General Presentation of the Historical Adjacent Park

3LI Il Parco storico-pertinenziale della villa (3)
The historical park appurtenance of the villa. Detail of the formal garden
(ISAL Photo Archive, photograph by G. Defilippis)

After acquiring the villa from the Arconati family, the Crivelli family began a campaign to restructure the complex. The architect was Francesco Croce who was also in charge of restructuring the large garden appurtenance. There are no known details as to the design of that time, although a print of the late 18th century shows an Italian landscaped garden decorated with long boulevards and a central fountain with a mixed-line silhouette.

Son of a hydraulics engineer, Francesco Croce also sought to insert water features as evidenced by some nozzles still visible today. The water came from the so-called “Big Lake”, a reservoir which supplied water to the tanks on the upper part of the building, which in turn supplied water to the fountain through pipes.
The wall of the eastern façade was originally connected to the garden below. Francesco Croce enriched it with stairs and balustrades creating two spectacular terraces. In historical documents, the garden is described as a place where one could find rare plants and vines, of which today no traces remain.
It was transformed physically but the garden’s symbolic and formal values remained unchanged until the sale of the complex in 1819, when much of the garden of the villa was reduced to undergrowth. In 1832, there were reports of the existence of a Dutch garden transformed in the 1850s, which followed the dictates of romanticism.
The next transformation of the villa into the provincial psychiatric hospital, led to major changes in the garden to allow the construction of individual pavilions.
Although it is difficult to trace the original scheme of the gardens of the villa, it is still possible to trace fragments and observe its compositional and botanical peculiarity, which is still perceptible.
Currently the garden which still presents century-old examples that are a mix between the original park of the noble villa and the greens exclusively used by the patients, show the effects of the new design and botanical plan of the Luigi Castiglioni State High School through a new design layout cares for the garden, which still preserves secular examples and is a mixture between the original park appurtenance of the country residence and a garden for the exclusive use of patients. This led not only to the physical recovery of many plant species and historical works but also to the enhancement of some native tree species and some specific historical plant species introduced in the past centuries by the noble families alternated in the ownership of the villa. The ongoing attempt, therefore, has the dual purpose of recovering, when possible, elements of the ancient garden of a country residence and the introduction of new nurseries, also through the use of advanced technologies, for educational, cultural and educational purposes.