What tunes the tone isn’t the nature that barks its prowess. It’s the Villa De Vecchi that sits at the core of such a deserted beauty.
The pine-like trees form a trepidation like soldiers in command. They stand tall against the changing weather and fail to fold under the expanse of the green land. The cool air that drifts across the space sings a soft hum that touches on contentment. There’s an overflowing puncture of zen that clothes whoever dares to step on the land to close their eyes and breathe. Not just at a ragged tempo, but full of liberation and unhurriedness. What tunes the tone isn’t the nature that barks its prowess. It’s the Villa De Vecchi that sits at the core of such a deserted beauty.
Villa De Vecchi is a forgotten treasure that boasts tales of passion, uncertainty, and hex. It weaves into the mountains of Cortenova, an Eastern neighbor of Lake Como. Since it harbors onto the port of a quiet land, the celestial palace-looking house finds itself in isolation as guests turn a blind eye to its remnants. It is considered as a tourist spot, gloating its day-trip charm, but no dauntless has mustered enough courage to camp at night around the breathing house.
The summer residence was owned by Count Felix De Vecchi, an important figure that rose to heights during the historical Five Days of Milan, or the grand city’s liberation from the stronghold of Austria, in 1848. The Italian National Guard, who was known as a wanderer that lodged from one city to another, envisioned a retreat house to gift to his family. The tapestry of his dream meant tapping the architect Alessandro Sidoli to bring his ephemeral architecture to life.
Sidoli’s mind-crafted ethos infused the house with his innovative work. He conjured planting the heating tubes in the walls, shipping the food from the ground to the next floor through serving hatches, and applying the use of air pressure that derived from the mountains to catapult the water fountain upwards. The masterful crafts were coupled with the exquisite and detailed frescos that designed the interior, embroidering the feel with what can be called as an arresting splendor through a painstaking process. To drop the cherry on top, Count De Vecchi filled his home with decorations that he brought back from his travels, mostly from Eastern European influences.
The admiration that cascaded from the architect to the Count was well-received by Villa De Vecchi. It dawned as the summer and spring lodging of the Count’s family, hushing down the crepitating voices of the city life. The 130,000-square-meter green acres dabbled in joy as the wistful conversations of the De Vecchi family filled its once solemn nature. Yet not even their heartfelt discussions could bury the first ill harbinger that would erupt into a series of reasons why Villa De Vecchi was left abandoned and thought of cursed.
Even before the De Vecchi family could reside in the funereal embrace of the house, Sidoli’s death came as crushing news to the Count, a year before the architecture was finished. Locals see the unraveled piece of history as a red flag that the Count should have considered. The only luck the house would bring to him and his family would be misfortune, and the events that followed suit mirror the claim.
When the Count did not listen and continued to dwell into the magnificent creation of his mind and architect, he sunk into delusions when he found the brutally-murdered body of his wife inside his home in 1862. As for his daughter, she disappeared into the thin air. The Count embarked on a year-long search to find her, holding onto his dearest hope that they would soon be reunited. The search ended without his daughter in his arms. The Count surrendered to the failure and committed suicide.
To forge the house’s legacy ahead, Biago, the Count’s brother, was crowned as the heir of Villa De Vecchi. Once he stepped his foot inside the house, he initiated a renovation that stripped the Eastern European magnetism away from its hallmark interior. Biago brought his family into the estate that became their sanctuary until World War II, but they did not reside for long after the war. The family packed their bags and left the property.
Villa De Vecchi thought it would rest in its own slumber, but occultist Aleister Crowley allegedly sojourned in it for a few days post-war. Crowley dappled in occult practices and heralded ceremonials of summoning up demonic spirits and paying homages to the reciprocated deeds of the devil through animal offerings. He led a herd of cult followers into the house to convoke the devil, and the ritual engulfed in success. The legend progresses that the day after, the mysterious sect was slaughtered, painting the house with foul blood.
The lure of catastrophes carried on. In 2002, an avalanche ebbed and wiped out the houses on the land. From the oral myths, colossal boulders rolled down from the mountainside, but missed the Villa De Vecchi, forbearing its ruin. Locals who have treasured the story believe that it isn’t a good prophecy. It bears haunting that will last for years and places the house on the map as an epicenter of tragedies.
The house ruminates alone in its fortress, no longer begging for visitors to seek shelter in its dwelling. It has lived for decades and weathered the seasons. The once artistry-fueled architecture has burned down into peeled red walls, chunks of debris, and vandalized interior. Tendrils and mosses wrap themselves around its penultimate thrumming bedrock. Cheery voices that once wafted in the air have died down. The only music it sings is the brash notes of the wind.
A grand piano was once tucked in Villa De Vecchi’s living room. At night, somber hymns floated across the space as it played on its own. It has been crumbled into pieces, but the melody still endures. There’s a hearsay that if an uninvited guest decides to roam around the land in the late evening, they will be able to listen to the whimsical orchestra of the forgotten soul. They will submerge into a private play that resonates to a souvenir, a remembrance of the house’s lifeline. Although it sounds as if the house tingled in fear, it means well. The dubbed haunted house beckons into a living memory imprinted in history.
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