LIFE

See the Lake Como Estate of One of Italy’s Most Famous Families


Photographs by Guido Taroni; Produced by Gianluca Longo

Once the home of film legend Luchino Visconti, who hosted hosted Maria Callas, Helmut Berger, and Coco Chanel here, Villa Gastel on Lake Como retains all of its aristocratic grandeur—even if these days, it’s short a servant or three. The longtime estate of one of Italy’s most important families, the Viscontis, go inside the previously private grounds here, and meet the aristocratic descendants—the regal chatelaine Anna Gastel, her model-photographer son Guido Taroni, and more family members and lore—behind its gilded doors.

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Photographs by Guido Taroni; Produced by Gianluca Longo

Villa Gastel, on Lake Como.

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Vintage Sanderson wallpaper in the 
Roses Room.

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Photographs by Guido Taroni; Produced by Gianluca Longo

Guido Taroni, in the courtyard of the former convent, which was built in the 12th century.

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Anna Gastel, Taroni’s mother, in a salon of the house, with the sculpture Leda With Swan behind her.

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Carla Erba, in 1911.

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Luchino Visconti and his sister Uberta, in Rome, 1950, with a drawing by Antonio Argnani of their mother, Carla Erba.

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Erba, in 1911, with her children.

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The Gray Room, in which Luchino slept.

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The Salotto Verde’s ceiling is in the Pompeian style.

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Another view of the courtyard.

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The neo-Gothic salon on the ground floor.

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A view of the dining room.