In the late 19th and early 20th century, a new international style emerged in the artistic scene around Europe. It was inspired by natural forms, especially plants and flowers, and characterized by sinuous, elegant and curved lines.
Known in Italy as Liberty, but elsewhere called with different names - Art Nouveau in France, Jugendstil in Germany, Modernism in Spain - it had different characterizations around Europe, and in Monza it had a completely original characterization.
In the city, in fact, the presence of Queen Margherita of Savoy at the Villa Reale, the summer residence of the Savoy family, led to the proliferation of stylized daisies (Margherite in italian) in the decorations of new architectures, anticipating the Italian liberty season.
The beautiful Villa Reale which was of the Habsburgs, with the unification of Italy became a Savoy Palace, a wedding gift of King Vittorio Emanuele II to Prince Umberto and his wife Margherita. The Royals were very attached to their Villa in Monza, and they stayed there frequently. They begun radical modernization work, both structural and decorative, to adapt the building to the new comfort needs. The Queen, with her refined style, gave a strong personal touch to the work, to the furnishings and the decorations, so much that today we can identify in the Palace the so-called "Style Marguerite".
The presence of the Queen Margherita also led to an exciting impulse of construction and decorative renewal in the city. In the district in front of the Villa, on the sides of the avenue Cesare Battisti, numerous villas of the upper class arose, where we can admire the proliferation of floral ornaments in the decorations, especially stylized daisies (margherite in italian) in honor of the sovereign.
Even in the city graceful and delicate daisies flourished on the facades of the buildings, but also large butterflies, bouquets of flowers and ornamental plants.
The itinerary we propose, starts necessarily at the Royal Villa, home of the "the summer Court" of Umberto and Margherita and from which the new style spread. It will allow you to discover some of the finest examples of Art Nouveau building in “Style Marguerite”.
But there are too many examples to mention them all thus for more info, we recommend the book dedicated to the Liberty Style in Monza, rich in historical information, photos and details: "Stile Margherita. Alla scoperta di Monza Liberty tra Eclettismo e Dèco 1900-1930", by R. Cassanelli, M. Magni e V. Parretti.
Here is our list of must see:
Villino Strazza – Vialone Cesare Battisti, 2, angolo viale Brianza
Villa Margherita (Marinoni-Sala) - Viale Brianza 1, angolo via Giacomo Leopardi
Casa Paleari (Casa delle Farfalle) – Via Volta
The route continues through the historical center of Monza, to admire the decorations of the buildings and the iron forged by the famous shop of Alessandro Mazzuccotelli, until reaching Largo Mazzini. On the traces of the famous "Marguerite Style".
Turning on via Mantegazza, corner of Via Missori, we find Casa Ranzini.
Going further on Largo Mazzini, the central access point to the city, we find interesting buildings, including an impressive building with caryatids between Via Manzoni and Via Gramsci: Casa Borgonovo (House of the Caryatids).
>> Learn more about Regina Margherita
All details of the stages in the box below.
Photo credits: Viola Parretti, Patrizia Lamperti, Sole di Vetro srl