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Architecture of Naples: the wonderful Villa Pignatelli

Naples retains an incredible amount of noble residences and ancient architectural wonders. Among the most illustrious and evocative residences to visit in the city there is certainly the ancient Villa Pignatelli.

Villa Pignatelli, ancient residence in the Chiaia district

Located a few steps from the seafront, Villa Pignatelli is an elegant nineteenth-century residence that dates back to 1826. The residence has belonged to several noble families over the years. Today it houses two museums: the Pignatelli Cortès Museum and the Carriage Museum.

Immersed in a lush English garden, the villa was built at the behest of Baron Acton. The construction project was entrusted to the architect Valente and was inspired by the Pompeian domus.

villa pignatelli naples architecture

However, the history of the villa is much richer and more particular. Subsequently, it became the property of the wealthy German bankers Rothschild. The wealthy German family wanted to create an additional building at the north end of the park, which will later be called the Rothschild building.

The last owners of the villa were the members of the Aragona Pignatelli Cortés family. Lovers of aesthetics and culture, the nobles of Aragon made Villa Pignatelli a meeting point for the intellectuals of the time. The villa thus became a real cultural center made available to the intellectuals of the city.

The museums of Villa Pignatelli

At the behest of Princess Rosina in 1955 the villa was transformed into a museum house, marking a decisive turning point in the history of the city and of the villa itself.

Inside the nineteenth-century residence today there are two museums that attract Neapolitans and tourists from all over the world. The first is the Pignatelli Cortès Museum, furnished with works by Neapolitan and French craftsmen, the museum preserves a rich collection of porcelain from Capodimonte, Limoge and Vienna. The museum also has a beautifully furnished library which houses 2000 volumes and more than 4000 lyrical and classical music records.

The second museum that the villa houses is the Carriage Museum. The formidable collection has over thirty carriages from Italy, England and France.

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villa pignatelli naples