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Prospetto della facciata anteriore della Villa
Prospetto della facciata posteriore della Villa

Architecture
 
The Villa, designed by Leopold Pollack, has three floors with two lower wings that mark off a ceremonial courtyard. This is screened off on Via Palestro by a wall with protruding ashlar stonework, elegantly interspersed with arches and niches.
In the Villa, there are two main facades, of which the second, hidden from view since it overlooks a rear garden, is more important from an artistic and figurative point of view. On the ground floor, the first façade has three ashlar arches (repeated on all four sides of the courtyard) with four columns above that visually continue in the four sculptures of the balustrade. Instead, the columns on the façade overlooking the garden are supported, like a base, by a protruding ashlar stonework wall. A balustrade, with two statues of classical divinities on top, crosses the entire upper section, amidst the large gables of the two side eaves. On all the windows of the first floor and on some of those on the ground floor we find a grand mythological cycle conceived by Giuseppe Parini.
The surface’s rational and modular layout, the proportional protrusions of the architectural partitions, and the presence of bas-reliefs give the Villa its unmistakable elegant and balanced appearance, reminiscent of Piermarini’s style and a good example of Neo-classical aesthetics. Besides Villa Reale, other buildings that represent this era well are the palaces of Greppi, Belgiojoso and Serbelloni, the renovation of Palazzo Reale, the Villa Reale in Monza, and the Teatro alla Scala.
The rational design that characterizes the exterior of Villa Reale is reflected in the modernity of its interiors, pragmatically distributed and satisfying social needs, including heating with hot air  and an elegant bath with English-style fittings, mentioned in the diary of Marquise Margherita Sparapani Gentili Boccapaduli , Alessandro Verri’s learned travel companion.
 

View the Villa’s former floor plan
 
 
Literature:
 

G.C. Bascapè, T. Celona, M.P. Bassi, La villa Reale di Via Palestro, Strenna dell’Istituto Ortopedico Gaetano Pini, Milano 1986

 

G. Simoncini (a cura di), L'uso dello spazio privato nell'età dell'Illuminismo, tomo I, Olschki, Firenze 1995

 

F. Mazzocca, A. Morandotti, E. Colle, Milano Neoclassica, Longanesi & C., Milano 2001