Cantine Amistani –Guarda had their seat in Venegazzù, a good location for vinification and wine making, but it was not good for other uses. My target was to find an ideal place which represents all my world and which can guest and combine also commercial functions. After a long research in the Montello area I reached Villa Guillon-Mangilli in Pederiva.
When I entered inside the barchessa of the villa, I felt a special vibration, a so deep feeling that I immediately fell in love of this place without any reserve. The building had been abandoned for 30 years, the ancient barchessa Bressa (built in 1540 as a cellar) was empty but there were the signs of neglected and rushed restoration works: chipped walls with ruined plaster over beautiful stonewalls, wooden beams coloured by whitewash, carton false ceilings.
I was not scared by spider webs, by musty smell, humidity on the walls or walled up windows. I was kept and fascinated by the idea (maybe a challenge) to bring this building to its original function.
I was dazzled by a bright light and with my fantasy I saw a place, exploited by respectful and careful restoration works which exalt the ancient functions and, at the same time, give importance to modern uses.
That night I sat at my desk and, during that silent time, I worked on my project. I created and drew down to the smallest details the today particular reality: a enocultural centre, a magical place where the culture of wine combines with books and other cultural and artistic resources of this territory.
I did not change the building – the Villa and its park are protected as National Monument – but I oriented the restoration works in order to clean the barchessa at its original style and appearance.
The restoration brought to light many sites: the Bottaia (casks room) and the Tinaia (barrels room) with the 16th century old grape-press, built 1,5 meter below the fields ground level, the Salone degli Arazzi (Arazzi Hall), Conference room, the Cedraia and the Catering area which is set in the 18th century section of the villa.
A strong emotion is connected to this important monument: the memory of the moment when we destroyed the stopping on the windows of the northern part. A special and peculiar afternoon light flooded the rooms. A light that broke the darkness after decades oblivion.
It was like the premonition of a new life, the beginning of a benign destiny.