Villa Moorings was purposely commissioned by Leonello Castelvecchi.
Born in Barga, son of a farmer, Leonello, like many of his fellow-citizens he imigrated, seeking fortune, firstly in the United States then, later in Scotland: here, in a small town on the river Clyde, Largs, a short distance from Glasgow, he accomplished one of his greatest dreams.
Leonello started with a small business making ice-cream which he sold from a three wheeled barrow.
Then gradually through perseverance , great sacrifices and his small ice cream business, he was then able to open fish and chip shops, kiosks, small restaurants and pubs.
To crown his success he started to build one single complex in Largs, The Moorings Restaurant with a ballroom a restaurant seating 1000 people, cafè, ice- cream parlour and lounge bar.
The Moorings was managed by the founder himself with the help of his three sons (Castelson): Corrado, Lio and Cosimo.
In 1924 the Castelvecchi family still tied to it’s Barghigiani roots, as proof of there success and for there love for Barga, commissioned the construction of Villa Moorings, which was to become their holiday home .
Villa Moorings was planned and built in a Liberty style, rich in architectural and pictorial art dècor, high quality marble wrought iron railings precious wood fittings, representative cut crystals, furnished with Murano chandeliers, and Florentine upholstery; such magnificence and luxury provoked astonishment in the observer and was proof of the economic success reached by the family.
After the death of the founder and sons, Villa Moorings inherited by descendants of Leonello was bought by one of the heirs, Letizia Lio’s daughter ,to become the business which it is today managed by Beatrice, Letizia’s daughter with the promise to maintain its distiguished profile and original atmosphere.
Villa Moorings built in1924 represents a significant example of Liberty. Liberty flourished in Europe about 1900 in decorative art and architecture. In Italy it was named after Aurthur Lasenby Liberty (1843-1917) a London merchant who sold ornaments, fabrics and miscellaneous art objects from the Far East.Linked to Liberty, in various European countries was Modernism, l’Art Noveau in France and Belgium, Jugendstil in Germanic countries, Modern Style or Art Decor in England, Secession Stil. The object of all this was to aesthetetically better the designs of common objects of mass-production .
Another denomination used in Italy is Stile Floreale , moulds bearing a stylised floral design or Dolce Stil Novo.
Both in its structure, as in the decorative arts of professor Bruno Cordati, its furnishings, Villa Moorings faithfully respects the style of the period. High ceilings and wide windows indicating the magnificence of man, decorative exterior particulars (decorative architraves above windows and terraces carried out in bas-relief, the balusters of terraces, porches and balconies) all to enrich the outline of the villa.
As some of the villas of this period, Villa Moorings is distinguished by its corner tower. Observation point which reflects the want to comunicate with the scenery and at the same time,it is a symbolic expression of the power of the owner.
Inside and on the terrace the dècor imitates the Tuscan Liberty style: styled flowers, fruit and bunches of grapes, vases, crowns of laurels, birds of paridise, pastel coloured geometric drawings. Villa Moorings distinguishes itself amongst other buildings of that period for one particular dècor which represents an anthem to light; light bulbs were invented by Edison in1878 but started to be used during the years in which the Villa was built:, guests may be left in amazement at the sight of
Villa Moorings’s ceilings, which geometric dècor was achieved by using the stylisation of various types of light bulbs.
Each room is perimetered by a floral or geometric band with various designs: unfortunatly in the forties, when this kind of décor was no longer appreciated, it was painted over: todays owners have managed in part, to restore some of the designs.
It’s magnificent staircase, made of white marble from Carrara (each stair is made from one single block) is supported by a hand made wrought iron railing,often used during this period, designed with concentric circles in which centre stand out the initials of the commissioner of this imposing villa (Leonello Castelvecchi) the same initials, only in gold on crystals can be found on the doors of the centre hallway.Even the furnishings reflect the accuracy of the magnificence of this building: Venetian Murano chandeliers,and original period furniture create an atmosphere which give our guest the feeling of living in past-times.
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