Vittoriale degli Italiani Gardone Riviera, Italy

The Vittoriale degli italiani (The Shrine of Italian Victories) is a hillside estate in the town of Gardone Riviera overlooking the Garda lake in province of Brescia, Lombardy It is where the Italian writer Gabriele d’Annunzio lived after his defenestration in 1922 until his death in 1938 The estate consists of the residence of d’Annunzio called the Prioria (priory), an amphitheatre, the protected cruiser Puglia set into a hillside, a boathouse containing the MAS vessel used by D’Annunzio in 1918 and a circular mausoleum Its grounds are now part of the Grandi Giardini Italiani

Vittoriale degli Italiani is a complex of buildings, streets, squares, an open air theater, gardens and waterways between 1921 and 1938 in Gardone Riviera, on the Brescia shore of Lake Garda, by Gabriele d’Annunzio on the design of the architect Giancarlo Maroni, in memory of the “inimitable life” of the poet-soldier and of Italian companies during the First World War. Often, for sinless times, that name refers only to the house of d’Annunzio, located inside the complex.

The Vittoriale extends for about nine hectares on the hills of Gardone Riviera in a panoramic position overlooking the lake. It welcomes the visitor the monumental entrance consisting of a pair of arcs in the center of which is a fountain bearing in bronze letters a passage of the Secret Book, last work written by Gabriele d’Annunzio: “Within this three-tiered circle of walls, where translated is already in stone the religious book that I thought was responsible for the rites of the homeland and the Latin winners called Il Vittoriale ». To overcome the fountain a pair of cornucopia and a tympanum with the famous Dannunzano motto I have what I donated. From the entrance arches there is a dual path: the first in a slight uphill leads to Prioria, the house-museum of Gabriele d’Annunzio, and climbs again to the military ship Puglia and the Mausoleum of the Heroes with the poet’s grave; the second door to the gardens, the Arengo, and through a series of degrading terraces towards the lake, you reach the limonaia and the orchard.

After passing the entrance and taking the road to Prioria, they meet the Pilo del Piave with sculpture of the sculpture won by the sculptor Arrigo Minerbi, the Pilo del Dare in jug, that is, to strike in the sign, to shred. On the left, the amphitheater designed by Maroni between 1931 and 1938 but only completed in 1953. Inspired by the theatrical theaters, and in particular Pompeii where Maroni was sent on mission together with the sculptor Renato Brozzi, he enjoys a breathtaking panorama on the lake as having natural scenography Monte Baldo, the island of Garda, the fortress of Manerba, in which the German poet Goethe seemed to see the profile of Dante and the peninsula of Sirmione. It is home every summer of a prestigious season of performances that over the years has led to the limestone stage of the greatest Italian actors, étoiles of the world of dance such as Carla Fracci and Eleonora Abbagnato, star of international music such as Lou Reed, Michael Bolton, Patti Smith and Ben Harper.

Going further, you reach the Piazzetta Dalmata, which is named after the pile over the Virgin of Dalmatia. This space overlooks the Prioria, Gabriele d’Annunzio’s home-museum, the Schifamondo, the towers of the Archives and the Vittoria’s temple with a bronze copy of the celebrated Victorian Wing of Brescia from the classical era. On the right side you can admire two of the last cars owned by d’Annunzio during his life: the Fiat T4, with which he entered his river entrance on 12 September 1919, and Isotta Fraschini.

La Prioria:
The house, formerly owned by the German art critic Henry Thode, is named after the Priory poet, or a house of the prior, according to a conventual symbolism that is found in many parts of the Victorian. The ancient eighteenth-century façade of the farmhouse is transformed and enriched by Maroni between 1923 and 1927, with the addition of ancient coats of arms and tombstones recalling the facade of Palazzo Pretorio di Arezzo. At the center of the facade, a greyhound greyhound illustrates the motto Dannunziano No longer firm or more faithful. The entrance finder, in the twentieth century, is decorated with two victories attributed to Jacopo Sansovino, while on the door leaf above a bronze Victorian crucifix by Guido Marussig, Clausura’s motto is read out until Silentum that you speak.

Here begins an initiatory journey between symbolic presences that recall the sacred value of the house: the golden gate, the seven stairs, the stalls of a seventeenth-century choir on the walls, a pastoral and an aquasantiera, the Franciscan column in Assisi stone surmounted by a concrete basket with pomegranates, the fruit of Annunzio’s emblem, as a symbol of abundance and fertility. Two doors, topped by two lunettes of Salodian painter Angelo Landi and depicting St. Clare and St. Francis of Assisi, lead to two different antiques, one reserved for official visits and one for poet friends.

Here begins an initiatory journey between symbolic presences that recall the sacred value of the house: the golden gate, the seven stairs, the stalls of a seventeenth-century choir on the walls, a pastoral and an aquasantiera, the Franciscan column in Assisi stone surmounted by a concrete basket with pomegranates, the fruit of Annunzio’s emblem, as a symbol of abundance and fertility. Two doors, topped by two lunettes of Salodian painter Angelo Landi and depicting St. Clare and St. Francis of Assisi, lead to two different antiques, one reserved for official visits and one for poet friends.

Mask Room:
The room is called by the verses above the chimney mirror, made during the visit of Mussolini to Vittoriale in May 1925: Does the visitor / Teco bring the mirror of Narcissus? This is plumbed glass or mask. / Adjust your masks to your face / but think that you are glass against steel.

This anteroom acted as a waiting room for official visits. Inside, there are about 900 volumes, including music scores and a rich collection of records, a radio and a gramophone. It is worth mentioning the Murano glass chandelier depicting four cornucopia, the bronze horse of Dario Elting presented at the Exhibition of Decorative Arts in Paris in 1925 (International exhibition of modern decorative arts and crafts), chairs with Giancarlo’s purple backrest Maroni and some Faenza’s vase in Pietro Melandri’s deco style. It is said that Annunciation has waited Mussolini for two hours in that room

Music Room:
Originally named Gasparo da Salò, considered the inventor of the modern violin, is a great chamber for chamber concerts. Here on particular occasions the Quartet of Vittoriale played. To enhance the acoustics and the recollection, the walls are covered with precious black and silver damask by the Ferrari company in Milan, depicting fierce beasts and backed by a lira-shaped clamp. It is a reference to the myth of Orfeo that with music succeeds in snapping fairs. The yellow windows in imitation of the abalone, of Peter Church, recall those already described in the first pages of the novel The Pleasure. In the room there are two pianos and other musical instruments: a clown, a zufoo and an arciliuto. On the walls are some paintings of the Thode collection including a portrait of Cosima Liszt Wagner, by Franz von Lenbach, and the funeral masks of Ludwig van Beethoven and Franz Liszt. The furnishings come with déco items and oriental statuettes, Roman columns surmounted by bright polychromatic gourds and Murano glass fruit baskets of Napoleon Martinuzzi, Greek sculptural plaster casts, snakeskin sketches like the ceiling-mounted python. The eclectic taste of D’Annunzio mixing objects of different origin and age finds here its first and immediate manifestation.

Hall of the World map:
It’s the home’s main library. Here are placed about six thousand art books already belonged to the German art critic Henri Thode on the total of 33,000 collections collected by d’Annunzio during its existence. The name of the room comes from the great eighteenth-century geographic sprawling over a table. In the niche in the center of the room, the xilograph of Adolfo De Carolis depicting the Dantes Adriaticus; just beyond the funeral mask of Napoleon Bonaparte and some objects really belonged to the French leader during the exile period spent at Sant’Elena. On the opposite side of the plaster that reproduces the bust of Michelangelo and, in the niche above the couch, the famous round Pitti by Michelangelo Buonarroti whose original is preserved at the National Museum of the Bargello of Florence. Between the two windows, an American organ to which Luisa Baccara, a young Venetian pianist, but also an official companion of d’Annunzio in Fiume and for the entire Vittoriale period, usually sat.

The name is derived from an ancient provencal word meaning chamber woman. Anteroom to the bedroom and wardrobe, wardrobes and drawers still today is the poet’s linen, in this Annunzio room he was hiding the last days of the day and sitting here at the table was found dead on the evening of March 1, 1938 Behind the desk was the poet’s pharmacy, on the closet closet, in the plaster of the horned Parthenon horses. On the desk, the writing desk was signed by Mario Buccellati, a goldsmith of the Vittoriale and nicknamed by the poet Mastro Paragon Coppella, the silver eagle head of Renato Brozzi, the head of the Aurora of Michelangelo.

Leda Room:
It was the Poet’s bedroom and named after a large plaster placed on the fireplace depicting Leda loved by Jupiter transformed into a swan. On the door is read the motto Genio et voluptati, to the genius and to the pleasure, and on the other side is hanging a tile coming from the Palazzo Ducale of Mantua with the motto For a dixir, for a single wish. On the ceiling, decorated by Guido Marussig, there are the famous lyrics of the Dante’s song Three women around the cor I came here … Here too the assortment of items is extraordinary: from Chinese majolica elephants to Arabic-Persian plates, bronze Chinese to the blue majolica and to the oriental style furniture. Noteworthy are the Persian embroidered silk bedspread with wild animals, a gift from Annunzio of his wife Maria Hardouin of Gallese, a painting by Mario de Maria, Portrait of Dogaressa of Astolfo de Maria and the monumental cast of the Dying Prison of Michelangelo, whose Annunzio’s hips clutches with a drape to hide the legs considered too short with respect to the torso.

Apollino Veranda:
The small room was added by Maroni to the original structure of the villa to shield the direct sunlight in the Leda’s room and served as a reading room that was pleasantly overlooked on the gardens of the Vittoriale, digging toward the lake. The name of the room comes from the plaster of an archaic kouros decorated by the Poet with blue eyes, a precious thong and a bundle of golden ears, a symbol of abundance; the room is decorated with reproductions of famous portraits of Renaissance Italian painting, porcelain Lenci and Rosenthal porcelain, carpets and Persian vases. On a coffee table, photographs of the mother and Eleonora Duse.

Blue bath:
In the bathroom, subdivided into French in the restroom and toilet room, there are over 600 items whose dominant tones are blue and green. For the renovation Maroni took advantage of Gio Ponti’s advice. On the ceiling you read the motto, Pindaro, Ottima is the water, and to the walls, in addition to reproductions of Ignudi of the Sistine Chapel of Michelangelo, we find next to the bathtub a very rich collection of ceramic wall tiles of Persian production , some of which date back to the 17th and 18th centuries. On the table there are silverware and stones made of Buccellati toiletries, Murano glasses, daggers and swords collections. The retreat contains three wooden masks from the Japanese theater of the eighteenth century and a Rosenthal porcelain female figurine of 1927. The stained-glass window with its colorful alcions is the work of Peter Church.

Lebanese Room:
This room, also called the Zambra del Misello or Cell of the Pure Dreams, was conceived by d’Annunzio as a place of meditation where to retreat to the fateful anniversaries of his life. On the walls of deer skins and on the ceiling in the golden chests of drawers, the symbols of the martyrdom of Christ, framed by the etheric figures of saints – Caterina da Siena, Judith of Poland, Elizabeth of Hungary, Odyssey of Alsace and Sibyl of Flanders – painted by Guido Cadorin and that the poet said that he appeared to him in a dream to invite him to abandon the pleasures of the world. On a podium raised the wooden statue of San Sebastiano of the Marche School and the bed called by the poet of the two ages because it looks like a coffin and at the same time a cradle. In the picture at the bottom of the wall St. Francis is depicted in the act of embracing a leper that others are but the same as Annunzio. Cadorin is also the painting on the background wall depicting Jesus Christ in the act of blessing Maddalena. On a table, photographic portraits of her sister Elvira, her mother Luisa and Eleonora Duse, together with the gorgeous Vittorio Zecchin’s Enamel Glass Vestal Cup. Of all the rooms of the Vittoriale that of the Leprosy is perhaps the most dense of symbols whose main source seems to be instead the St Francis of Assisi History of Chavin de Malan translated by Cesare Guasti, published in Prato in 1879. In this room, for the private vigil, the poet was exposed in the night between March 1 and March 2, 1938.

Corridor of the Via Crucis:
It takes this name from enamelled copper shapes representing the fourteen Via Crucis stations, by Giuseppe Guidi. The walls are lined with “open” fabrics by Lisio and Ferrari in Milan, bearing the motto “Pax et bonum – malum et pax”. At the corner, the figure of the weeping friar of Philippe Pot’s tomb kept in the Louvre Museum. From the windows you can see the Courtyard of the Schiavoni, with the coat of arms of Monte Nevoso and the Portico del Parente.

Relief Hall:
It is the room where Annunzio collects images and symbols of different faiths: a pyramid of divinities and Oriental idols surmounted by a theory of saints and martyrs of the Christian religion in a sort of religious syncretism also affirmed in golden letters on the trabeation that runs along the walls: All idols worship the living God / All faiths attest to the eternal man.
But relic, understood as a sacred symbol, is also the broken wheel – significantly placed in front of a tabernacle – of Sir Henry Segrave’s motorboat, who died in 1930 during an attempt to surpass a speed record in the waters of Lake Windermere in England. For D’Annunzio that steering wheel represents what he calls the “Religion of Risk”, the attempt of man to overcome the constraints imposed by nature. On the ceiling the red gonfalone with the seven stars of the Orsa Maggiore of the “Regency of the Carnage”, the revolutionary state that the poet had founded in Rijeka. At the walls we find the bas-relief of the lion of San Marco donated to D’Annunzio from the city of Genoa on the interventionist talk of May 5, 1915 and the one painted by Marussig that was placed in the studio of D’Annunzio in Fiume and was struck by a grenade during the so-called “Christmas of blood”. The walls are covered with Mariano Fortuny’s melancholy draperies and a large biblical tapestry hanging from the gable that carries the motto Five fingers, five of its sins: the seven sins of Annunzio’s capital sins excluded laziness and avarice.

Giglio Room:
It is a study containing about three thousand volumes of Italian history and literature decorated by Marussig with panels depicting lily stems, perhaps with reference to the designed cycle of the novels of the Giglio, of which the poet wrote only the first volume, Le Vergini delle rocce. The environment is characterized by a small armonium and two niches-confessionals decorated with a precious collection of pharmacy vases of the 16th and 17th centuries.

Oratory Dalmata:
It was the waiting room reserved for friends allowed within Prioria and it is characterized by fifteenth century stalls on which are indicated the posts of the prior, of the vice-prize, of the chancellor. In the fireplace, a Romanesque column resting on a lion from the Dalmatian city of Arbe. On the walls there are religious images of various origins and a great painting depicting Job, attributed to the school of Ribera. In the center of the room, however, a series of liturgical objects – navies, turibles, and planks – have a strong symbolic value, while in the center of the ceiling, another relic, is hanged the propeller of the waterway with which in 1925 Francesco De Pinedo the 55,000-kilometer-long flight from Sesto Calende to Melbourne and Tokyo.

Monco Wardrobe:
The name derives from the sculpture of a cut and skinned left hand placed on the architrave of the door with the motto Recisa quiescit, cut rested. It was the room used to make the correspondence: Annunzio, unable or unwilling to answer all, ironically declared monk and therefore unable to write. The wardrobes are the only Vittoriale furniture from Capponcina, the famous villa in Florence inhabited by the Poet from 1898 to 1910. Four sentences of Leonardo da Vinci on the shelves of the shelves: And those who do not have burial are covered by the sky, so that you things can no longer support. If you want your house to be very big, think of the tomb. No house is small that does not make her a great inhabitant. On the ceiling, a motif of hands stylized with Spanish motto “Tuerto y derecho” and “Todo es nada”. Among the objects there is the vase Libellula, made in Murano by Vittorio Zecchin’s design around 1914-1915.

It is the only room in Prioria which freely accesses the natural daylight and is the only one furnished with simple and functional light oak furniture. It was the study of D’Annunzio, which is accessed by climbing three high stairs and passing under a low architrave which forces those who come to bend. The architrave is surmounted by the virgilian verse hoc opus hic labor est (here is the company and the fatigue) with which in Eneide it is admitted that Aeneas is about to go down to Hades of how easy it is to access the underworld but to succeed to return to the world of life is indeed the real difficult business. Indeed, after the shadows that characterize the rest of the priori the brightness of this room makes the visitor the effect of a rise from the dark to the light. Ready-made, sloped shelves, and revolving bowls surround the table and take off the backrest on which Annunzio writes; Frequently consulted works are at hand, beginning with the vocabularies and the repertoire of which the author has always served.

On one of the two desks stands the elf bust of Eleonora Duse, the work of the Ferrara sculptor Arrigo Minerbi. The great actress who disappeared in 1924 was for Annunzio a companion and inspirational muse; a silk scarf covers the woman’s face, “veiled witness” of her uninterrupted writer engagement. But to decorate the writing scene are also the coats of Nike of Samotracia and the equestrian metropolitans of the Parthenon, the photographic images of the Sistine Chapel. Qui d’Annunzio also worked for sixteen consecutive hours and here, after completing the Nightwatch, he composed the Secret Book, his last work.

Hall of the Labyrinth:
The name derives from the emblem of the Labyrinth, which is repeated on the doors and the bounds of the books, derived from the famous one of the Palazzo Ducale of Mantua; from the motto of the same Labyrinth, D’Annunzio had drawn the title of the novel in 1910 Perhaps that maybe not.

Cheli Hall:
Completed in 1929, the only unusual hall of the house as Annunzio had the means to tell Maroni, the room comes its name from a large bronze turtle by Renato Brozzi, derived from the carapace of a real turtle donated to d ‘Announced by the Marchesa Luisa Casati and dead in the Gardens of Vittoriale for indigestion of tuberose: his presence is worth a watch against greed. It was the guest dining room: in the last years of his Annunzio life he preferred dining in the Zambracca alone. The vivid blue and gold colors, the red or black lacquer, the imitation satin windows of the barge make it the most complete home environment and approach it to some of the solutions of contemporary cruise ship salons. Among the objects are the bronze group of Fauno and Ninfa of Le Faguays, the beautiful silver plates engraved by Renato Brozzi with Dannunz’s motto, the peacocks place in silver and hard stones and in the niche on the right, entering the foot of the Antinoo Farnese, the young boy loved by Emperor Adriano.

Museum of Annunzio Hero:
D’Annunzio, having decorated the Prioria, thought of making a museum that celebrated his heroism and the Italian people’s businesses in the 1915-1918 war. The poet’s death occurred before he saw this new work begun, although the SVA airplane hanging on the ceiling of the Auditorium remains evident. This desire, however, was accomplished in 2000 when the Schifamondo spaces were opened to the public, thus enhancing the rich and precious historical heritage linked to the military experience of Gabriele d’Annunzio and the great companies that saw him as the protagonist: Vienna, the Beck of Buccari, the company of the mouths of Kotor and the great river epoch.

Among the most significant objects visible in the large rooms decorated according to the déco’s taste of the time, the personal Medagliere d’Annunzio with the gold medal at Valor Militare, four silver and one in bronze; divided by Lanciere di Novara, Bersagliere, Ardito and General Air Force; the complete seals used for the flight to Vienna and the Beffa di Buccari; flags including the one in which the body of Giovanni Randaccio, the Gonfalone of the Italian Regiment of Carnaro, the engine of the flight plane on Vienna, wrapped up.

In July 2011, the Museum of War changed its name into the museum of Annunzio Eroe and it enriched two new halls hosting seventy-four objects, including arms, banners and autographs, of the Dannunzian Collection by Ambassador Antonio Benedetto Spada. Among them is a dagger of honor in ivory and steel, a gold plated silver plummet with river symbols, a rock crystal skull, the message left in the Buccari Bay in the night between 10 and 11 February 1918, the autograph manuscript de The Night of Caprera. No modern technology was deliberately adopted in the set-up, but a museum was built that would reflect the atmosphere of Prioria and continue the spirit and essence of the house as well as Annunzio and Maroni had wanted and realized it .

The park:
From the piazza Dalmata you climb to the Park through the avenue of Aligi, named after the character of the opera “The Daughter of Iorio”; in 1927 this tragedy was staged in the Vittoriale Park.

The summit of the Vittoriale is occupied by the Mausoleum, a funeral monument built by Maroni after the death of d’Annunzio. The monument is inspired by the funerary tombs of Etruscan-Roman tradition and consists of three botticino marble groups representing the victories of the Umili, the Artieri and the Heroes. In the middle of the upper plan is the burial of D’Annunzio and around the arches of nine heroes and river legionaries dear to the poet, including Guido Keller, Giuseppe Piffer, Ernesto Cabruna, Ace, Conci, Locatelli, Bacula, Siviero, Gotthard and the same Gian Carlo Maroni.

Near the Mausoleum there is also the hangar that houses the MAS 96 on which Annunzio with Luigi Rizzo and Costanzo Ciano participated in the Beffa di Buccari. At the time of d’Annunzio the MAS was moored at the dock of Torre San Marco and was used by the poet for excursions on the waters of the Garda. Outside, the acronym Memento audition always reproduces a Latin motto coined by d’Annunzio (“remember to dare always”).

Below the hill is the Puglia military ship, perhaps the most evocative of Vittoriale. The ship, on which Tommaso Gulli died in the waters of Split, was donated to D’Annunzio by the Navy in 1923. The work to bring it to Vittoriale proved to be particularly demanding: it was a section of a ship and transported by rail located 300 km from La Spezia; for the enterprise, twenty railway wagons and numerous military trucks were needed. To coordinate the sending of the materials and to direct the reconstruction work was appointed engineer Silla Giuseppe Fortunato, then Lieutenant of the Navy Genius. The bow, symbolically facing the Adriatic and Dalmatia, was adorned by a pole depicting a Victory carved by Renato Brozzi.

In the ship’s underworld since 2002, the Border Museum has been set up, which collects some precious vintage models of warships in the collection of Amedeo of Savoy, Duke of Aosta.

From the Puglia Ship you can admire the valley formed by the streams of the Aquapagazza and Aquasavia streams that join the valley in the violin-shaped Danze Pond. This site, conceived by d’Annunzio for coreutic shows, was reopened to the public in the spring of 2013 after restoration work to remedy the hydrogeological disruption of the area, thus giving the public another piece of the park. Since May 2015, the two valleys have been added to the trail with interesting landscapes.

The gardens:
From the Piazzetta Dalmata you access the Gardens. On the left you first meet the Cortiletto degli Schiavoni, ornamented by a Venetian well. The courtyard recalls in the forms of the birthplace of d’Annunzio in Pescara. Around the courtyard runs the Porch of the Parent, entitled to Michelangelo Buonarroti, to whom Annunzio felt close by by affinity and genius. The courtyard and the surrounding porch during Gabon d’Annunzio’s Gardonese stay were often furnished with Persian carpets, tables and other furnishings, transforming these spaces into a sort of outdoor cenacle where the poet was receiving and entertaining his guests.

Continuing in the gardens, past a stone architrave surmounted by an acephalus Venus and the red script Rosam cape, spinam cave, (with the rose, but be careful at the plug), you come to a grove of magnolias in the center of which is l ‘I Arengo. This is the symbolic place where Annunzio reunited the River Florian for commemorative ceremonies. A tall throne, almost a throne, and stone seats are placed around the Column of the oath, from the Byzantine capital; out of the seat fence there are seventeen columns symbolizing the seventeen wins of war. The column depicting the victory of the Battle of Caporetto is the darkest one and runs on the top an urn containing Carso’s land. The only statue here is the Bronze Victory of Napoleon Martinuzzi, crowned with thorns and motto:

Going down the terraces to the lake you meet the lemon tree with the Belvedere and more under the tomb of Renata, the sirenetta, daughter of d’Annunzio and star of the Night. Continuing, near a group of cypresses, you arrive at the cemetery of the dogs and the orchard in the center of which on a high column is placed the Chanel of Martinuzzi, a large statue of bronze depicting a sophisticated woman wearing a boss fruit basket. They recall the orchard with large eagles and lilies similar to those of Annunzio, many years ago, admired in the gardens of Villa d’Este.

On September 19, 2014, due to a severe storm knocked down on Gardone, among the various damages to the gardens, there has been the fall of some centuries-old cypresses from which the washers were sold by the Fondazione Il Vittoriale. The proceeds were used to support various restoration projects of the complex.

d’Annunzio Secret Museum:
Opened in 2010 in the great exhibition space of the subtitling, the Annunzio Segreto Museum collects how far it had not been known to the general public because it was closed in the closets and drawers of Prioria: Vate’s clothes, shoes and boots, lingerie , the clothes made specially made by D’Annunzio for her women, dog collars, desk items, tableware, jewels. An entire section is dedicated to stylish suitcases, hoods and hanging baulks. The gigantographs of the poet at Capponcina or Vittoriale Park, the images of some of his most famous lovers, love letters, fabrics that decorate the rooms of Prioria, dress the emicicle and the eleven columns of the showroom. At the entrance six screens are broadcasting vintage movies of the Luce Institute or RAI Historical Archives. The Annunzio Segreto Museum is therefore a close encounter with the daily world of Gabriele d’Annunzio in its inimitable and refined lifestyle.

“I found here an old villa belonging to the deceased Dr. Thode on the Garda. It is full of beautiful books … The garden is sweet, with its pergolas and its sloping terraces. And the warm light makes me sigh to Rome. I will stay here a few months to finally lay off the Nightmare, “Annunzio wrote to his wife Maria in a letter of February 1921, that is, a few days after his arrival in Gardone; in the poet’s intentions the gardesan stay had to last only a few weeks to complete the writing of his latest novel, while today it is known that Gardonese would become his last and definitive home.

Vittoriale is today an open-to-public foundation and is visited annually by some 210,000 people.