Casina Vanvitelliana, hunting and idleness

© Gianluca Pirro -

From afar, Casina Vanvitelliana, on Lake Fusaro in Bacoli, may look a little like a rococo “trabocco”

But upon closer inspection, it becomes clear that this small “hunting and fishing lodge” – built in 1782 by Carlo Vanvitelli (1739-1821) for Ferdinand IV of Bourbon, King of Naples – is nothing like the Apulian coast’s rudimentary stilts on which energetic fishermen used to work (and work, even today) to make their living. The Casina welcomed noblemen who had no financial worries at all.

Although it was not exclusively devoted to the exercise of patrician idleness – artists such as Mozart and Rossini stayed here, and probably finalized some of their works immersed in the peaceful atmosphere of the lake – it is obvious that is was always meant to be a place of leisure.

We see it in the unique layout of the building, which is at forty-five degrees to the hypothetical perspective from the coast and appears to be right on the waterfront (an illusion created by a sand dune hidden by the circular platform): it was always supposed to inspire wonder, just like any baroque work of art.

Some say that the Casina was the inspiration for the house of the Fairy with Turquoise Hair in Luigi Comencini’s 1970s TV adaptation of “The Adventures of Pinocchio”.

Though it’s probably nothing but a rumor, its nice to think that perhaps this is where the fun-loving wood puppet met someone who loved him despite of his idleness, turning him into a real boy at last.

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December 16, 2013

Casina Vanvitelliana, hunting and idleness

Bacoli (Na)
Piazza Gioacchino Rossini, 2