Villa Weber is located on the Island of La Maddalena, in a park surrounded by greenery and stands out with its square tower.
Sophisticated and elegant villa was built between 1855 and 1857 and named after its first owner British citizen James Phillip Weber. He was born in Wales and during one of his business trips he happened to visit La Maddalena. Mr Weber made a fortune growing wheat and tobacco, breeding cattle and as merchant. Once he set foot on the island he immediately fell in love with La Maddalena. He retired from business and lived here for 25 years until the end of his life. He was merchant, a famous collector as well as British vice-consul at La Maddalena.
From a simple house to an elegant and comfortable villa
Mr Weber bought a plot of land and expanded an already existing simple house transforming it into a comfortable and elegant villa according to style of his times. He also added aviaries and cages for exotic birds and animals, planted crops and built a system for collecting and distributing water. On his request the villa and park were protected by 3 rings of walls to guarantee almost maniacal level of privacy. The vice-consul was a rich collector who passionately loved art and culture. Inside the villa there were splendid pavements and ceiling with frescoes, expensive and valuable furnishings and ornaments, original paintings, other antiquities and a large collection of books. It is said that he did not trust his servants and dusted them down personally.
Benito Mussolini’s prison
Mr. Weber was not married. He died suddenly during a trip to Pisa at the age of eighty and the property passed to the heirs of his adopted son. Weber‘s villa was inhabited until 1928, then part of the furnishings were put up for auction. In 1943, in the midst of the Second World War, it was requisitioned by the Italian State. From the 7th to the 27th August 1943 it was Benito Mussolini’s prison before being transferred to Gran Sasso. After the passage of Mussolini very little remained of this splendid villa. Abandoned for years, it suffered several thefts and damages. Today it belongs to the municipality of La Maddalena, but it cannot be visited as it is located in private property.