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House of the Atellani and Leonardo's vineyard

Foto House of the Atellani and Leonardo's vineyard -  Villas und palaces  Others
Foto House of the Atellani and Leonardo's vineyard -  Villas und palaces  Others
Foto House of the Atellani and Leonardo's vineyard -  Villas und palaces  Others
Foto House of the Atellani and Leonardo's vineyard -  Villas und palaces  Others
Foto House of the Atellani and Leonardo's vineyard -  Villas und palaces  Others
Foto House of the Atellani and Leonardo's vineyard -  Villas und palaces  Others
Foto House of the Atellani and Leonardo's vineyard -  Villas und palaces  Others
Foto House of the Atellani and Leonardo's vineyard -  Villas und palaces  Others
Foto House of the Atellani and Leonardo's vineyard -  Villas und palaces  Others
Foto House of the Atellani and Leonardo's vineyard -  Villas und palaces  Others
Show an other treasure of art and history in Milan:
Milan - Villas und palaces  Others: House of the Atellani and Leonardo's vineyardMostly represented styles: Renaissance

Together with the Last Supper and the Basilica of Santa Maria delle Grazie, the House of the Atellani, albeit greatly modified over the centuries, represents the last testimony of the residential district wanted by Ludovico il Moro in correspondence with the basilica at the end of the fifteenth century and the only residential building of Renaissance origins still present in Corso Magenta.

HISTORY
House of the Atellani

The history of the House of the Atellani begins at the end of the fifteenth century, when Ludovico il Moro, lord of Milan, decided to elect the Basilica of Santa Maria delle Grazie as a possible mausoleum for his family and to build a residential quarter around it, at those times in the suburbs.
In 1490 Ludovico il Moro gave the noble Mister Giacometto di Lucia dell'Atella, his knight and squire, three houses side by side, corresponding to the numbers 65, 67 and 69. The Atellani houses were therefore originally three. It is thought that the Atella family arrived in Milan from the locality of Atella in Basilicata.
The Atellani family would prove to be among the most loyal to the Sforza. It should be noted that Ludovico il Moro also nominated Gicometto Atellani podestà of Candia and feudal lord of Cilavegna, two municipalities of the Lomellina area.
At the end of the seventeenth century the houses ceased to belong to the Atellani.
In 1823, a first modernization of the houses took place, in a neoclassical sense, by the architect Carlo Aspari.
After several changes of ownership they were bought in 1919 by Ettore Conti, the first tycoon of the Italian electricity industry, one of the first to have believed in the then new technology.
He first sold one of the three (the one at 69) and then commissioned his son-in-law architect Pietro Portaluppi to completely modernize the two houses that remained.
Portaluppi acted in a way that was both radical and conservative. He joined the two courtyards and gutted some apartments to build the staircase leading to the halls on the first floor. He added a new wing towards the garden, leaning against the then Orphanage of the Stelline. He also remade the facade towards Corso Magenta.
On the other hand, he brought to light the frescoes on the walls of the portico in the first courtyard, in the second courtyard he brought to light the shelves that support the protruding first floor and the original arches supported by shielded capitals and serizzo columns.
Inside Portaluppi enlarged the Hall of the Zodiac, knocking down the oblique partition windowed wall that delimited it. In the added space he decorated vaults and walls with representations of astronomical measuring instruments, so as to stay on the subject. On the ground floor Portaluppi also created Ettore Conti's studio, completely covered with seventeenth-century boiseries of the Valtellinese school decorated with caryatids and talamones. Upstairs he created a Rococo-style mirror room.
The House of the Atellani was hit by the bombings of 1943. The restructuring that brought it to its present form took place between 1946 and 1952, also this time based on a project by Portaluppi who created a largely modern facade that breaks away from the previous one. However, he kept five medallions sculpted by Pompeo Marchesi in the nineteenth century and which reflect five portraits of the Sforza present inside.
Currently the House of the Atellani is owned by the nephews of Cesare Conti.

Leonardo's vineyard
Leonardo da Vinci was the most famous character present at the Sforza court. When he moved to Milan, Ludovico il Moro also granted him the ownership of a vineyard of about one hectare and rectangular in shape. Miraculously arrived, at least in part, up to the twentieth century, what remained of it was saved thanks to the intervention in 1920 by the architect and art historian Luca Beltrami.
Shortly before the Second World War, the remaining vineyard was however destroyed by a fire.
On the occasion of Expo 2015, by the will of the Portaluppi Foundation and the current owners of House of the Atellani and thanks to the decisive contribution of the University of Milan, Leonardo's vineyard was replanted. The choice of the vine plant was based on the results of research conducted since 2007 by the geneticist Serena Imazio and by Professor Attilio Scienza, the greatest expert on the DNA of the vine plant, on the living biological residues of the Original Vineyard in the garden of Casa degli Atellani obtained by manual excavations. Thanks to these researches it was possible to replant Malvasia di Candia Aromatica, the vine plant most similar to the original one.

STRUCURE
The ground floor, the two courtyards and the garden of the House of the Atellani can be visited for a fee: www.casadegliatellani.it/.
Courtyards: There are two courtyards, connected by a porticoed atrium with three arches. In the western courtyard, the first floor, on the side opposite the entrance, protrudes and rests on stone shelves. The present arches are original and rest on shielded serizzo columns.
Many details of the upper parts of the walls are hidden by the presence of lush and suggestive climbing plants, including a notable wisteria.
In the eastern courtyard the arches are highlighted by beautiful terracotta frames. Noteworthy is the four-arched loggia which occupies an entire side and whose walls are entirely occupied by frescoes probably painted in 1533 on the occasion of the marriage between Francesco II Sforza and Cristina of Denmark and depicting landscapes, hunting scenes, Venus and Madonnas.

Only the rooms on the ground floor can be visited. Already they offer a respectable attraction.
Hall of the Zodiac: The room, the first to be accessed after crossing the courtyard, is already mentioned in a document dated 1544. The room takes its name from the signs of the zodiac painted in the lunettes, while the chariots of the planets appear on the vault. On the walls there are a map of Italy, the wind rose and the allegories of the four seasons. The fact that the lunettes are fourteen, i.e. two more than the zodiac signs, is due to the fact that in 1922 Portaluppi enlarged the room by knocking down the oblique wall that delimited it; he decorated the added space with representations of astrolabes and designed two new lunettes. On the mosaic of the floor Portaluppi redesigned planets and signs of the zodiac, corresponding to the frescoes on the wall. The author of the original Renaissance frescoes is unknown, although one hypothesis would like them to be the work of the Avogadro from Tradate.
Hall of portraits: From the Hall of the Zodiac, going towards the park, you pass to the Hall of Portraits. Its name is due to the presence, under a vault with lunettes completely frescoed with arabesques and plant motifs, of fourteen rounds with the features of as many men and women of the Sforza dynasty, recognizable by the inscriptions accompanying each portrait.
The Portraits room is now attributed with certainty to Bernardino Luini and his workshop, that is, to Bernardino Luini and his four sons. However, it must be said that the rounds present in the room today are copies made in the 1920s, after the originals had been transferred in 1902 to the Museum of the Sforza Castle, where they are still found today. Instead, the floral interweaving of the ceiling and vaults are original.
Study room of Cesare Conti: Above the fireplace placed in front of the entrance to the room there is a large coat of arms composed of an alliance conceived for the marriage of Christine of Denmark and Francesco II Sforza. It includes the insignia of all families involved in marriage. The quarters on the left, the eagle of the Empire and the snake granted by the Visconti, are valid for Francesco II; the quarters on the right are valid for Christine.
The library and the walls of the study room, complete with caryatids, are covered with seventeenth-century wood paneling from the Valtellinese school. The four portraits of dogs are attributed to the German Baroque painter Rosa da Tivoli, while on the opposite wall hangs a Tower of Babel by Marten van Valckenborch, a Flemish painter of the late sixteenth century.
Hall of the staircase: Originally the staircase, built on a project by Portaluppi, led to the enfilade of the large halls on the first floor, of which only the dining room survived the bombings of the Second World War unscathed.
The floral friezes near the ceiling originally adorned the façade towards the garden. The crucifixion and the fifteenth-century Lombard throne of grace on the sides of the entrance also come from the original version of the building. On the balustrade of the staircase the noble coats of arms of the Taverna, Pianca and Martini families are set. On the walls there is an eighteenth-century plan of the house, then owned by the Taverna counts, and a contemporary copy by Veronese.
Park: The current park is due to its redesign by Portaluppi, who structured it around a prospective avenue composed of cypresses, decorated with amphorae and stone statues, completed by parterres and fountains. From the park you can appreciate the eastern wing of the building, bordering the Stelline Palace and the only volume added from scratch by Portaluppi in the 1922 project. Note some fanciful neo-baroque windows in the basement and on the mezzanine floor, some of which even having the shape of a butterfly.
Leonardo's vineyard: It corresponds to the part of the garden furthest from the house and is placed at a slightly lower level. It was originally much larger.

If you are interested in a guided tour of this monument send an email!

Categories: Villas und palaces Others


Corso Magenta, 65, 20123 Milano MI
Further pictures of the House of the Atellani and Leonardo's vineyard in the section Photography
Milano: Western court of House of the Atellani and Leonardo's vineyard
Milano: Facade toward the park of House of the Atellani and Leonardo's vineyard
Milano: Statues in the park of House of the Atellani and Leonardo's vineyard
Milano: Vault of the hall of portraits of House of the Atellani and Leonardo's vineyard
Milano: Park of House of the Atellani and Leonardo's vineyard
Milano: Neobaroque windows in the eastern wing of House of the Atellani and Leonardo's vineyard
Milano: Loggia in the eastern court of the House of the Atellani and Leonardo's vineyard
Milano: Study of Cesare Conti in the House of the Atellani and Leonardo's vineyard
Milano: Rose garden in the park of House of the Atellani and Leonardo's vineyard
Milano: Interior of the loggia in the eastern court of the House of the Atellani and Leonardo's vineyard