The Monterosso complex in Acqui Terme is the only example in Italy of a close collaboration between architects, painters, sculptors and patrons giving life to a villa filled with important works of art.
In 1920 Count Arturo Ottolenghi and his wife Herta von Wedekind zu Horst entrusted the design of Villa Ottolenghi first to Federico d’Amato and then the celebrated architect Marcello Piacentini. The Ottolenghis’ patronage brought a large number of artists to Monterosso: Ferruccio Ferrazzi, Fortunato Depero, Adolfo Wildt, Libero Andreotti, Fiore Martelli, Arturo Martini, Rosario Murabito, Venanzo Crocetti and Ferruccio Ferrazzi. It was at Villa Ottolenghi that Arturo Martini produced some of his most important works, including “Tobias, Adam and Eve, the Lions of Monterosso…”, and he also brought many pieces here. Following the deaths of the couple, their son Astolfo took over the completion of the villa and the park, designed by Pietro Porcinai.
Not far from the villa is the mausoleum, now called the “Temple of Herta”, and the park, based on a carefully planned scenic design and known as “Earthly Paradise”. The Temple’s monumental portal, in engraved bronze, nickel and copper, is the work of masters Ernesto and Mario Ferrari, and serves as a prelude to the beauty of Ferruccio Ferrazzi’s frescoes and mosaics by Ravenna’s Mosaic School.
Around the villa lie the formal gardens, the well, the studios, the great cistern, the walk that runs around the estate’s perimeter, the graffiti, the wisteria arbour, the swimming pool, the winery… All stops along a journey of discovery that will surprise and delight, from the attention to detail and the wrought-iron masterpieces – mushrooms, turtles, birds, snails – that pop up here and there to the swivelling armchairs in marble and above all Herta’sremarkable sculptures.
A full tour of the villa includes the park, the artists’ studios where the tasting room is located, the cellars and the indoor swimming pools and concludes with a beautiful walk through the vineyards to the Temple of Herta, a masterpiece of modern architecture.
Winery and guided tastings. Hire for events, weddings, meetings and company functions.
Local sights: La Bollente, ancient baths, aqueduct, cathedral, Addolorata church (Romanesque basilica of St. Peter) and art exhibitions at Palazzo Saracco, Palazzo Robellini and Palazzo Chiabrera
In the area: Alto Monferrato castles, Roccaverano
Typical products: wines from the winery (Monferrato Bianco, Gavi, Monferrato Chiaretto, Monferrato Rosso, Barbera d’Asti, Barbera d’Asti Superiore, Moscato d’Asti, Spumante Brut Rosé), wines (Dolcetto d’Acqui, Gavi DOCG, Cortese del Monferrato, Moscato d’Asti, Brachetto di Acqui, Passito di Strevi), Roccaverano Robiola cheese, Ponzone Filetto Baciato salami, white Alba truffles, Amaretti d’Acqui, Visone nougat
Sport: horseriding, tennis, golf (Le Colline), swimming
Events: At the villa: Acqui Ambiente prize. In Acqui: “Acqui in Jazz” (June), “Acqui in Palcoscenico” (July-August), theatre season, Acqui Storia prize, “Fiera di San Guido” (second Sunday in July), Sgaiento antiques market (fourth Sunday of every month around Corso Bagni)