The hills of Brianza are dotted with monumental villas to which spectacular gardens are almost always attached. In 1835 the baron von Czörnig defined “the beautiful hilly area of Brianza the garden of Lombardy”, in which the villas play a leading role.
It is from the sixteenth century, and even more so in the seventeenth century, that the Milanese nobility began to have elegant residences built in which to seek shelter in the summer from the heat of the city and the chosen locations are two: the Navigli and the Brianza. If initially the villa is the place where the gentleman takes care of business and manages the properties, in the eighteenth century and with the affirmation of sericulture, under the Austrian administration, a new class of owners is imposed that makes these residences places that unite the majesty of the villa to the surrounding landscape through the mediation of vast and complex gardens documented in the “bird’s eye” views by Marcantonio Dal Re (1743).
These are the views that precede the great turning point of the landscape garden of the late 18th-early 19th century and that period of Neoclassicism in which the Royal Villa of Monza, its Italian garden and the small English park created by the architect Giuseppe Piermarini, who will be followed at the beginning of the nineteenth century by the large Napoleonic park designed by Luigi Canonica. The villa becomes a model to be reproduced on a smaller scale also in other residences, according to an imitative process.
Piermarini will be the progenitor of illustrious architects, from Leopoldo Pollack to Simone Cantoni to Luigi Canonica who closes the neoclassic season, resulting in eclecticism with Luigi Cagnola, Pelagio Palagi and in the rococo recovery of gardens designed by Emilio Alemagna, Antonio Citterio and Achille Majnoni. The Brianza season will close in the nineteenth century with the flowering of villas and cottages linked to the new class of industrialists.