This 1960s Bologna home on the hills connects with the landscape

How Leopoldo Cavalli douses his Bologna retreat with interior design by his family owned furniture brand, Visionnaire

Outside tiled area with decorated table and chairs next to paved outside area leading to front door
Inside Leopoldo Cavalli’s Bologna home
(Image credit: Leo Monica)

Leopoldo Cavalli’s first approach with his home on the hills outside Bologna sounds like something out of a novel: ‘the house had been abandoned by the previous owners for many years, though the household staff had remained in place for nearly a decade,’ the Visionnaire CEO explains. ‘They welcomed us with an apple pie fresh from the oven and a delightful tea service, and helped us to explore every corner of the house.’

Cavalli and his wife Monica immediately fell in love with the house, which had been designed by architect Enzo Zacchiroli in the 1960s. An exponent of organic architecture and deeply inspired by the work of Frank Lloyd Wright and Alvar Aalto, Zacchiroli had designed this 12,000 sq m villa (part of a complex of houses set within the verdant verdant Parco Chigi) as a conversation between brick, concrete and green spaces, paying special attentions to the views across the countryside and forest, which he framed with large windows and thirteen terraces.

Living room setting

(Image credit: Leo Monica)

Sunny outside tiled area with two comfortable chairs next to facebrick house

(Image credit: Leo Monica)

Cavalli and his wife have given a contemporary update to the house with a ‘careful selection of low-emission products, finishes and materials’, while the interiors are a celebration of Cavalli’s own family brand, Visionnaire. Iconic pieces from the brand’s meta-luxury collections are found everywhere in the house, from the Bastian modular sofa by Mauro Lipparini (strategically positioned to offer an incomparable view of the park outside) to the Victorian kitchen by Alessandro La Spada.

The kitchen, Cavalli notes, is an element that harmonizes both his and his wife’s taste: ‘our two personalities had to coexist in this intimate space: the soft feminine touch of oak and the hard, angular presence of steel.’ These contrasts, he continues, can also be found in the dining table: ‘I chose a Visionnaire icon: the Versailles table designed by Alessandro La Spada, which stands out for its truncated conical steel legs and blown glass, and the top in Port Saint Laurent.’

room with cream walls, wooden floors, patterned unit and wooden slat room divider

(Image credit: Leo Monica)

Multi-sensory experiences are at the core of the home’s interiors, with a dedicated wellness area featuring Visionnaire designs by La Spada and Simone Micheli as well as cryosauna, fitness gear and a Turkish bath.

Cavalli’s passion for music is also reflected throughout, with two grand pianos and a recording room: ‘I have fulfilled my dream by acquiring the historic Fonoprint recording studio (previously of Bologna’s Museum of Thousand Voices and Thousand Sounds) from the heirs of the great [Italian singer-songwriter] Lucio Dalla,’ he explains.

The house is a magnificent combination of modern architecture, nature and a contemporary vision of luxury – a fitting family retreat for Cavalli and his wife as well as the refined showcase for his company’s pieces.

Living room with view

(Image credit: Leo Monica)


(Image credit: Leo Monica)

Rosa Bertoli was born in Udine, Italy, and now lives in London. Since 2014, she has been the Design Editor of Wallpaper*, where she oversees design content for the print and online editions, as well as special editorial projects. Through her role at Wallpaper*, she has written extensively about all areas of design. Rosa has been speaker and moderator for various design talks and conferences including London Craft Week, Maison & Objet, The Italian Cultural Institute (London), Clippings, Zaha Hadid Design, Kartell and Frieze Art Fair. Rosa has been on judging panels for the Chart Architecture Award, the Dutch Design Awards and the DesignGuild Marks. She has written for numerous English and Italian language publications, and worked as a content and communication consultant for fashion and design brands.

With contributions from