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Villa La Scagliola was created in 1880 by an English woman, Katherine Forbes Ashburner, the widow of a wealthy banker in Sussex and designed by Swiss Italian architect Augusto Guidini. At the time the small peninsula on Lake Maggiore which now contains Villa Taranto, also designed by Guidini, and Villa San Remigio, was virtually uninhabited.

After the death of Ashburner in 1890, her family sold the house to a German engineer, Hermann Friedrich Messtorff, who laid out the botanical gardens in 1907, commissioning the up-and-coming sculptor, Adolfo Wildt, to decorate them with both original works and copies of famous classical works.

Messtorff himself died in 1915 and after the First World War, the house was confiscated by the Italian authorities, and was later bought by Senator Luigi Della Torre, the grandfather of the current owner, who was born at Villa La Scagliola.


2 thoughts on “History”

  1. Katherine Forbes was the sister of my great great great grandfather

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