In the late 1800s two villas were being built near the Ogliolo brook in Aprica, next to the old road leading to the village of Corteno Golgi. It was an initiative due to distinguished Commendatore Emilio Quadrio, a celebrity who would be in the limelight until the beginning of World War I.
The original plan probably included a totally new health resort; two country houses were meant as lodgings for the physicians working in the nearby clinic. The initiative never came into being, yet the two buildings quickly became the centre of an incessant whirlwind. Chalet and Villa Rosa – these the names of the two homes – were the perfect stage to parties and concerts, and the audience counted the most famous personalities of the time: the politician Filippo Turati, Anna Kulischov, Felici Camerini are just a few of the distinguished guests hosted by Commendatore Quadrio.
The concert held in August 1909 stood out, as the audience was captivated by the performance of Teresina Tua, the famous violinist, her husband Count Giuseppe Fraschi Verney de la Vallette, who joined her playing the piano, and by Miss Margherita Rossi from Bologna. The social event was also attended by the Nobel Prize winner Camillo Golgi and by Miss Matia Gomer, the star of cultural salons of the time, both of them sojourning in Aprica for their holidays.
The start of the World War and the decision to discontinue the proposed plan for a clinic led Mr Quadrio to sell the two country houses and the surrounding estate to the Dell’Acqua family.
Countess Dell'Acqua eventually married Mr Brioschi, hence the name of the villa; he was the owner of Via Senato in Milan, later confiscated by Mussolini during the war. The Brioschis had no heir, so upon their death the estate was sold to the Pannellas.
As time went by, a series of ups and downs almost effaced all traces of former glory and the glitter of the social life of previous years.
In 1964 one of the two holiday houses was knocked down to make place for a hotel, whereas the other villa seemed left to the scorn of time and to a destiny of nostalgia for happy moments never to come back.
Yet it was not fair for a building with so precious and typical features, the former stage of success and busy life, to fall into oblivion and a season of renewed splendour was in store. In fact, quite a few people started to consider a possible restructuring, and this enthusiasm was shared by Mr Italo Poli, who became the new owner in 2005 with the aim to shape the dream anew. He found a passionate and skilled partner in architect Monica Poli, who united in his admiration and who therefore felt challenged, rather than daunted by the difficult task of renovating a work of art that time had attacked but had not been able to destroy.
The new owners’ project included a search for elegance, exclusiveness and superior quality – all meant to restore the former magnificence. Work started in a hectic way, as new ideas and original plans were being considered, till at least the owners settled for an activity offering accommodation and cuisine in a location both refined and cosy, elite and exclusive , which could harmoniously blend the ancient glamour of the setting with the needs of today’s patrons for a sophisticated experience.
The idea was quickly put into shape and the residence proved flexible to restructuring works, out of which Villa Brioschi emerged proud of its former beauty and renewed splendour.
The name Villa Brioschi has been kept in order to stress the bond with time past, a time which still exudes elegance and glamour. The furniture, the interior decorations of the rooms, all the ornaments and various bits and pieces, reveal the unique objective to re-establish a glory never effaced, while the exclusiveness and the sophistication peculiar to the residence since its very beginning are preserved and emphasized.
Every corner, every detail hints at old, unchanged luxury so that the guest is taken by the hand and passionately led to live a dream come true.
This dream is Villa Brioschi, which has proved capable of resisting and conquering time.