REATI (ex Paleari – ex Baldironi)
first the building belonged to the Baldironis, later on to the
Palearis, finally to the Reatis. It is divided into two buildings:
one is the real residential villa, which has two floors above
ground level with a cellar underground and an attic upstairs,
the other building has only one floor out ground, with an extended
shape, near the north side of the villa used as an artisan laboratory
for the manufacture of small furnishing objects (large mirrors).
The Baldironi family, who edified the building,
came from Rome, but in the 12th and 13th centuries lived in
Monza, where they acquired a great importance, in fact some
members of the family had a position of authority in the society
of the time. In that period the villa was included in an urban
system of villas and Italian gardens, which made of Lissone
a typical place of pleasant residences and convents of religious
Nevertheless, a precise date of the completion of the building
cannot be given from the historical material. In the 16th
century the Baldironi family lived in Milan and had this villa
in Lissone in the street dedicated to them.
The origin around the 15th century seems to be confirmed by
some aesthetic and structural elements (the construction of
considerable dimension in a part of the building). The presence
of this building was certified for the first time in an official
document of 1722( on the maps of Charles VI’s land record)
and above all by the Lombardo-Veneto land record of 1856,
where the uniqueness of the two buildings was written. The
map of land record of this period showed on the piece of land
that was on via Baldironi a cross to identify probably a family
Chapel. Furthermore it could be noticed that rustics adjoin
to the villa form a nucleus that was on piazza Piscina (now
piazza Garibaldi), on via Baldironi and on the present via
Fiume. Originally the entrance to the villa was on via Fiume.
The villa and the family chapel resulted deeply connected.
In the first years of the 20th century a monumental building
was erected with an exedra creating a relation between the
old garden and the area in front of the villa. In those years
the property passed to the Paleari family, they made remarkable
transformations to give the house a new identity of civilian
decorum. Rustics on the east of the villa were demolished,
an entrance was realised consisting in a rathing with putti
(which remind us of the villa Taverna in Canonica Lambro)
towards piazza Garibaldi.
Due to a big demolition the villa was separated from the chapel.
A body of building on the south-east (now cellar) was added
to accommodate kitchens with fire-place on the ground floor
and rooms on the first floor, according to the tastes and
to the new necessities of this period. It was indeed very
common to have fire-places in red marble of Verona, subsequently
removed. Walls painted in fresco were in the living room.
The Paleari family sold the building to the Reati family;
they operated a lot of transformations that seriously compromised
the original aspect of the villa. In fact a laboratory was
built in the north between the villa and the chapel, the completion
of the north-east part of the building was made, the remarking
in liberty style of the stair-case done, there were important
tampering of installations and an improper use of rooms painted
in fresco on the ground floor. These frescoes of the Venice
school from 16th and 17th centuries were very suggestive.
They have suffered in various ways (weather, deterioration
because of neglect, etc.).
After the ‘60s with the building near the villa of two
high co-ownerships, south of the historical Italian garden,
the original contest was compromised causing its definitive
In 1985 the Lissone Town Council became the proprietor. They
destroyed the last building built by the Reatis, leaving only
a part of the perimetrical wall dividing the small garden
from the artisan laboratory including the chapel.
There are no certain and documented information
about the exact dating of the building and the identity of
the planner of the villa, however an origin of the late XVI
century has been accepted and confirmed by some structural
and aesthetic elements (structure of the door, bell in a shape
of an eardrum on the roof of the villa, typical of the XVI
1450-1897 Family Baldironi
The presence of the Baldironi complex has been
attested for the first time in an official document of the
1722-1750, the catasto Teresiano, which renders it part of
an urban system of villas and italian gardens. In this period
the family has already affirmed and its descendants have covered
important public, political and ecclesiastic roles.
In the first half of the XVIII century, moreover, the chapel
and the villa were already linked, as it is documented in
the successive catasto Lombardo-Veneto (1855), in which the
whole complex is described as an unitarian nucleus pointed
out on piazza Piscina, via Baldironi and via Fiume.
1897-1940 Family Paleari
When the Palearis bought the villa, they transferred
in the new property the ambitions of a rich and international
climbing bourgeoisie, transforming the order of the complex.
In fact the demolitions and the modifications gave to the
villa an ulterior monumental aspect. The Palearis, differently
from the Baldironis, who had realised an unitarian organisation
of the complex, distinguish the owner’s house from the
one of the dependants, having as a model a closer family in
an isolated villa. Thus the link between the frescoed house
and the chapel is destroyed, at East a construction designated
for the kitchen is built, the entrance of the villa is moved
on piazza Garibaldi.
1940-1980 Family Reati
After the cession to the Reatis the more manumitting
transformations are done. In fact a shed destined to the working
of glass and crystal is built; the North-East corner is closed,
an ulterior body, which brings the villa to its actual shape
of rectangular plant, is constructed. Moreover, the rooms
on the first floor are controsoffittati, new bathrooms are
built and the old stair of linking between the floors is substituted
with a new one in liberty style. The roof endures an ulterior
transformation, becoming of three strata. In few years the
garden is embezzled, is ceded to the building speculation
of the 50s and 60s which will realise two multi-floor buildings,
rendering the villa closed and suffocated in an anonymous
position in relation to the context of the city.
1981 The Town hall of Lissone
The villa is bought by the Communal Administration
in 1981 and the first participation are soon realised: the
laboratory is demolited and successively a participation on
the cover (1986).
The villa is sited at the edge of the old town
centre of the city, in a background of a very high housing.The
lot consists in a rectangle of 836 mq, which leaves a distance
of 3/6 metres between the building and the border of the property.The
two floors building shows vertical structures above all in
masonry and horizontal in wood; every masonry has a bearing
function and are made of lateritious or of a mixed material
(bricks, long alluvial stones).
The arrangement of the stones in the wall, now plastered,
is generally quite untidy, apart from some zones in which
you can see alternate bands of lateritious and herringbone
On the front the two floors are separated by a string-course
cornice, while at the basement of the house side there’s
a plinth 60 cm high.
Every opening is surrounded by prominent brick cornices covered
with painted plaster.
The openings of the two floors correspond each others almost
perfectly and sometimes, in order to maintain the regularity
of the façade, there are “false” windows.
On the ground floor we can notice, on the southern side, a
main entrance with a big main door, and next to it other three
secondary entrances. Other two front doors are sited on the
western and northern sides; on the latter we can also find
a gate used in the past for the coaches.
On the first floor, on each eastern and southern sides, sticks
out two balconies, with a stone basement and a iron balustrade.
The covering of roof tiles is made of three pitches: under
the covering, on the southern-eastern and northern side, several
little beams are based on a concrete “correa”
with mouldings; beside, on the northern side, you can see
a little bell gable in lateritious, decorated with prominent
Around the three building side runs a 1 metre wide pavement
You can reach the little cellar through a stone
stair, and the floor is made of earth.
The room is divided by a series of barrel vaults and arches
laid out perpendicularly each other and of different highs;
the brick vaults are simply white washed, while the arches
and the walls are plastered and painted. On the northern side
there’s a deep niche with brackets, while from the northern-eastern
corner you can reach a little long room, through which you
can come in a space under the stairs.
The ground floor of the building is divided
in six rooms in addition to the star room which leads to the
The four main rooms, with similar characteristics and dimensions,
have a L shape: three of them are set in sequence on the southern
side, while the fourth one, perpendicularly oriented, is set
in the north-western corner.
The north-eastern corner consists of a big room, completely
opened on the northern side, where there are the stairs and
the service rooms.
The four larger rooms are totally frescoed on the walls and
shows wooden ceilings with extremely refined decorations.
The paintings, dated back to the XVII/XVIII centuries, represents
landscapes with ruins and classical architectures; the imagines
are framed by pilasters and painted volutes, whose shapes
reminds the structures of the rooms, beating the rhythm of
the windows and of the doors, accompanying and exalting the
existing openings and simulating others where suitable, because
of symmetry reasons.
The wooden ceilings of false lacunars and the panels are decorated
with geometric and floral shapes painted or prominent made
with paper-pulp. Each floor is different from the other ones,
because of the actions made in this century: cement, parquet,
marble tile, in terracotta tiles.
The column room
Along the walls are painted classical columns in perspective
with ruins of patricians villas and statues near them, which
gives an illusionist effect of deepness (called tromploil)
behind which you can see a spring, bucolic and verdant landscape
peopled with peasants.
The style, characterised by a light and day tone of the colour,
remind the one of the school of Venice.
You can often see of the decorative motifs of the XVI century,
as, for example, the cone, particular imperial motif, with
a symbolical reference to the ancients; probably it was used
in order to show the noble origins of the first owners of
In the room there’s also a fire place, above which you
can see the coat of arms of the family which reproduces a
castle with putti.
The busts room
On each wall of this room you can see women golden busts,
completely unrelated to the environmental context in which
they are placed.
In this room the representation is arranged into a classical
architecture in perspective too, behind which you can see
rock, dynamic landscape with rivers, waterfalls and luxuriant
plants (probably eucalypts) moved by the wind.
The paintings gives a sense of dynamism, in contrast with
the effect of quietness perceived in the previous room.
These frescoes, because of their illusionistic scenographical
capability in creating real spaces, seem to reproduce the
typical style of the XVII and XVIII centuries.
The battle room
In the upper part of the walls, above the doors, are painted
gable architectures in which you can see monochromatic scenes
of battles, probably related to the gods painted on the southern
and northern sides.
On the central walls are represented “scene di genere”,
typical of the XVI century, on a marine background; in particular,
on the western wall, is painted a costal landscape with boats.
You can also notice a classical style, testified by the presence
of a temple on the background, particularly developed at those
times after the archaeological excavations promoted by Carlo
On the eastern wall, in fact, is painted a Greek statue, representing
probably he famous hero Achille, with lance and shield. For
the background is used the Leonardo’s technique of the
sfumato, reproduced with an aerial perspective.
On the minor walls, northern and southern, are respectively
represented the statue of Venus with an apple in her hand,
and the one of Junoe (symbolised by the peafowl which indicates
his incorruptibility).We can also often find the element of
the shell, ornamental detail typical of the Rococo style.
On the central walls are painted marine landscapes, arranged
in false architectures made up with arabesque volutes and
On the western wall is represented a sailing ship on which,
differently from the previous room, there are no humans figures;
on the opposite wall is represented a patrician renaissance
villa, in a classical style, settled in a lagoon landscape
covered by fog, which creates an effect of sfumato.
The villa represented in this painting remind the villa Reati.
On the lateral walls (northern and southern) are respectively
painted the figures of the Justice and of the Fortitude. These
paintings may be dated back to the XVII and XVIII centuries
and be the work of the school of Magnasco (1680-1740), who
was working in various Lombard yards in that period.
This attribution may be confirmed by the representations of
marine landscapes, typical of the Ligurian artist.
This room has no decorations on the walls, apart from the
superior part of the two lateral doors where you can see the
tracks of frescoes, which may be dated back to the XVII century.
The floor, differently from the other rooms in which is in
marble, is made with herring bones terracotta tiles. The ceiling,
lower than the ones of the other rooms is made with wood and
the walls, originally made with uncovered bricks, have been
afterwards white washed.
In the next local, the north-eastern one, there’s a
secondary entrance, probably used by the coaches.
The ceilings of all the rooms on the first
floor are much lower than the ones on the ground floor because
of a lowering pannelling made of wood. After the collapse
of almost all the low ceiling of the room in the south-west
corner, a wooden panel was discovered. It is divided into
squares and it is as high as the ones downstairs.
A fresco with floreal and animal motifs was discovered in
the place between the original ceiling and the low one. The
walls are covered in wallpaper and plaster, which hide a wall
originally decorated with frescoes. The area in the north-east
corner, made later, is different from the rest. First of all
the depth of the wall is narrower; the attic in cement is
of the beginning of the 20th century.
Also the ceiling is in cement. Most of the rooms have parquet
flooring with a similar pattern to the ones of the ground
floor; the ceilings of the service rooms, like bathrooms and
kitchens, are covered with marble tiles. The parquet shows
up the original structure revealing the changes made in this
We can go up to the garret thanks to
a series of rungs built into the wall of the stairs area,
a narrow passage in ceiling allows to enter it.
The wall structure divides the room in similar way to the
ones of the ground floor. The walls are not even due to the
use of difficult bricks in the walls, where chimnery is placed.
The supporting structure of the roof consists of wooden beams
resting on the perpendicular walls, which transfer the weight
to the walls. The covering was completely renovated some years
ago and consists of state supports put on wooden beams. Over
them the slates are set.