Villa Litta Lainate


Surprising visitors, entertaining them, was the intent of the designer of the complex, Count Pirro the First Visconti Borromeo, who, in the second half of the sixteenth century, expanded a possession, intended to stock agricultural products, turning it into a Villa. Fond of art, Pirro redefined the architecture and the decoration of the Villa, had the garden built and conceived the Nymphaeum, designed by Martino Bassi and  to exhibit a collection of paintings, sculptures and 'curiosities', as well as to 'give life' to the famous water tricks. Camillo Procaccini, author of the mosaics with the particular technique in colorful pebbles, and the Morazzone, who painted - with illusionistic 'bottom up' - the Mercury of the entrance hall, participated in the construction of the dwelling that quickly became authentic "villa of delights ", ideal for parties and receptions, place to host writers and monarchs passing through Milan.
Until the 20’s of the 18th century the villa remained unchanged: Giulio Visconti Borromeo Arese, last heir of the dynasty, decided to build the "Quarto nuovo", closing the entrance courtyard, with a ballroom on the main floor.
The facades of the nymphaeum were 'reinvented' in the second half of the 18th century by the Marquis Pompeo Litta, nephew of Giulio, who initiated the arrangement of the scenic park, with fountains, monuments, and entrusted Giuseppe Levati, prospective painter of the Academy of Brera, the decoration of the dining room, with stucco and frescoes on the ceilings and walls.
The last act in the garden design is set at the beginning of the 19th century: the inclusion, as the "fashion" of the time dictated, of an “English” grove landscape, by Luigi Canonica.
The first restoration and re-activation of the water features are owed to Alberto Toselli who bought the property in 1932; however, it is only after the acquisition by the City of Lainate (1971) and thanks to the recovery of the Nymphaeum after a long period of neglect, that the 'surprises' of the villa restarted to amaze visitors of all ages.