Sitting in the shade of a tree on a very hot day, I sketched a corner of this beautiful 18th century villa. Several years ago I sketched and photographed the same villa from outside on the road.. I could just about see over the walls and I wished could get inside to have a look around.
This summer I got my wish.
Villa Sant Isidoro de Cordova was opened to the public for the first time this month. The inside is like a museum as everything is intact and as the Cordova family left it. The walls, ceilings and doors are decorated and painted in gold leaf, one room leading onto another in the French 'enfilade' style.
The family hoarded and kept objects and personal items through the years and there are collections of toys, books and clothes, looking as if the owner has just popped out and will soon be back.
(Very slightly creepy)
The gardens have been returned to their former glory and out houses are full of agricultural items, including olive presses and hunting gear.
The young man who gave me a guided tour told me I could sketch from the gardens whenever I want... so I will thank you very much!