My auntie is from Sweden, her and I, every year, while she vacations for a few days in Italy, try to get together to spend some quality time with each other. This year she actually came for a very special occasion, the wedding of one her best friend’s son. A few selected invitees, little more than 60, with Major arrived from Sweden specifically for this occasion, beautiful location, Villa Conventino di Gradara and them, the bridal pair: Dzejna Dedic (real estate developer-project manager) and Erik Wallin (Business establishment coordinator). Have you ever thought about an event or let alone a wedding Swedish style? No? Just try to… After such an experience you may need 3 days of anti depressant medication, beware! It’s not really a stereotype to assume that all of them happen to be blond, tall with that white perfect smile and well sculptured bodies. I am pretty sure a guy like Giorgio Armani might have felt inspired by such a scene…
Jokes aside, this wedding happened to be the perfect occasion to unplug for a few, spend some time with friends Gunnel and Mona and why not, to shoot some photos while inside the historic Villa Coventino, since normally not open for general admission. All of this while being mindful of the work being performed by the official photographer, of course. This very special location could be easily customized for one’s special needs and it is an ideal location for events (such as a wedding for example), conventions, parties or simply to function as a charming residence with lots of green, a swimming pool, a tennis court and of course a marvelous garden.
It is not an easy task to showcase this marvelous historical place, while giving some historic references, without risking of either omitting some or being inaccurate. Therefore we would rather use the info provided on the official website which we also encourage you to visit it yourself.
Kudos to Dzejna ed Erik for such a wonderful choice.
Enjoy the reading,
Gabriella Ruggieri for 1blog4u
Villa Conventino, Gradara, its ochre yellow form standing out against the deep blue of the sky and sea, is protected by the imposing bulk of the Fifteenth Century fortress to the West and screened by rows of tall cypress trees.
Standing in the centre of the ancient ditch which once girded the village, the small friary, probably originally linked to the Franciscan Friars at Pesaro, is first mentioned in the history of Gradara in 1564, when the local Community decided to build a Capuchin friary on the site.
The project, actively promoted by Duchess Vittoria Farnese, Regent of the Castle at the time, was supported by many private donors, who ensured that the construction work soon began, partly using material salvaged from the Roman ruins – partially conserved – of the now lost Basilica of San Cristoforo Ad Aquilam, on the Via Flaminia.
The history of the Villa Conventino, Gradara, closely interwoven with that of its surrounding territory, is told by its stones steeped in the memory of the silent presence of the monks who lived in the building for so many centuries.
The friary thrived, housing a numerous body of monks, throughout the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries, a fact reflected by its large size and the fine architecture of the complex, which was restored and modified several times over the centuries.
The perfectly conserved old cloisters were once the centre of the community’s daily life: the attractive, sheltered spaces created by their arcades gave access to the friary’s various indoor areas, some of them for communal use, such as the kitchens, the vast refectory, the pantries and the church, and others for private occupation, such as the sleeping cells.
The friary’s dissolution in 1789 by the Republicans marked the start of a short interruption in the lengthy history of the Capuchins of Gradara, who were not able to regain possession of their property until 1822; the complex was actually reconsecrated by the Bishop of Pesaro, Monsignor Clemente Fares, in 1859.
In the early years of the Twentieth Century the ancient site was converted into a summer residence for seminary students, before eventually passing into private hands for transformation into a residential villa in 1925.
From friary to villa.
Purchased by the Vichi family in 1975, over the years the lovely Villa Conventino, Gradara has regained its authentic flavour thanks to painstaking, loving restoration, which has highlighted its original features while neglecting none of the amenities and comforts of a modern home.
The cloister, the rooms.
The perfectly conserved cloister, with the simple lines typical of the Order’s architectural style throughout the Sixteenth Century, is still redolent with the meditative life of the community of Capuchin friars.
The same atmosphere is found in the nine bedrooms, adorned with small religious frescoes, which emphasise the rooms’ relaxing mood: the “Stanza delle Pecorelle” (“Room of the Sheep”), with a splendid fresco on its main wall, is particularly fine.
Less eye-catching reminders of the building’s monastic origins are also to be found in the great saloon which has replaced the original refectory, in the living rooms and study and in the ground floor lounge accessible directly from the panoramic terrace, an excellent place for socialisation with its comfortable furnishings and warm, friendly atmosphere.
The church and the garden.
The most secluded corner of the complex still contains the church, an exquisite building which conserves intact not only its fine original woodwork but also impressive works of art, especially a delicate Madonna with Child and Saints, attributed to Pesaro-born painter Terenzio Terenzi, known as the Rondolino.
The Conventino’s tennis court and pool are located on its northern side, in the shade of Gradara Castle, while the large terrace, partly arcaded, is in its most panoramic point.
The complex is completed by gardens and corners planted with flowers, and a large open area on the southern side with a barbecue zone communicating with the villa’s kitchen.
A stay at Villa Conventino, Gradara, is an ideal opportunity for making the best use of leisure time, with access to the many sports facilities available in the immediate vicinity, attending cultural events and shows, and relaxing on the beaches or enjoying the entertainment offered along the Adriatic Riviera.
An evening or a holiday for those who love to live unique moments and give guests an atmosphere of history and reality. Villa Conventino Gradara is ideal for family events, special parties, not just weddings. Discover the villa with the most beautiful Italian landscape, its rooms, the halls and the large garden. (www.conventinogradara.it