The most splendid carriages can be admired in museum Diego Aragona Cortes of Villa Pignatelli, a monumental Neoclassical palace built in 1826 by Sir Ferdinand Richard Acton. In this building, similar to a Pompeian domus, there is an exhibition dedicated to carriages and nineteenth-century Neapolitan handmade articles: Museo delle Carrozze (Museum of Carriages).
The gallery saw the light in 1975, in the former stables of the noble residence. After the death of Sir Acton, in 1841 Villa Pignatelli has been acquired by the German banker Carlo von Rothschild family, who lived there until the fall of the Reign of the Two Sicilies and added a house today known as “palazzina Rotschild”.[charme-gallery]
With the advent of the Reign of Italy, the palace and its wide English garden were given to Pignatelli Cortes d’Aragona princes, who owned it until 1955, when princess Rosina Pignatelli gave it to the Italian State in order to turn it into a museum. The Pignatelli donated also everything inside the villa: enamel works, silvers, porcelains, bronzes, crystals, a rich library, and 4000 classical music microgrooves. These findings are showed today on the ground floor.
In 1960 the palace was opened to the public as “Museo Diego Aragona Cortes”, after the name of Rosina’s husband, prince Diego duke of Monteleone.[charme-gallery]
In 1998 Villa Pignatelli has been enriched with a picture-gallery. In 1975 Ezio Bruno De Felice transformed the former stables in a Museum of Carriages, carrying out an idea of Bruno Molajoli who received the donation of marquis Mario D’Alessandro di Civitanova. After 20 years of shut-down, during which new acquisitions were made, the museum opened again last June. It shows thirty-four among carriages and gigs, from France, England, and Italy together with harnesses, whips, crops, bits, accessories and clothing that testify the high quality reached by Neapolitan artisans in the nineteenth century.
Each piece is completed by explanatory legends and Ipads giving technical informations about the pieces belonging to the collection and their manufacture.
Museo delle Carrozze is part of “Napoli è un paradiso!”, a “Viaggio in Campania. Sulle orme del Gran Tour” path, the program of visits and events realized by Scabec with Campania>Artecard.
Museo Diego Aragona Pignatelli Cortes
Riviera di Chiaja, 200 – Napoli
tel. +39.081.7612356 – +39.081.669675