Dolce&Gabbana and FAI: exploring Villa Fogazzaro Roi

Perched on the lake's edge, Villa Fogazzaro Roi stands as a charming relic of the past—a small ancient world. In 2009, it was generously donated to FAI - Fondo per l'Ambiente Italiano (Italian National Trust). Fast forward to Milan Design Week 2023, where Dolce&Gabbana adorned this historical treasure with its artistic touch.


September 2023

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Journey to an ancient world of beauty and poetry

Nestled on the enchanting shores of Lake Lugano, Villa Fogazzaro Roi emerges as a marvellous dwelling suspended in time, where the captivating atmosphere of the 19th century and the cherished memories of the renowned writer, Antonio Fogazzaro, still linger. This exquisite villa, situated in the picturesque village of Oria, Valsolda, bears the name of the writer and served as the very inspiration for his celebrated novel “Piccolo mondo antico,” published in 1896.


Preserving its historic charm, the villa owes its restoration and preservation to the dedicated efforts of Marchese Giuseppe Roi, the writer’s great-grandson. In the 1950s, he embarked on a passionate mission to revive the enchanting ambiance of bygone days within its walls. Today, the villa stands as an authentic tribute to the perfect “Piccolo mondo antico,” complete with meticulously restored furnishings. It also serves as a repository for intriguing collections and travel artifacts cherished by Marchese Roi, a devoted traveller and avid collector.


In 2009, Giuseppe Roi generously donated Villa Fogazzaro to FAI – Fondo per l’Ambiente Italiano (Italian National Trust), ensuring that its timeless authenticity would endure and be cherished for generations to come.

Time capsule: exploring Villa Fogazzaro intriguing interiors

Villa Fogazzaro transports visitors to a fascinating bourgeois world of the late 19th century, where literary charm pervades every corner. From the writer’s personal study and the library to the grand salon, dining room, frescoed gallery, and private dock, the literary allure is evident throughout.

The heart of the house lies in the Salone Siberia, aptly named for its perpetual coolness and unheated nature. Yet, what truly captivates is Antonio Fogazzaro’s well-preserved study, boasting his original writing desk with an open drawer revealing handwritten phrases penned by the author. Among the poignant notes, a verse mourning the loss of his son Mariano and the completion date of “Piccolo mondo antico” stands out. Meanwhile, the dining room remains beautifully set with fruit and elegant porcelain service.


Outside the villa, the “terrazzino delle contemplazioni filosofiche” (terrace of philosophical contemplations) served as the protagonist’s source of inspiration for his poetry, while Fogazzaro enjoyed his morning coffee, reading the newspaper.


Villa Fogazzaro Roi’s suspended garden exudes the enchanting fragrance of Osmanto (Olea frangrans), its scent gently permeating the air for miles during blooming season.

A territorial partnership

Villa Fogazzaro Roi was generously donated to the FAI – Fondo per l’Ambiente Italiano (Italian National Trust) – by Giuseppe Roi in 2009, in support of the preservation and enhancement of artistic, cultural, and environmental heritage. This splendid villa became the chosen venue for Dolce&Gabbana during Milan Design Week. The brand, known as an ambassador of Italian artisan excellence and the marvels of art and architecture in the region, personalized one of the main rooms with a DG Logo print installation and furnishings.


In 2023, Dolce&Gabbana further strengthened their collaboration with FAI, uniting in the protection and promotion of essential values such as Italian heritage, culture, tradition, education, and beauty, reaffirming its profound connection with the Italian territory.


During Milan Design Week, Dolce&Gabbana crafted a captivating narrative through videos and images dedicated to FAI’s most cherished locations. The Virtual Room at their Dolce&Gabbana Casa store on Corso Venezia 7 brought to life this mesmerizing experience, where the stunning Villa Fogazzaro Roi emerged as an ancient treasure of beauty and poetry.