'Call Me By Your Name' villa is up for sale now

Nadja Beschetnikova
February 19, 2018

If watching the movie you were thrilled by the interiors more than by the love affair between Elio and Oliver, and in that famous fireplace scene you were hardly pitiful to Elio but to yourself, trying to imagine how you would read books in this cozy salon, take a deep breath, here’s your chance.

The villa, located in a small town in the province of Cremona with less than 1,000 inhabitants, is up for sale now for about $3 million (€1.7million). The property was recently listed on Home&Loft.

A film director has the advantage of being able to plunge into the worlds of his dreams and reveries and bring to the screen a way of life that he probably couldn’t afford in his everyday routine. And that’s why we love movies which give us an escape from the humdrum life.

If you want to be carried away by the cinematic landscapes and sumptuous interiors you can rely on Luca Guadagnino. He loves houses and authentic decors. They are not just a background in his films. Guadagnino tends to use every single square meter of the set to reveal the dramaturgy and convey the traits of the characters.

Villa Necchi in his 2009 I am Love was as important for the revitalization of the bourgeois spirit as Tilda Swinton’s refined manner of playing and her wardrobe, designed by Raf Simmons. The house perfectly portrayed a place that was part palace, part museum, and part prison.

For his latest masterpiece, the Academy Award-nominated film Call Me By Your Name,  Guadagnino has chosen the Lombardian mansion in Moscazzano called Villa Albergoni.

Actually, the Italian director dreamed of buying the villa for himself.

«I had known that house for many years; I even dreamed of buying that house,» Guadagnino told AD. «Once I realized that I couldn’t afford it».

So he let his characters to take up residence in this 16th-century villa (it was built in 1500). The film, based on the André Aciman’s 2007 novel, takes us on the journey to the laid-back summer holidays in Northern Italy. The villa with its aristocratic chic inscribed in the rustic frame served as a summer home for Mr. Perlman, a history professor, and his family and a scene for a coming-of-age romance, where professor’s son Elio, played by Timothée Chalamet, pines for his father’s guest, self-affected and hunky American research assistant Oliver, played by Armie Hammer.

They say it’s hard to compete with children and animals in the art of acting, but we dare to say that this stunning house stole the show.

The surroundings of Villa Albergoni reminds us of the landscapes of Bernardo Bertolucci films.  «These countries where you don’t have a horizon other than the trees and the little lawns and the streams of water», as Guadagnino described it.

The building was originally constructed as a fortress before it was converted into a home in the 17th century.

The 15,000-square-foot villa has eight bedrooms and seven bathrooms, including that blue-tiled bathroom the main characters had to share in the film.

Guadagnino described his idea for the interior as «furniture with heritage», which should give us clues to the personalities of the characters and their lives. Through the details, the movie family is presented as open-minded, educated and well-traveled people, obsessed with music, books, and arts.

The idea was perfectly implemented by Violante Visconti di Modrone, who handled the sets for I am Love as well. One of her relatives was Luchino Visconti, who directed The Leopard and Death in Venice, so the intense attention to the venerable palazzos could run in her blood.

Visconti di Modrone filled the house with furnishings from her own homes as well as objects and artifacts rented for the occasion. The plates and saucers we see on the breakfast table she sourced from her friends. Nothing looks ‘blank’ on screen, every piece spreads this lived-in feeling and a genuine warmth of the homeyness. 

Since the movie story is set in the early 1980s, the set designer did extensive research to bring the right details into the on-screen life. There’re various references to the period, from the 1983 Converse sneakers, worn by Oliver while he awkwardly danced at the countryside disco, to the household goods. The walls of Elio’s room are covered with 1980s posters for La Biennale and a Robert Mapplethorpe exhibition.

Of course, you have to call Visconti di Modrone or her friends if you want exactly the same decors.

But for sure it will be easy to recreate the charm of the old-Italian mansion and live like in film if you browse some antique stores or flea-markets in Milan. According to the listing, some furnishings remained. You can always buy things, but more important are the unique historic treasures, which are hidden in the house. The main hall has a beautiful frescoed ceiling, built in the 16th century by Aurelio Busso, a pupil of Raphael.

The main part of the villa has a front portico on the north side and two towers placed at the corners. The splendid antique entrance door is enhanced by the arched ashlar contour.

Entering the villa you are greeted by the large vaulted passageway, which crosses the whole building. Up the carved stone staircase is another large hallway leading up to four large en-suite bedrooms with soaring timber-coffered ceilings and aged parquet floors. 

The house boasts a terrace, accessible from the first floor, a balcony, and multiple massive fireplaces.

The villa is provided with an autonomous heating as well. One guesthouse and one building that was used ass a housekeeper’s residence are included in the sale.

Filming in this place seemed to satisfy Guadagnino’s attachment to the house. “I feel like I’ll own that house forever,” the director said.

Buying this “artfully dilapidated” villa doesn’t guarantee that you’ll ever have a lover like Oliver, but you can still plant your own peach orchard on the 2 acres of the private garden and spend days listening to Bach.