The Villa Rosebery Naples
The Villa Rosebery is one of the three official residences of the President of the Italian Republic (the other two being the Quirinal Palace and the Castelporziano estate in Rome). The villa grounds cover 6.6 hectares (16.3 acres).
Villa Rosebery is situated in Naples and it is so named because it was owned by the British Prime Minister, The 5th Earl of Rosebery (Liberal, 1894–1895).
Originally built as a cottage in the grounds of the Belverdere (now the Plazzina Bourbon) in 1801 by Count Thurn, an Austrian officer in the service of the King of Naples. The original building was rebuilt under the ownership of Don Agostion Serra Terranova in the mid 19th century as the Casino Gaudiosa, achieving much of its current form. Sold after Don Agostion’s death in 1857, the villa came into the ownership of Prince Louis de Bourbon, the commander of the Neapolitan Navy, who renamed the property La Brasiliana in honour of his sister’s husband, the emperor Pedro II of Brazil. Following Garibaldi’s revolution the villa was sold in 1860 to a businessman, Gustavo Delahente, who in turn sold it to Lord Rosebery in 1897.
In 1909 Lord Rosebery presented the building to the British Government for the use of the British Ambassador to Italy. In 1932 the British Government in turn presented the building to the Italian State and the villa was used as a summer royal residence. From June 1944 until his abdication and exile in May 1946, the villa was the residence of King Victor Emmanuel III. From 1946 to 1949 it was used by the Accademia Aeronautica, and after a period of dis-use it became an official residence of the President of the Italian Republic in 1957.
Images: Armando Mancini