Villa d'Orri: history and characteristics of the only Royal Villa in Sardinia

The mansion, owned by the Marquis Manca di Villahermosa, is located in Sarroch, near Cagliari, in a place called "Orri", on the west bank of the Gulf of Angels, at 16.1 Km of the highway called "195 Sulcitana".

Foto @bmauiso
The present arrangement dates back to the setting given to the Villa by Stefano Manca Marquis of Villahermosa and S. Croce, during the years in wich the Savoy's Court stay in Cagliari (1799-1814) because of the forced exile following the French occupation of Piedmont.
The only "royal villa" in Sardinia, located in a position between the hills and the sea, surrounded by a park full of tree trees and tall trees, the upstairs façade connects to the Italian garden with a staircase a pewter adorned with marble busts of neoclassical style, while the prospect towards the sea fits harmoniously into the natural landscape through a shady portico surmounted by a sunny terrace adorned with a Savoy coat of arms; in the large courtyard there are monumental specimens of Ficus Magnoliodes with typical aerial roots.
Famous for hosting illustrious historical figures, including Carlo Felice di Savoia and his spouse Maria Cristina di Borbone, she carries precious memories, including documentary and noteworthy historical and artistic treasures related to the period of Savoy exile in the island and still holds great part of its original furnishings. Of great interest for his connection with the Festival of Sant'Efisio the Chapel dedicated to the Virgin of Carmel.
The Villa with its collections, together with its belongings and the park has been notified by the Ministry for Cultural and Environmental Heritage, which recognizes them as an important historical and architectural value as a monumental complex. (Source www.villadorri.it )

Foto @joliemanu8
HISTORY. When in 1774 don Giacomo Manca Amat bought the land in the area called "Vigna di Orri" by the Palmas family, there was not yet a building that could be called a mansion, but a dozen rustic houses with porticoes and courtyards, the church dedicated to the Blessed Virgin of Carmelo or Santa Maria di Orri, a shop, the so-called "Ostaria Vecchia", perhaps on the site of the ancient Roman street station from Nora to Cagliari, two gardens, a closed garden, two mills, a source, the vineyard and about two thousand fruit trees. In 1799 Don Giacomo, almost seventy years old, moved again to Sassari and unable to follow his business in the capital, gave his son Stefano the management of the estate of Orri. 
And it is at that time that it can be traced back to the construction of the villa or the renovation of one of the rustic houses. The events of Villa d'Orri are closely linked to the figure of Stefano, marquis of Villahermosa and Santa Croce, who, in addition to building the villa and making it an important cultural and family center, housed in the early nineteenth century, right in the estate of Orri, King Carlo Felice and the court in exile. After the death of Stefano Manca of Villahermosa, the family's affairs saw the estate of Orri in a swinging condition because the descendants of the family preferred the town's residence to the countryside, paying particular attention to the agricultural production of the surrounding land. At the end of the nineteenth century the villa was rented for many years mainly to foreigners who remained enchanted by the beauty of the place. The villa knew a new development period with Don Vincenzo Manca Aymerich. In the early twentieth century, after his marriage with Sofia Franchetti, belonging to a noble and wealthy Tuscan family, Don Vincenzo restored the villa to make it his residence during stays on the island. Resurve malaria the surrounding lands, cleansed the park and access to the sea, Orri became again a holiday resort, particularly appreciated during the summer. 
After the Second World War, the villa underwent the partial rebuilding of the roof by the Genius Civilization and a completely destroyed wing was rebuilt. The entire architectural complex is set on a West-East axis: a visual axis that comes from the roadway to the sea; axis of symmetry of the planimetric plant and of the two main prospects of the villa; axis along which the whole body composed of the village is articulated predominantly on raw ground, from deposits, from the stately residence to the warehouses. The central body of the villa is exactly on the border between two green systems: cultivated fields and park (in the second half of the nineteenth century is the home of the nursery provided in Sardinia), dichotomy found in the two front gardens, one upstream formally 'Italian, the other at more casual sea. The ground floor is used as a warehouse, and three of the rectangular planes with pavilion cover on a sixth acute arc have been found in the compartments. Three rooms open onto a loggia that extends along a prospect for about 35 m; It consists of eleven arcades all over the sixth and covered by sailboats. The wealth manifested by the interior furnishings does not transpire at all from the two principal austere prospects, both symmetrical and compounded with almost engineering rigor. Upstream a double external staircase, highlighted by four marble busts, from access to the noble floor directly from the garden. On the opposite side, an abnormal ladder allows connection between the terrace of the noble floor and the park. This staircase is architecturally an object of its own, with a vague neoclassical taste, valuable in its entirety, but in dissonance with the rigor that can be found everywhere. Currently, the villa, owned by Don Vincenzo's descendants, houses the memories and archives of the Manca family of Villahermosa. (Fonte www.sardegnacultura.it)


Foto @bmauiso

Foto @bmauiso

Foto @bmauiso

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