Villa Arbusto, so called by the name of the locality documented since 16th, is located in beautiful panoramic position overlooking the Piazza San Restituta front of the promontory of Monte di Vico, the site of the acropolis of Pithecusae, while a few steps behind the park is the neighborhood metalwork of the eighth century. B.C. in the locality Mazzola.
The farm of Arbusto was purchased in 1785 by Don Carlo Aquaviva, Duke of Atri who built a country house, the existing house with a large back garden where they were located, and are still in existence, a smaller building for guests, a chapel, a "stove" for the therapeutic use of hot fumaroles that arise, a large cistern for rainwater collection, the "piscinale" which, in addition to providing water supply to the complex, feeding the tank a nice fountain.
The villa is depicted in a colored etchings designed by Rev. Cooper Willyams, chaplain of a ship of the fleet of Horatio Nelson, and is contained in his book "A Voyage up the Mediterranean", published in London in 1802.
After Aquaviva, the house passed into other hands and for much of the last century was in possession of the Biondi family, of Neapolitan origin who moved to Isle of Ischia, which often harbored guests of rank.
Changed several other owners until in 1952 it was purchased by the publisher and film producer Angelo Rizzoli, lover of Lacco Ameno, that with the reconstruction of the famous Spa, the construction of hotels Regina Isabella, Sporting and Reginella and the arrangement of the square S . Restituta radically changed the physiognomy of the country.
For its new target the appearance of eighteenth-century villa has remained unchanged, while the interior, with the demolition of the superstructure made by Rizzoli to make a luxurious private residence, was re-established the original layout of the rooms
The choice of the museum
For many years the Archaeological Survey of the provinces of Naples and Caserta is proposed to establish a museum in Lacco Ameno in order to show the public the results of the excavations carried out under the most ancient greek settlement in the western Mediterranean, which started in 1952, had revolutionized the previous knowledge on the beginning of Greek colonization of southern Italy.
Already in 1963 the project had been prepared because a special construction, which would then arise in the area explored in the valley of the necropolis of S. Montano, remained on paper due to lack of funds.
When in 1978, during a conference held in the ancient funerary ideology Lacco Ameno, they spoke again of the Museum project, the then Mayor prof. Vincenzo Mennella, together with the President of the Province Dr. Giuseppe Iacono, a native of Casamicciola, suggested to the delegates to visit Villa Arbusto, after the death of the owner, Angelo Rizzoli, was put on sale by the heirs and said: "If it seems an appropriate framework for your museum, we buy."
Everyone, starting with the then Superintendent Archaeologist Fausto Zevi, were enthusiastic about this solution, and two years later the City had acquired, with the financial contributions of the province and Region, the vast estate of 12,000 square meters with the main house, its outbuildings and grounds, the aim of establishing the Museum, a Center for Studies and a public garden.
Obstacles of various kinds have unfortunately delayed beyond the expected implementation of the Year project, which only in the year 1999 was finally realized.
It is understood that what was displayed there - complete with findings related to human settlements on the island of previous and subsequent periods prehistoric to Roman times - necessarily includes only a selection of the most significant findings, while the remaining material is stored in deposits.
For years, in conjunction with the renovation works in the villas, the garden was off limits to fans, only partly visible from the street.
Now, finally, the opening of the museum allows the islanders, as foreign tourists, to regain a green area of great beauty and botanical interest.
Now Villa Arbusto is a unique exhibition space for its exhibits, and also for the fortunate location in a building surrounded by greenery, overlooking the sea.
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