This is an interesting and crazy building/a castle (see CI) to visit, actually not far from Bologna. The main image looks familiar, doesn't it? Well I had the same thoughts when I entered the room and I had to think of Spain (see below). If someone can build such a masterpiece privately, well I think this image might fit the theme "luxury". It was a brutally hot day hence the outside images came out a little worn-out from the milky skies. Later we drove to a Trattoria for lunch nearby. It looked simple but hell with simple, it was one of the best lunches ever.
Here's the story about Rocchetta Mattei, from the website "Bologna Welcome":
[...] The castle Rocchetta Mattei (literally "small fortress Mattei") is situated in the mountan chain of the Apennines between Tuscany and Emilia Romagna. It is 45 km away from Bologna, on the SS.64 (road) that links Bologna to Porretta Terme, just after the town of Riola, in the municipality of Grizzana Morandi.
It was built by the Count Cesare Mattei (1809-1896) on the remains of an ancient medieval castle that belonged to Matilde di Canossa (a.k.a. Matilda of Tuscany).
In the beginning the Count was an army man, than a politician, than a science man, a scholar, a philanthropist and an entrepreneur. He personally directed the constuction of the castle "having on his command artisans of every trade".
The fusion of different architectural styles, such as the Medieval Gothic with the Moorish style, make the Rocchetta a mesmeric and fantastic place, full of small rooms very expertly decorated and linked together by a labyrinthine plan mixed together with lodges, spiral staircases and towers. Two of the most appealing spaces are “Il Cortile dei Leoni” (The Lions’ Courtyard), which is a reproduction of the courtyard of the Alhambra of Granada (Spain), and the chapel, which was built like the Cathedral of Cordoba (Spain).
The Count built the Rocchetta for one specific reason, he wanted it to be the cradle of his invention: Electro-Homoeopathy, a type of medicine that by using natural herbs and a secret process of preparation was meant to cure the man from all the diseases.
This type of medicine spread quickly and it made the Count and the castle very well known worldwide. Dostoevskij, in his "The Brothers Karamazov" ,states its importance when he tells the devil that he was finally healed from a very painful case of rheumatism thanks to a book and some drops from the Count Mattei.
The Foundation Carisbo bought it in 2005 and the beginning of the massive restoration of what can be visited today. [...]
I'm impressed with your framing of this image; I also like the note. So which is the luxury? the castle? the day? the amazing lunch? or all of the above? It doesn't really matter, I'm calling it all of the above and sending it to my choices; I'll decide which of your two I like best later. GLF, Pat
An exemplary combination of photo and note - both fascinating. All these arches, columns, the capital and all the patterns at the first glance are confusing but I'm sure that they make a wonderful architectural whole. What an ambiance ...!
This one goes to my TOM choices.
Herzlliche Grüße aus dem kühlen und grauen Westfalen!