Villa Vela was donated with its collections to the Swiss State in 1892 by the painter Spartaco, son of the better known Vincenzo.
The villa was built according to the project by Cipriano Ajmetti, who worked for the Savoy Court, and reconstructed in 2001 by the architect Mario Botta.
One of the most important artist residences of the European nineteenth century. It houses the monumental plaster-cast collection of the realist sculptor Vincenco Vela.
The park is enriched by a formal Italian garden, English landscaping, an extraordinary collection of citruses and small compositions of ornamental plants.
The tall salon at the centre recreates the ‘pantheon’ of prominent figures of the Italian Risorgimento, which is surrounded by Vela’s most important works and the family’s painting collection.
A rich collection of tools for stone cutting (‘picasass’) and sculpting, all of them alike the ones used by Vela and his assistants.