The magnificence of Villa Necchi alla Portalupa is known. But how many know which characters from the world of music and cinema have chosen it to pronounce their fateful “yes” or to shoot cult films of Italian cinema? It was May last year when the singer-songwriter Max Pezzali chose it to secretly marry Debora Pelamatti, his partner since 2013. And again, in 1980, the directors Castellano and Pipolo, in this suggestive place, filmed some scenes of the comedy “Il bisbetico domato”, with Adriano Celentano and Ornella Muti. The majestic villa, now a luxury resort, a few kilometers from Pavia and Milan, is located in the Molino d’Isella district of the municipality of Gambolò, within the splendid Ticino Park. A river reserve, listed by UNESCO as one of the most fascinating natural sites in the world.
Villa Necchi alla Portalupa, history
Historic mansion, Villa Necchi alla Portalupa is surrounded by a large and elegant garden. A real estate, ten hectares, full of flowers and trees, overlooking the La castellana canal. Belonged to the Municipality of Borgo San Siro until 1723, it was taken over in the 1930s by Vittorio Necchi. In addition to the villa, whose original structure dates back to 1800, the estate included a large agricultural area with farmhouses, woods and clearings. There were also houses for service staff, a church and a school for children in the Molino d’Isella hamlet. The Necchi, one of the most important families of Italian industrialists, loved to grow flowers and plants. Still today, a rich vegetation, accompanied by secular oaks, characterizes the enchanting park.
Since the 1940s, the villa has hosted numerous well-known Italian and European faces (including the royal Savoy), invited by the owners to participate in hunting trips. Portalupa was, in fact, an important hunting reserve, where wild ducks and pheasants were bred. Since 1959 it has housed a small church, commissioned by Vittorio Necchi and consecrated on 8 November of the same year by the bishop of Vigevano, Aloisius Barbero. Today the chapel is used to celebrate weddings held in the villa.
Villa Necchi alla Portalupa: the restoration
What we currently admire in all its glory is the result of four intense years of redesign and restoration. Essential years to bring the villa and the estate back to its former glory. Started in 2006 by a team of Lombard architects, including Valter Pisati, the works initially involved the area surrounding the villa, invaded by thorns and weeds. The building, uninhabited since the 1960s, was dilapidated inside and out and inaccessible due to the broken taxes and the beams transferred. In short, the company was really difficult. The architects gave priority to the central body of the stately home, the real jewel of the whole estate.
Once removed the furniture that once furnished it, the only work saved was the magnificent wall panel, in oil on canvas, which the architect and painter Giancarlo Palanti created on commission from his friend Vittorio Necchi. The painting, three by four meters, depicts Mrs. Lina Ferrari Necchi with her dogs by the lake in the agricultural area of the Portalupa and in the background her husband in hunting gear. Today the work of art enriches, across the wall, what is the bar area of the central body of the villa.
Villa Necchi alla Portalupa, refined venue for events
The villa, the garden and the adjacent village are treated in detail and offer an innumerable series of services. Many rooms, furnished and decorated with meticulous care, equipped with modern technologies and all comforts, make the ancient residence unique in its kind.
The internal environment is very bright, thanks to large windows and skylights. A qualified staff is at the complete disposal of the guests, who can rediscover the luxury of time to devote to themselves here. All thanks also to a careful selection of fine materials: from the best bedding collections, to soft sponges and precious essences.
The villa can be reserved exclusively for any occasion. Guests are guaranteed maximum confidentiality. Inside it has twenty charming rooms: eight standard, eight superior, three spacious junior suites and a refined senior suite. Five, however, are those of the Borgo, totally surrounded by nature. In Provencal style, they are located next to Villa Gaia, the ideal annex for a comfortable stay.
Villa Necchi also offers spaces for meetings, successful conferences and indoor and outdoor team building activities for companies, which can have multimedia equipment. In addition, the wellness center was born from the renovation of an old greenhouse for the cultivation of orchids. Ideal place to regenerate, immersed in the silence of nature. This environment too is flooded with natural light with large windows from which to contemplate the gardens.
Necchi hamlet and the Club House
The hamlet is the area that the Necchi spouses dedicated to their passion for plants and flowers. Today it is a splendid setting, a perfect combination of elegance and nature, ideal for celebrating unforgettable moments. It is also enriched by a romantic colonnade for civil rites, the church, and fascinating fountains. Walking through the village, you are immersed in a Provencal atmosphere, made of pastel colors and perfumes. Here ponies, fallow deer and a donkey live together.
Along the lake, you can also admire the magnificent mute swans that inhabit it. The luxuriant secular park offers wide open spaces and a covered patio of seventy-five square meters. This fabulous context is enriched by the panoramic terraces, perfect for refined events and cocktails overlooking the park. Here stands the Club House, whose interiors, expertly cared for, help to create a perfect balance between elegance and nature. In the old greenhouses spices are grown which are used in the restaurant kitchen.
The splendid residence also houses a gourmet restaurant. This, which can well be defined as one of the flagships of the structure, prefers local products, strictly DOP. Also open to guests who are not staying at the historic residence, the restaurant has three elegant rooms: the Sala Bamboo (with Murano glass chandeliers and the possibility of welcoming over 100 guests); the Sala Camino (for thirty people, so called because it is enriched with a 1600 fireplace, in Carrara marble), the Sala Azzurra (with an antique style, with large windows and raised above the others, it can also accommodate 30 people) .
The chef is Antonio Danise. Neapolitan of origins, he is 36 years old and boasts numerous experiences in Campania starred restaurants, including the “Quattro passi” steak. To make his dishes, Antonio starts from the search for raw materials: fresh and genuine ingredients, respecting the Mediterranean tradition. Guests are offered the opportunity to eat à la carte or choose one of the two tasting routes created by the chef: “Lomellina and contaminations” and “Memories and territory”. The cuisine and the composition of the menus are designed to offer a wide range of culinary choices tailored to the guests’ wishes.
Villa Necchi alla Portalupa is therefore the ideal place for a fairytale stay or to celebrate important events. A place where elegance and attention to detail predominate. An exclusive location that blends with nature, where guests can enjoy impeccable and discreet assistance of the highest level. In short, a dream place with an ancient and inimitable charm.
(Images from Villa Necchi alla Portalupa Official Page Facebook)