The Istituto Poligrafico Zecca della Stato, or IPZS, has issued (July 8) the latest coin in its popular series entitled, “Historical Villas and Gardens,” which focuses on some of Italy’s well-known, historical, and stately homes and their environs. The 2016-dated coin features the exquisite Villa Cicogna Mozzoni.
The Villa Cicogna Mozzoni is located in Bisuschio, near Varese in the region of Lombardy. The Villa is admired for its historical and architectural artistry and is considered one of the greatest representations of Renaissance architecture and landscape. The Villa is the present-day home to the descendants of the Mozzoni family, who established themselves at Bisuschio. The structure of what was described as a hunting lodge was recorded before 1476 and was owned by Agostino Mozzoni. As part of the earlier efforts to renovate and remodel their home, the family commissioned the brothers Campi of Cremona and their school to decorate the walls of their house with frescoes.
The commission was initiated around 1500 and the decoration wasn’t completed until 1559; the frescoes can be seen today in one of the rooms on the first floor. From 1530 to 1560, the house was transformed into the Villa as it is known today by Agostino’s descendant, Ascanio Mozzoni.
In 1580, Ascanio’s only child, his daughter Angela, married Giovanni Pietro Cicogna of the Cicogna family, who were natives of the province of Novara and had received the citizenship of Milan by ducal decree in 1492. It is their line which has continued uninterrupted to the present owners of the stately property. The big arch-way made of square stone that leads to the entrance of the villa is similar to the one of palazzo Cicogna in Milan, which supports the marble coat of arms showing the three eagles of the Mozzoni family that still stands at this entrance.
Villa Cicogna Mozzoni at Bisuschio superbly embodies the magnificence of Renaissance architecture. Its extraordinary sixteenth-century double flight water stairs, its double row of cypress trees, its wonderful gardens — modelled after the Medici family’s and papal villas with their statues and fountains — make Villa Cicogna Mozzoni one of the most famous aristocratic villas in Lombardy.
The coin, designed by Uliana Pernazza, depicts on its obverse the courtyard of honor, opening onto a typically stately Italian garden. Above is the text REPUBBLICA and ITALIANA, while below toward the right is the name of the designer, U. PERNAZZA.
The reverse depicts the Villa Cicogna Mozzoni at Bisuschio and the spectacular double flight water stairs of 156 steps from the lion’s fountain to the nymphaeum standing on top of a hill, which is maintained as a park. In the background is a detail from the villa’s own Renaissance frescoes featuring wild beasts. In the field of the coin is the year 2016 and “R,” identifying the Mint of Rome. Around and above is the text, VILLA CICOGNA MOZZONI BISVSCHIO, and the denomination, 5 EVRO, in exergue.
|5 EURO||.925 Silver||18 Grams||32 mm.||Proof||4000 pieces|
The coin is minted in Proof quality and is available directly from the Istituto Poligrafico Zecca Della Stato. For more information on this and other coins offered by the IPZS, please visit their Web site. International sales will be dispatched where applicable.