welcome to Villa Corinna per website

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Welcome to Villa Corinna

A Saracen Tower between Italy and France


Welcome to Villa Corinna Welcome to Villa Corinna, a 16th century fortified Tower, built to protect the Italian coast of the Riviera dei Fiori from pirates and Saracens. Villa Corinna has recently opened its doors to the refined traveller who appreciate the charme of a many generations privately owned family property with its own original fittings and furniture. The Biancheri family originally from Bordighera owns the property since the 18th century. The property is set in 2 hectars of Mediterranean grounds planted with Olives Trees, Palms and Cypresses.

Index: Some history Surroundings Distances Accomodation The rules of the Tower Extra services The Village The boat Corinna’s Tips Activities with children Sports Restaurants Nightlife Markets

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For any questions feel free to call us on + 39 366 4224224 or + 39 335 8132950


Some History Villa Corinna, which stands at the center of an estate encompassing about 2 hectares, and stretches along the lower eastern flank of Mount Bellenda, represents one of the most important historical architectural manifestations of the Piana di Latte. A location traditionally favoured by the aristocracy of Ventimiglia, and Piedmont, in which they would spend their summer holidays. The Villa is the result of several building phases: the most ancient, fundamental part of the building, characterized by the central structure of highest elevation, presumably dating back to the first half of the sixteenth century, a time in which many such buildings were constructed throughout western Liguria. These were watchtowers and defence towers, built to ward against the Turkish barbarian invasions which were particularly frequent at this time. Villa Corinna is one of the few sixteenth-century buildings in the area to have retained the support structure of the drawbridge: this feature, which today resembles a U-shaped structure, occupies the entire side of the central part of the building and extends to the height of the second floor. At the center of this structure the ancient drawbridge is attached, across which you can still gain access to the building. The Villa allegedly maintained its original appearance until the second half of the nineteenth century when the entire property was still known as "Torretta Soprana", to distinguish it from another property that is located in the lower lying neighbourhood where there was a similar construction (now known as Casa Ammirati). The tower houses of the Piana di Latte feature in the interesting memoirs of Miss Gretton, an English tourist who in 1854 had enjoyed hospitality for a few days in Villa Honesto Otio. At the current stage of research, the commissioning family name is not known, but we know that in the nineteenth century, presumably in the first half, it was bought by Andrea Biancheri, a renowned merchant from Ventimiglia, who in 1868 left it to his three children. In 1881, based upon the division of paternal assets, Villa Corinna was inherited by Emanulele Bancheri the second who, after a few years, added an extra level to the building. The central section of the building, or rather the original manifestation of the tower house, was volumetrically increased although, at present, it is still possible to distinguish the original body from later additions: a first expansion occurred during the twentieth century in the 1920s, when a square structure consisting of of two floors was constructed on the south faรงade. Due to the natural slope of the land, the Villa has three floors on the west and south 3

sides, and four to the north and east. Devoid of external decoration, apart from the attic fascia (which has a series of brackets that are also repeated in the southern twostory structure), it has the rather stern and imposing appearance, characteristic of buildings built for defense purposes. Interesting hipped and cross shaped vaulted structures can be observed inside the building, in addition to the perfectly preserved well which is still full of water, in the dining area on the second floor, further evidence of the defensive function of the building. The Villa is surrounded by a park demonstrating the natural completion of the building, which is typically horticultural and cultivated in character rather than ornamental. In fact, although several tall ornamental plants (palm trees, pines, eucalyptus, cypress) are still present, as well as olive trees, mimosa and broom, the land served a purely agricultural purpose, as evidenced by the preservation of several farm buildings which are still in use today.

Sources: De Maestri, “Opere di Difesa”. Gretton M, “Diary of an English woman in Italy”, London 1860.


Surroundings The house is located on the Italian-French border, in an unspoiled and protected environment: la Piana di Latte where ancient beautiful villas lie between the hills and the seaside. The Riviera is the Mediterranean coastline of the southeast corner of France and southwest corner of Italy, also including the sovereign state of Monaco. There is no official boundary, but it is usually considered to extend from Sanremo in Italy in the east to Saint-Tropez in the west. This coastline was one of the first modern resort areas. It began as a winter health resort for the British upper class at the end of the 18th century. With the arrival of the railway in the mid-19th century, it became the playground and vacation spot of British, Russians, and other aristocrats, such as Queen Victoria and King Edward VII, when he was Prince of Wales. In the summer, it also played home to many members of the Rothschild family. In the first half of the 20th century, it was frequented by artists and writers, including Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Edith Wharton, Somerset Maugham, and Aldous Huxley, as well as wealthy Americans and Europeans. The area of the Piana di Latte is full of memories and flavors: a special rose called Encantadora was created and dedicated to Evita Peron during her journey in Riviera. The worldwide famous Hanbury Gardens were established by Sir Thomas Hanbury on a small, steep peninsula jutting southwards down into the Mediterranean in the Orengo family property. Gardens are open all year round and also, in the summer time, hosts cultural and musical events. On the Italian Riviera the controversial medical scientist Serge Voronoff built a clinic specialized in rejuvenation technique and set up his own monkey farm, employing a former circusanimal keeper to run it! Nowadays the area keeps its fabulous microclimate protected by the mountains just behind.


Distance from the main places of interest French side: La Cote d’Azur Menton

2 km


10 km


36 km


63 km


24 km

Saint Paul De Vence

49 km


73 km


57 km

Saint Tropez

143 km

Parc Naturel du Verdun

172 km


200 km

Italian side: La Riviera dei Fiori Ventimiglia

5 km


10 km


22 km


15 km


19 km


88 km


150 km


196 km


Your Accommodation You are lodged in the top part of the tower with its own private entrance, a spacious living room with original furniture and a monumental fireplace, a dining room, a fully equipped kitchen and a very large terrace with a panoramic view of the estate and the sea. On the first floor there are 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. All the bedrooms have large windows and plenty of light. From the 2 bedrooms facing East you can enjoy you can enjoy the most amazing sunsets. On the top floor there is a romantic mansard with its own en-suite bathroom and private terrace which can accommodate 2 people. Named “the 4th Paradise�, the third being the beautiful installation of artist Michelangelo Pistoletto at the Italian-French border, the mansard is also equipped with air conditioning. From its terrace you can enjoy a 360 degrees view which stretches from Ventimiglia to Punta Mortola. On a clear day, you can see the island of Corsica on the horizon! In the reception room you can listen to the many vinyl records or play the grand piano. There is a Television with all the main International channels, news and sports and a DVD player. In the kitchen there is a dish washer, a washing machine, a microwave, a toaster, coffee machine (Italian Moka) and a squeezer. You will find sugar, salt and coffee. A bottle of water and a welcoming bottle of wine from the region are in the fridge. An iron is placed in the lower drawer of the wardrobe in the landing of the first floor. In the dining room you can find dishes, glasses, cups and cutlery. In the main bathrooms on the first floor there is a hair dryer. Shower gel and shampoo are provided with compliments. In the terrace you will find a fully equipped Barbecue for your outdoor cooking. Please ask if you need instructions on how to use it. Towels for the swimming pool are provided. Please do not take them to the sea. You are welcome to play ping pong and petanque in the estate! 7

The Rules of the Tower 1. Please divide the rubbish in humid, paper, plastic and glass in the bins provided in the kitchen. The rubbish can be disposed in the trash containers just outside the walking entrance of Corso Nizza. 2. Please turn off all lights, windows and doors when you are not in the house. 3. The car should be parked in the parking space on the left just after entering the gate. 4. Please do not take the swimming pool towels to the sea. 5. Smoking is not allowed inside the house. Please be careful if smoking outside for the risk of fire, especially in the hot summer season. 6. In order to use the bicycles, you will need to fill and sign a discharge of responsibility form 7. Guests should report within 12 hours from check in anything defective or broken. Anything defective or broken not reported will be debited at check out for repair or substation. 8. Check-in from 3 pm to 8 pm and check-out at 11 am

Extra Services on Demand The following services can be provided on demand: • • • • •

Housekeeping Cook Massages Yoga and meditation sessions Boat trips

It is recommended that you inform us at time of booking of what extra services you would require. If you inform us only at time of check-in we will do our best to organize it for you, but cannot commit

The Village Latte is just two minutes walk from the property. In the small village you can find a supermarket, a bar (café), a pharmacy, post office and laundry. 8

The Boat Apreamare is probably the most fashionable boat on the Cote d'Azur. Very comfortable and classy, it is also very speed reaching 30 nots. This allow to easily explore all the beautiful spots of the French Riviera from Menton to St Tropez. The boat is moored at the Port Garavan of Menton, the last French town before the border with Italy and just 20 minutes from Monaco. The nicest places to visit are: Punta Mortola and the Balzi Rossi beach (with a very nice restaurant) on the Italian coast. On the French coast in order of proximity to Menton you will find Cap Martin, Roquebrune, Monaco, Cap d'Ail (nice restaurant on the plage Mala), Cap Ferrat (the fashionable restaurant Paloma), Villfranche and the Bay of the billionaires. Within 1 hour you can reach the wonderful islands of Lerins, just in front of Cannes with a very nice restaurant managed by monks. After that you can reach Cap d'Antibes and St Tropez is around 2 1/2 hours with good sea conditions. The boat is preferably rented for the day but if the skipper is available can be also rented for short cruises.


Corinna’s Tips • Visit the Fondation Meghts at Saint Paul de Vence, explore the beautiful village and have lunch at La Colombe d’Or (booking is recommended) www.fondation-maeght.com www.la-colombe-dor.com • Take the beautiful walk along the coast from Menton to Roquebrune and visit Villa E-1027 which was built by Eileen Grey and Le Corbusier. Some days the visit is followed by a lunch at the house https://capmoderne.com/fr/ • Visit the beautiful village of Eze and have lunch at the very romantic and panoramic La Chevre d’Or. https://www.chevredor.com • Spend one day in St Tropez and have lunch at the legendary Le Club 55. https://www.club55.fr • Take the boat and go to the Isles de Lerins, in front of Cannes and have lunch at La Tonnelle run by the monks of the Monastery on the island of Saint Honorat. http://tonnelle-abbayedelerins.fr/site/index.php/fr/ • During the winter season you can go to ski in just one hour to Limone with 80 km of slopes. Skis and boots can be rented there. www.limoneturismo.it • Go to Grasse and learn about the making of perfumes at Fragonard. You can even create your own perfume which will be catalogued with a number in case you want a refill sometime in the future. www.fragonard.com


Recommended activities with children • Rafting on canoe or kayak on the Roya river www.royaevasion.com • The Oceanographic museum of Monaco www.oceano.mc • Water sports activities at the Beach Club in Monaco: parasailing, jet ski, flyboarding… www.monte-carlo-beach.com/well-being-leisure/sports-leisure/water-sports/ • Marineland in Antibes www.marineland.fr/en/ • The zoo in Frejus www.zoo-frejus.com

• Go-Kart, Pista Oleandri, Arma di Taggia http://www.pistaoleandri.com/lapista.html

Sports • Tennis, in Menton www.tennisclubmenton.fr • Golf, in San Remo and Monaco www.golfsanremo.com www.montecarlosbm.com/wellness-sport/leisure/monte-carlo-golf-club/ 11

• Diving Piabeta Blu Diving Center, Ventimiglia Tel 347 101 2896

Restaurants Villa Eva Restaurant & Beach: this restaurant and private beach is just 10 minutes walk from the house. Perfect for dining the first day if you arrive in the evening and look for something close and easy. www.villaevabeach.com La Caletta: close to Villa Eva is this cosy restaurant with a swimming pool. La spiagetta dei Balzi Rossi: 5 minutes by car on the border of Italy and France, la Spiagetrta dei Balzi Rossi has recently been listed by Forbes magazine among the 10 most beautiful beaches in Italy, there is also a very nice reaturant. Eva and Gualtiero will spoil you with daily picked fresh ingredients from the local market. In the evening they usually organize Jazz concerts. http://www.balzirossi.it La petit Cave: in the old toen of Menton, the best crepes in the Cote d’Azur. They accept only cash. O’ Sole mio: in Menton, the best Neapolitan pizza you can eat in the surroundings. Le Mirazur: in Menton just few meters after the Italian-French border (moyenne corniche), http://www.mirazur.frin 2018 has been listed as the 3rd best reastaurant in the world, you can savour the haute cuisine of chef Mauro Colagreco, who trained with Alain Ducasse. http://www.mirazur.fr Le deux Freres: in the medieval village of Roquebrune with an amazing view on Cap Martin, Monaco and Cap Ferrat http://www.lesdeuxfreres.com


Cipriani: in Monaco, you will spot celebrities and often owner Flavio Briatore, the king of nightlife, in this very trendy spot http://www.ciprianimontecarlo.com Le Louis XV by Alain Ducasse: 3 Michelin stars, in the Hotel de Paris in Monaco, luxury and high life at its best http://www.montecarlosbm.com/restaurants-in-monaco/gourmet/louis-xv-2/ Other good restaurants in Monaco: • • • • •

Mozza for an easy going dinner Maya Bay: Thai and Japanese Nobu Joel Robuchon Avenue 31

La Cicala, in Bordighera, with a beautiful terrace on the sea www.lacicalabordighera.it Osteria dei 3 scalini, Bordighera www.3scalinisanremo.it

Nightlife Most of the night scene is in Monaco, unless you want to drive to Nice or Cannes. In Monaco, it is worth a visit to Jimmy’z, Sass Cafè, Twiga and Buddha Bar


Markets Ventimiglia: Dresses, Accessories, Homeware, every Fridays Antibes Antiques, every Thursday and Saturday: Place Audiberti. Crafts, Thursday to Saturday: Cours Massena. Beaulieu-sur-Mer Antiques: third Sunday of the month: in the port. Cannes Antiques: every Monday: Marché Forville Flea-market every Friday: Ranguin. Antiques: every Saturday afternoon: Les Allées de la Liberté. Grasse Antiques: wednesdays: Cours Honoré Cresp. Antiques: third Saturday of the month: Cours Honoré Cresp. Menton Antiques: every Friday morning in the Place aux Herbes, next to the Bastion. Monaco Antiques: every Saturday afternoon: Port de Fontvieille. Nice Big antiques market all day Monday: Cours Saleya. Antiques: first Sunday of the month: Quai de la Douane Villefranche-sur-Mer Antiques: every Sunday in the village, Place Amelis Polonais and Port de la Santé. St Tropez Antiques: every Tuesday and Saturday of the month: Place des Lices. 14

Punta Mortola