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Villa Malaparte: between rationalism and nature towards the infinite

One of the masterpieces of modern architecture in front of the Faraglioni of Capri

 Villa Malaparte: between rationalism and nature towards the infinite  One of the masterpieces of modern architecture in front of the Faraglioni of Capri

  "With views of the stacks, the white cave and the natural arch, accessible only on foot or by sea and very far from the town. [...] From the center of Capri you get to the property of Malaparte, a pine forest; to get to the villa it takes another ten minutes of a specially built road; a steep staircase leads to a very private beach, very low compared to the house, while a staircase that takes up one side of the villa leads to the roof-terrace; the ground floor is occupied by the guest rooms (four) and the servants' apartment. Upstairs, after the living room, you get to the bedroom of Malaparte and the one that damnedly wanted to call, complete with a plate, "room of the favorite".

(R. De Ceccatty, "Alberto Moravia", Bompiani, Milan 2010) 

With these words, Alberto Moravia describes Villa Malaparte, home of the journalist and writer Curzio Malaparte set on the rocky promontory of Punta di Masullo (70 meters long and 15 meters wide), in front of the Faraglioni di Capri.

This isolated house, excluded, reachable only by means of a winding path of steps cut into the rock, is considered one of the masterpieces of modern architecture, a designer jewel of rationalist design conceived in the thirties of the last century and inaugurated in 1943.

It is 1937 when Malaparte is in Capri, together with his diplomatic friend Guglielmo Rulli, he falls in love with the place and decides to buy a piece of land, in the most isolated and wildest place on the island.

The initial project was entrusted to Adalberto Libera, one of the most famous and admired architects of the time, but the writer modified it, shaping it in his image and likeness, to such an extent that he dubbed the villa "Casa come me (hard, strange, sincere) "and to define it as his" portrait of stone ".

The result is a red building, straight, horizontal, connected to the rock with a large splayed staircase that climbs up to the tiled roof-solarium, broken only by a white sail, a small white sickle-shaped wall that protects the writer from the look of the curious. From here you can admire a breathtaking view: below the green and turquoise bay of Matromania, to the south-east the Sorrento peninsula, to the south the Faraglioni the rock of the Monacone, all around only the sea, the rock and the wild nature.

The interior of the house is distributed on three levels.

On the ground floor there are the service area, the cellars and the laundry; on the first floor the kitchen and guest rooms. The top floor is the Malaparte apartment, surrounded by four windows that frame the outside scenery. Half of which is occupied by a large living space and the other half contains the two main rooms that connect to a studio located at the front of the house.

Over the years the villa has welcomed famous guests such as Moravia, Elsa Morante, Camus, Picasso, Breton and Cocteau, but has also appeared in some films, the most important is "The contempt", directed by Jean-Luc Godard starring Brigitte Bardot , while last year the house was the set of the Saint Laurent SS18 advertising campaign with Kate Moss.

After several changes of ownership, Villa Malaparte belongs to the Ronchi Foundation, even if, unfortunately, it can not be visited by the public.

Its rigorous and austere profile continues, however, to dominate Capri.