- Art & Culture
Villa Cusani Tittoni Traversi
In Desio, Monza e Brianza, Villa Cusani Tittoni Traversi is an elegant family residence with a history going back two centuries.
A monumental neoclassical villa, designed by Piermarini, stands in the heart of the city of Desio, in the province of Monza e Brianza. Villa Cusani Tittoni Traversi is one of the most beautiful country residences - or ‘Villa di Delizia’ (villas of delight) in Lombardy, now home to the Scalvini Museum.
Built in the late eighteenth century by the Cusani family, Villa Cusani Tittoni Traversi was designed by the renowned architect Giuseppe Piermarini, a genius in the Italian Neoclassical style. The villa is surrounded by a large English-style garden designed by Antonio Villoresi.
Crippled by debt, in 1817 the Cusani family sold the villa to Giovanni Battista Traversi. Some of the interior refurbishments by the architect Pelagio Pelagi date back to this period. He turned the villa into a perfect example of an early nineteenth-century Lombard upper-middle-class residence.
When the villa became the property of the Tittoni family in the early 20th Century, the architect Luca Beltrami added the grand staircase leading from the ground floor up to the other levels.
After World War One, Villa Cusani Tittoni Traversi went through a period of decline, until the City of Desio purchased the park and the villa in the late 1970s, injecting it with new life.
Now it is home to the Scalvini Museum, a collection of 36 sculptures, 16 charcoal drawings and some engravings by the Milanese artist Giuseppe Scalvini, which were donated to the city of Desio. In addition to the permanent exhibits, temporary exhibitions with artworks by 20th-century artists are also held.
The history of Villa Cusani Tittoni Traversi is two centuries-long and visitors can enjoy it through the guided tours organised inside the villa, which now, together with the park, hosts exhibitions, ceremonies and music festivals.