THE SHORES OF LAKE LUGANO OFFER PRESTIGIOUS BUILDINGS AND HISTORIC VILLAS. UELI SCHNORF AND PHILIPP PETER, OWNERS OF WETAG CONSULTING, TALK TO US ABOUT THE PROBLEMS INVOLVED IN FINDING AND BUYING THEM
The shores of our lakes are dotted with historic villas that were once dedicated to hosting the holidays of the aristocracy and wealthy families...
"Switzerland's pre-alpine lakes, as well as those in Italy, have an interesting number of" sites ", including large and small ones, with several internationally renowned peaks of landscape excellence, and a rich heritage of villas dating mostly from the second half of the 19th century to the 1920s and 1930s. An era in which a lakeside holiday or owning a villa on the shores of a lake was an important manifestation of a wealth and prestige to which these historic buildings still bear precious witness".
What are the characteristics of the historic villas on Lake Lugano?
"A difference from the Italian case, where building a large city on the shores of Lake Como, Lake Maggiore or Lake Garda were the representatives of noble families or successful entrepreneurs of predominantly city origin, in the case of Lake Lugano and Swiss Ceresio it was mainly the citizens of Ticino who had emigrated mainly to Russia and Latin America, and to a lesser extent to the United States or Paris, and who on returning to their homeland aspired to leave visible evidence of their success abroad. Consequently, this type of villa in Ticino can be found not only in favourable positions overlooking the lake, but also in small villages in the valleys. It is no coincidence that several historic villas in Ticino bear a name that evokes distant countries of emigration, such as "Villa Argentina" in Mendrisio, "Villa Liverpool" in Muralto", Villa "Mexico" in Lugano, etc.".
What interest do these particular historical buildings have today?
"In Ticino, most of these villas were destroyed over the last 50 years. The historic villas that remain have a particular market share, not numerous but lasting, controlled by people who are certainly well-to-do, from Ticino or abroad, who love a way of life that is somewhat removed from the convulsive pace of contemporary society, and who are sustained by an appreciation of the beautiful architecture, the generous settings, the parks with large trees and the gardens that almost always formed an integrated part of these particular residences. Unfortunately, today, even the parks have been reduced, sold or replaced by buildings".
What, if any, are the limits of this kind of construction?
"The greatest difficulties are, in any case, the need to carry out major modernisation work, especially in terms of technological equipment, as well as the high management and maintenance costs. Think of the superbly decorated facades... In addition, of course, to the fact that historic buildings of value that are available for sale are becoming less and less available on the market, and therefore the search for them must be carefully evaluated.
What fascinates potential buyers of historic houses the most?
"Certainly the opportunity to become in some way part of an important history, made up of the events that took place there or the people who lived there before. Our extensive knowledge of the artistic, historical and architectural value of these buildings, combined with our unique experience in selling the world's most valuable works of art, translates into an unparalleled understanding of the thirst for knowledge that needs to be satisfied when selling valuable historical monuments. Our availability of state-of-the-art marketing tools across a wide range of websites and social media, as well as our traditional presence within the world's leading auction house, enables us to expose our properties to the right audience.
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