The design of the small villa has a regular plan but its façades are characterised by an asymmetrical sequence of openings of different forms. Subsequently extended, the building presents an organised articulated composition and spans in part across three floors, in part across two.
The windows (single and double lancet) have three-lobed, architraved pointed arches which are underlined by ornamental inserts in the form of beaded mouldings, cornices and mouldings. A series of decorative panels adorn its facing, recalling the image of Venice, the gateway to the East. On this subject, the raised image of the gondola on the façade which looks onto via Buonarotti is significant.
A small staircase leads to the entrance which is characterised by a portal framed by a carinated arch
opening. The design of the wrought iron details, the railings and the outdoor light are in keeping with the overall decorative style.
On the top floor the terrace looks onto the back garden which is characterised by regularly arranged lawns and a rich variety of palms which go to create the exotic atmosphere of the complex.
The building is a private property and cannot be visited inside.
Historical critical news
The Villa was constructed in 1912 for the Milanese Beniamino Fontanella and is based on the project presented by the master builder Guido Cioni (the date of construction is also on the façade). It was then extended by the master builder Demetrio Petrucci in 1926.
Both Villino Fontanella and Villa Nistri form a systematic model of eastern architecture which unites the decorative ornamentation with the typical shapes of Indo-Islamic-Moresque buildings.
Nevertheless, in Viareggio there is also a varied eclectic repertoire with an oriental taste which is diffused in an unhomogeneous way and even includes furnishings and interior and exterior decoration (see, for example, the Gran Caffè Margherita, the Supercinema Savoia, Villa Argentina).
(source: Alessandra Belluomini Pucci - Centro Studi Cultura Eclettica Liberty e Déco