furniture, intercommunication staircases characterized by a variety of styles and shapes dictated by the needs in terms of space and taste, and even the details most purely aesthetic for the interior finishing ..  from the supports for curtains sticks to the style with which create shelves .....it is exciting for me to see how the texts of the nineteenth century were so meticulously cared for and everyone, even to the most ignorant person as far as these subjects are concerned, was given the opportunity to draw from .. yes, I have to spend a little of my time in making a careful study of it as soon as possible!)



Coming back to Villa Serra, maybe the Marquis originally so envisioned his project.



- picture 4



Actually it is surprising to see in Liguria architectural and landscape examples like these, where the contribution of Anglo-Saxon culture fits so harmoniously into the natural landscape of the hinterland becoming perhaps even more impressive than it is in its homeland ...

But let me tell you about this, as well as I have lived it, a few days ago ..

paths adorned with pebbles, the most authentic expression of the ancient Ligurian tradition,


- picture 5



accompany the discovery of majestic specimens, proud in their secularity, of redwood, cedar of Lebanon, bald cypress from Florida, magnolias, pagoda trees, sweet gum that sprinkle in the end of summer breeze, the beautifully exotic fragrance given off by their foliage recalling their lands of origin, (the exotic element was among those qualifying the nineteenth-century English parks) and to them are beautifully and harmoniously combines our rates, firs, pines and other specimens such as deciduous hornbeam, maple, willow, that gradually, and in a seemingly almost random way, to give the park a so surprisingly spontaneous and natural look, slope down towards the great lawns surrounding ponds that capture fragments of the sky ...



- picture 6



and, on the landscape so exquisitely Anglo-Saxon, the sinuous, graceful, small valley with the Comago river, the Tudor-style cottage, (flanked by his embattled tower),dominates, forming the architectural touch that makes the scenery most striking and rewarding for your glance .. :



- picture 7



added to the XVIIIth century Palazzo Pinelli, with its large windows strictly according to the principles of the neo-Gothic fashion



- picture 8


seems to observe inexorably and almost monitor on constant "movement" of the fauna living here, keeper of a wonderful secret, that of the lovely creatures that are close to Nature so much more than men, and that have with It an innocent relationship;

- picture 9


artificial waterways surmounted by small bridges,


- picture 10


little waterfalls,


- picture 11


- picture 12


ponds where the end of august sun plunges,


- picture 13


water games that raise and surmount the largest lake, conjugated from a "belvedere"


- picture 14


- picture 15


- picture 16


fill acoustically the atmosphere, been the only sounds that one's ears perceive, and the same sun of late august finds faded the countless inflorescences of Hydrangeas that make this park so precious in its uniqueness (the historical park of Villa Serra counts about 1,300 plants between historical and botanical recently hybridization Hydrangee of 170 different species), ..


- picture 17


- picture 18



their petals are now taking pink hues that seem to have tapped into a dawn of the past summer and frame the landscape views with a touch of “old-fashioned” flavour...


- picture 19


proud peacocks, wild ducks, majestic swans (here there's also one black swan, according to traditions of the most prestigious Anglo-Saxon late nineteenth century gardens ), control the turfgrass


- picture 20


and the waters of the rio Comago, skillfully channeled and used to create vital, spontaneous and joyful frescoes that move the soul ..


- picture 21


- picture 22


- picture 23


- picture 24


- picture 25


Here the atmosphere is really fabulous .. it seems to breathe the magic enchanted and brightening of one of Andersen's fairy tales, an irresistible fairy childhood dream...


- picture 26


In leaving such a place you are almost captured by a veil of sorrow ...and, with a sweet and almost reassuring expression , with the intention, it seems, perhaps, of wanting to cheer me up, I was finally approached by a chick swan


- picture 27


.. maybe he was the “Ugly duckling”, Andersen's Das hässliche Entlein, I thought ... yes, but, if so, for a few moments I lived really in a fairy tale!


- picture 28


With love and gratitude I'm sending you my most affectionate greetings.



See you soon ♥




Dany




Bibliographic sources:

S. Ghigino, Villa Serra a Comago, un giardino all’inglese, Genova, Sagep, 2000

John Claudius Loudon, An encyclopædia of cottage, farm, and villa architecture and furniture; containing numerous designs for dwelling ... each design accompanied by analytical and critical marks ... , Longman, Brown, Green, & Longmans, London, 1846

44 commenti:

  1. Another lovely post, Daniela! :)
    Love all the critters' shots, especially the Black Swans that I've never seen before (other than in photos). :)
    Happy September!

    RispondiElimina
    Risposte
    1. @ Kia
      actually for me too this was the first time I met the black swan .. he's a little smaller and much more reserved than the white ones that, judging from your wonderful photos, you know so well!
      And if one day you should come here in Liguria, how about meet us there, so that you could know him and make him become protagonist of one of your precious posts
      ?!?
      Happy September to you too darling!

      Elimina
    2. I'd love to. :)
      Have a lovely weekend.

      Elimina
  2. My goodness, I do so love visiting you here, Dany!
    This is such a wonderful post.
    Thank you!

    Tante Belle Cose... xo.

    RispondiElimina
    Risposte
    1. @ Lisa
      as I wrote to Kia it would really be wonderful meet us in such a lovely place !!
      I wonder, we don't know, if one day it could ever happen ..
      Yes, I know, we're very far one from each other, but let me hope that it could really come true ..
      Enjoy the rest of the week my sweet Lisa.

      Elimina
  3. This is a wonderful place to visit and your photography shows it off so well.

    RispondiElimina
    Risposte
    1. @ Margaret
      sweet friend of mine, your words mean so much to me, you're such a keen and talented photographer !

      Have a wonderful day, today, and a lovely weekend ahead, with much tankfulness ❥

      Elimina
  4. Not much compares to English gardens...

    RispondiElimina
    Risposte
    1. @ Villrose
      I do agree with you, dear one, I love them, and it so rare finding them in Liguria, that's why I couldn't miss to dedicate a post to this mesmerizing place dating back to the Victorian Age !

      Sending you love and hugs ಌ❀ಌ

      Elimina
  5. I so enjoyed my tranquil stroll through the gardens this morning. Such sweet feathered friends along the way too!
    Thank you so much for joining us in Thoughts Of Home On Thursday.
    Jemma

    RispondiElimina
    Risposte
    1. @ Jemma
      you're always so sweet and adorable, my friend, I love you visiting, because your words always brighten my day !

      With sincere thankfulness I wish you much joy for the weekend to come,
      sending blessings to you ♡❤♡

      Elimina
  6. Good Morning Dany. Thanks for sharing this beautiful, peaceful post at Thoughts of Home on Thursday. :)

    Here's a blog you might just love: http://deardaisycottage.typepad.com/imagery_by_kimberly/

    I could stay all day.

    RispondiElimina
    Risposte
    1. @ Stacey
      lovely friend of mine, it's my pleasure !
      Thank you for your beautiful words and for your advice, I've just visited the blog you've linked here in your comment and I think it to be simply wonderful, it's such a pity that Kimberly isn't blogging anymore !

      With much gratitude I wish you a most wonderful weekend ever,
      sending love and dear hugs to you ♥∗✿≫✿≪✿∗♥

      Elimina
  7. Hello Dany! The villa and the grounds are beautiful, it does make a lovely park. The ducks and swans are so pretty. Wonderful post and photos on this gorgeous place. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Have a happy weekend!

    RispondiElimina
    Risposte
    1. @ Eileen
      adorable friend, thank you for your lovely words, yes, this place is truly so wonderful and being it not far from home, well, I feel the need to visit it at least a few times a year, I can't avoid it, there's such a peaceful atmosphere there !

      And you have to know that linking my posts with your party is my pleasure, dearie !!!

      With much, so much gratitude,
      I wish you a most wonderful week ahead, darling,
      sending love and gentle hugs to you ஐღஐ

      Elimina
  8. Such lovely words and pictures, Daniela! Thank you for sharing at Vintage Charm:) xoKathleen

    RispondiElimina
    Risposte
    1. @ Kathleen,
      I'm so very delighted to share my posts with you, sweeetest, lovely Lady, it's my pleasure !

      I wish you a wonderful day and a Happy Easter ahead, dearest one,
      sending blessings of Joy and Peace to you ༺♡❀♡༻

      Elimina
  9. So pretty! Take me away any day! Thanks for joining Home Sweet Home!

    RispondiElimina
    Risposte
    1. @ The Charm of Home
      I'm so blessed by reading your comment, admired friend of mine, I have no words for thanking you enough !!!

      Hope you're having a serene week, I'm sending love and dear hugs for wishing you a Joyous Easter ahead ✽≼♥≽✽

      Elimina
  10. Dear Dany:
    And hre is another interesting posting about someone I never heard of but was very wealthy. You have such a gift for these history lessons with art and beauty all together. Thanks for sharing and linking.

    RispondiElimina
    Risposte
    1. @ Bernideen
      it is I who have to thank you, you always grace my blog with your kindness and your loveliness, blessed be !

      Enjoy your day, today, dearie, sending you love and smiles,
      with utmost thankfulness ❥

      Elimina
  11. Beautiful photos, Dany, and interesting story. Beautiful swan. xoxo Su

    RispondiElimina
    Risposte
    1. @ Su
      Dearest One !
      thank you for your words of appreciation, they fill my heart with joy and put a smile on my face !

      Hope you're having a lovely week, I wish you most wonderful days to come, sending love and hugs to you ♡ஐ♡

      Elimina
  12. lovely words and pictures. I enjoyed the music very much, it accompanies the post so well.

    RispondiElimina
    Risposte
    1. @ Klara
      you're so heartily welcome, your beautiful words bless my heart !

      With so much gratitude I wish you all my best for your week to come ಌ•❤•ಌ

      Elimina
  13. Thank you for coming on by the weekly photo linky at https://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2016/05/simply-squirrelly.html, and for including a mention that you've linked their. Your photos are marvelous, and I love the background music as well.
    Your place is always a breath of fresh air!

    RispondiElimina
    Risposte
    1. @ NC Sue
      your words honour me and bless my day, dearest friend, and coming from a keen and so capable photographer, they have such a precious meaning to me ... to read that you heartily enjoy this little corner of mine, well, it really put a smile on my face and my spirits so, so high, I'm so very grateful to you for this too !

      Have a lovely remainder of your week, Sweet Lady, wishing you all my best, with sincere thankfulness ✿⊱╮

      Elimina
  14. Thanks for sharing in Our Beautiful World! I love the English countryside!AriadnefromGreece!

    RispondiElimina
    Risposte
    1. @ Ariadne
      you're so heartily welcome, sweet friend !
      I also have the countryside in my heart and to have the opportunity to enjoy them so close my home, in Italy, well, it's truly a blessing to me !!!

      Hope you're having a beautiful week,
      I'm sending gentle hugs to you ღ❀ღ

      Elimina
  15. What a lovely post and gorgeous photos dear Dany! That villa is a paradise on earth. Thank you so much for sharing this because I haven't seen this before.

    I wish you a lovely week ahead! Hugs 💕

    RispondiElimina
    Risposte
    1. @ riitta
      honesty it isn't as famous as it was during the XIXth century amongst the Genoese aristocracy, just after it was built: it was a meeting place also for famous people coming from abroad, it was one of the things which were worth visiting before than leaving Genoa ... and it's not as famous as it would certainly deserve after its recent restoration, furthermore, both for the interiors and for its stunning gardens.

      May your week be blessed with joy, sending my dearest hugs to you, I'm so very grateful for this lovely friendship of ours linking us in spite of the many miles separating us, blessed be !

      •♥• MUCH LOVE •♥•

      Elimina
  16. Beautiful images and wonderful accompanying texts.

    RispondiElimina
    Risposte
    1. @ Indira
      I welcome with a sincere hug, thank you !!!

      Enjoy the remainder of your week ♡ஐ♡

      Elimina
  17. I found this post on this June week's Blue Monday link up Dany--how nice for you to share it again for all that missed it the first time around. You always share the most interesting history facts and photos. It is always a pleasure to visit you!

    RispondiElimina
    Risposte
    1. @ Pat
      how absolutely delightful of you, I'm truly thankful for your so lovely words, dearest friend !

      Hope you're having a lovely week I'm sending hugs and ever much love to you, with sincere gratitude ❥

      Elimina
  18. Such wonderful and serene photos!! Thanks so much for sharing at OBW!!

    RispondiElimina
    Risposte
    1. @ Ros
      thanks most sincerely for your words of appreciation blessing my heart and filling it with gladness !

      May the remainder of your week be as joyous as ever, sweet friend ♥∗✿*✿∗♥

      Elimina
  19. Enjoyed a great part of our world through your lens.

    RispondiElimina
    Risposte
    1. @ LV
      you're such a kind-hearted lady, it's always a sincere joy to welcome you here, you truly bless my day !

      Hope you're having a lovely week I'm sending hugs and more hugs to you, with heartfelt thankfulness •♥•♥•♥•

      Elimina
  20. Beautiful and charming photos. Thank you for sharing the story behind.

    RispondiElimina
    Risposte
    1. @ PetraB
      it's my pleasure and delight, thank you, you're so heartily welcome !

      May the remainder of your week be filled with gladness ❀≼♥≽❀

      Elimina
  21. Beautiful photos of this wonderful place! Thank you for joining us at OBW!

    RispondiElimina
    Risposte
    1. @ Wen
      I wholeheartedly thank you, your words put a smile on my face, dear friend !

      Hope you're enjoying your week,
      I'm wishing you all my best for your days to come ༺♡❀♡༻

      Elimina

I WHOLEHEARTEDLY THANK YOU FOR YOUR THOUGHTS AND WORDS, SO PRECIOUS TO ME.