FONDAZIONE ENTE VILLE VESUVIANE
Tourism in the name of Beauty.
L ocated in one of the happiest and most evocative positions, downstream of the Bourbon road of the Calabrie,not far from the Reggia di Portici and adjacent to the Villa Favorita, Villa Campolieto was built by the will of Prince Luzio De Sangro, Duke of Casacalenda who in 1755, entrusted the project and the execution to the works to Mario Gioffredo. He was forced to abandon the work around 1760 and was replaced by Luigi Vanvitelli, who, from 1763 to 1773 (the year of his death) directed the works, completed in 1775 by his son Carlo. The Villa Campolieto, acquired in 1977 by the Ente Ville Vesuviane, now a Foundation, after 6 years of restoration has been restored to its primitive splendor and returned to public use. The building is set to a square plan, articulating the four blocks of a central Greek cross tunnel, and is spread over five levels. The rear facade of the Villa opens with an elliptical porch with Tuscan columns that forms a covered lookout and ends with a magnificent view of the sea with a bathtub and an elliptical staircase that combines the factory body with the garden below. On the left, the impressive stable designed by the Gioffredo with cruising vaults and pillars in “piperno” (volcanic rock). The Vanvitelli "overturning the original design of the Gioffredo" completely redesigns the staircase of the Villa, creating a central rampant and two lateral ones on the model experimented in Caserta, enriching it with a mask and a grotesque located in the inner side of the entrance arch and by six niches that mark the ascent to the main floor containing statues with mythological subject, the vestibule then, is presented with a domed atrium and flanked by two absidal niches. Its function was to welcome and direct guests in the different rooms of the apartment. From the room called "Cannocchiale" for its characteristic conformation, it is accessed in the private rooms of the family, then arriving in the dining room, surely one of the most evocative rooms of the villa, designed by Gioffredo in square shape with barrel ceiling, was overturned by the Vanvitelli who, obeying the wishes of the landlord, made it circulate with a technique called “incannucciata”, which consists of a wooden rib, superimposed with bamboo rods, cast and then frescoed.
The fresco, which decorates the entire room, the work of Fischetti and Magrì, reproduces the supporting structure depicting a gazebo covered with a vine grown in the prince's funds and where the family loved to relax with guests on beautiful summer days. With our backs to the window, looking at the fresco from right to left, we first meet a group of people playing cards including the De Sangro, following in the background the gulf islands, and past the door we can see one of the few self-portraits on fresco of the Vanvitelli that peers into the sky with the monocle. The service doors are camouflaged with the fresco of which part was lost along with one of the four seasons depicted at the corners of the hall. The hall "of Mirrors", located in this wing of the palace, was a female studio, as deduced by the muted colors, in which you would entertain others before entering the party hall. Although the construction of the Vesuvius villas of the 18th century was designed to give priority to the external use to the internal one, great importance was given to the Festival Hall. In what remains of the fresco of the barrel ceiling, you can see mythological figures with festoons, lovebirds and supporting architecture. The frescoes on the walls reproduce the myth of Hercules with eight medallions depicting his life, two niches with the statues of Hercules and Cupid, while in the lunettes above the doors are depicted Abundance and Wisdom. Going out on the terrace you can admire one of the most evocative and panoramic views of the Gulf of Naples, from Posillipo to Ischia, to Capri and the Sorrentine Peninsula. On either side of the ballatode are two stairs leading to the open promenade of the portic, heading to the right you can see four garittes that delimited a fishmonger and that served as shelter from the sun while fishing. In the background the gaze opens towards the forest of the Reggia di Portici and the archaeological area of Hercolanese. Looking into the middle of the promenade, we admire the architecture designed by the elliptical staircase that leads to the fountain and the Palmeto. Continuing the walk and turning our backs to the sea, we admire the Vesuvius that dominates the landscape with its grandeur, on the same perspective Villa Ruggiero, on the right Villa Favorita.