Donated to FAI by Giuseppe Roi in 2009
There are places that appear frozen in time, impermeable to the passing of the centuries and the transformations of the area where they are located. One such place is Oria, a little village on the Comascan shore of Lake Lugano, where the pace appears to have remained unchanged since the 19th century, when Antonio Fogazzaro spent most of his life here. The novelist stayed for long periods in the villa that today bears his name, which provided both the inspiration and the setting for Little World of the Past, his most famous novel, which was published in 1896. The same intimate, homely ambience that provides the backdrop to the vicissitudes of Franco and Luisa Maironi has come down to us today thanks to Marquis Giuseppe Roi, the author’s great-grandson, who in the mid-20th century tastefully overhauled each room before leaving the house to FAI so that on his death it would not lose its character. And this is why the literary atmosphere can still be felt throughout the villa, from the study with the writer's personal mementos, to the library, the lounge, the dining room and the frescoed gallery, all the way to the private harbour, where in the book the tragic death of little Ombretta takes place. Everything is made all the more attractive by the stunning roof garden that affords panoramic views of a part of the lake that has remained mostly a wilderness, infused with the intense aroma of the olea fragrans that “spoke of the power of gentle things”. Practically unchanged since Fogazzaro's day, the villa is a delightful trip into a little bourgeois world of the late 19th century, set in an isolated outpost of Lombardy so beloved of one of the leading lights of Italian literature.
Villa Fogazzaro Roi re-opens to the public on Saturday, 16th March, 2019, and thereafter will have the following opening hours:
10am - 6pm, from Wednesday to Sunday, in addition to public holidays that fall on Mondays and Tuesdays
Winter closure from November to February.
Outwith these dates, the villa is open only for private events. For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org
On the lake
Depart from Lugano with the public service (Società navigazione del Lago di Lugano).
Depart from Lugano and Porlezza using a private service.
From Como to Menaggio on the SPTC10; from Menaggio to Oria on the SPTC12.
From Como: follow the signs for Menaggio, Porlezza and Valsolda; continue then for 4 km along the Strada Statale SS340 road heading towards “Valsolda lungo lago”. After passing through Albogasio, you will come to Villa Fogazzaro Roi near the junction for Castello.
From Lugano: follow the signs for Dogana di Gandria and Oria. Villa Fogazzaro Roi is located near the junction for Castello.
FAI members: free entry* + guided tour:
Standard : entry €10 + contribution for guided tour: €5
If you become a FAI member or renew your membership, entry is free.
* with the exception of specific events, when only the additional event charge will apply.
During events the price may be subject to change
Guided tours in Italian and other languages, are included in the ticket price.
Special guided tours and school visits are available. Prior booking required:
tel. (+39) 0344536602
Disabled visitors can access free-of-charge those FAI properties that are open to the public by showing their ANMIC (Associazione Nazionale Mutilati e Invalidi Civili) card.
The villa is challenging to access for those who have difficulty walking. Contact the property for more information.
The villa of the Little World of the Past on the shores of Lake Lugano
A refined backdrop for private ceremonies and small-scale birthday parties, the villa is a favourite with couples who dream of an intimate, elegant wedding. The interiors and the garden can serve as stunning sets for photo and video shoots.
By choosing a FAI property for your event, you are contributing to the conservation and safeguarding of Italy's heritage.
Tel. (+39) 3357275054