Villa Mylius Vigoni is located in Loveno, a hamlet of Menaggio, and is a beautiful nineteenth-century residence from which you can enjoy one of the most beautiful views of Lake Como.
The villa is currently Italian-German Center for European Excellence, a laboratory of ideas, a reference point for dialogue and collaboration between Italy and Germany in the European context.
Villa Mylius Vigoni presents an architecture that was born from the interweaving of an Italian-German tradition. It is a residence rich in history and art. Crossing the halls you can immerse yourself in environments rich in works by some of the most important artists of the early nineteenth century.
The villa is surrounded by a large English style park: a naturalistic and scenic environment of rare beauty, where centuries-old trees, viewpoints and exotic essences blend into a unique whole. The park was created by the landscape architect Giuseppe Balzaretto around 1860 and extends, like an amphitheatre, over an area of about 8 hectares, representing one of the most intact examples of romantic gardens still preserved in Lombardy.
Today the villa together with the nearby Villa Garovaglio Ricci is Italian-German Centre for European Excellence and performs many functions.
Academic conferences, international conferences and cultural events make Villa Vigoni a place for meeting and discussion, where projects are promoted and knowledge in the scientific, political, economic and artistic.
The story of Villa Vigoni begins with the arrival of Enrico Mylius (1769‒1854), who had not yet turned twenty. He travelled from Frankfurt am Main to Milan in order to expand the family firm’s business in Italy. Thanks to his extraordinary ability as an entrepreneur, he achieved great success within the space of just a few years, building up a considerable fortune.
In addition to frequenting Italian-German financial circles, Mylius, who had a keen interest in literature, philosophy, art and music, also established firm friendships with the leading exponents of “Milanese” culture at the time, including Massimo d’Azeglio, Francesco Hayez and Alessandro Manzoni.
In 1799 he married Federica Schauss (1771‒1851) in Weimar. She introduced her husband to the court of Grand Duke Karl August of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, where Mylius met and frequented Friederich Schiller, Johann Wolfgang Goethe and Johann Gottfried Herder. Within this milieu, Mylius played an important role as a contact and endorser for Italian culture in Germany and vice versa. A patron and benefactor, he put large amounts of money into founding nurseries, schools, libraries, prizes for students and study grants in Frankfurt am Main and Milan. It was in the Lombard capital that he achieved his most ambitious undertaking: founding and funding the “Società d’Incoraggiamento d’Arti e Mestieri”, Italy’s first technical school.
Purchased by Enrico Mylius in 1829 as a wedding gift for his son Giulio and his son’s wife Luigia Vitali, the use of villa and its spaces was partly reconsidered following the sudden and tragic death of Giulio just a few days after the marriage. The place was therefore adapted so that memory and culture could be interpreted within an artistic dimension. As a result, the paintings and sculptures that can be seen in the rooms and gardens represent the ideal chapters of a tale that still today tells the story and the fate of a family associated with high standards of human knowledge and creativity.
The conservation and promotion of this past were fostered by three generations of the Mylius-Vigoni family after Enrico. Then came the last descendent, Ignazio Vigoni, who bequeathed the property in Loveno to the German Federal Republic, symbol of his family’s roots.