Abandoned ‘Ghost Mansion’: Urban Exploration at Villa de Vecchi

villa-de-vecchi (Image: Jeff Kerwin, cc-3.0)

In the mountains east of Lake Como stands a beautiful Baroque villa abandoned for decades. Silent witness to tragedy and the source of local urban legend, Villa de Vecchi was built by a nobleman who travelled the world and served as a soldier before returning to his native Italy, bringing with him a passion for eastern architecture.

villa-de-vecchi-inside (Image: NomNomBurgerZ, reproduced with permission)

Count Felix De Vecchi chose architect Alessandro Sidoli to build his ideal country home in the mid 1800s. Integrating the latest innovations, including heating pipes within the walls and a fountain utilising the slope of the mountain to generate pressure, the residence boasted stunning frescoes and a grand piano in the hall.

villa-de-vecchi-inside-2 (Image: NomNomBurgerZ, reproduced with permission)

Formal gardens and parkland were planted, a keeper’s house was built and, as Renovating Italy points out, the family’s elegant parties echoed a charmed life.

villa-de-vecchi-ghost-mansion (Image: NomNomBurgerZ, reproduced with permission)

But Sidoli died the year before the house was completed and never saw his final masterpiece. Count de Vecchi, meanwhile, allegedly returned home one day to find his wife murdered and daughter missing. He spent weeks searching for her without a trace. In 1862, his dream destroyed, he killed himself.

villa-de-vecchi-inside-3 (Image: NomNomBurgerZ, reproduced with permission)

Villa de Vecchi passed to the count’s brother Biagio, who replaced the Eastern domes with decorative stonework. The family reportedly spent many summers at the mansion until the 1940s, after which it was abandoned for the next 20 years.

villa-de-vecchi-ghost-mansion-2 (Image: Jeff Kerwin, cc-3.0)

Passed between a succession of owners, Villa de Vecchi eventually became known as the Ghost Mansion, a haunting abandonment tainted by a chilling past that has given way to urban legend in more recent years. Now a scene of dereliction and decay, the abandoned mansion has become the domain of urban explorers, if not ghosts.

villa-de-vecchi-ghost-mansion-3 (Image: fabrice79, cc-nc-sa-3.0))

Keep reading – explore 20 Haunting Abandoned Mansions of the World.

 

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