Museo Diego Aragona Pignatelli Cortes

DESTINATIONS italy naples chiaia santa lucia and nearby museo-diego-aragona-pignatelli-cortes

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Museo Diego Aragona Pignatelli Cortes

Set behind what would be a very English expanse of lawn (minus the plam trees), this salmon-pink building with its Athenian-style porch was built in 1826 for Ferdinand Acton, the son of English aristocrat Sir John Acton. In 1841 it was bought by the Rothschild banking family, who brought in Gaetano Genovese—he of the Palazzo Reale's sumptuous staircase—to design the Salotto Rosso and the ballroom. The villa then passed to a distant ancestor of Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés, and eventually to the Italian State in 1955. The villa contains a sumptuous collection of porcelain and a biblioteca-discoteca—a collection of classical and operatic records. It exhibits part of Banco di Napoli's collection of paintings, including works by masters of Neapolitan Baroque, and has 18th- and 19th-century landscapes.

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