Villa Parravicini

One of the most well-known and most studied of the maestro's buildings, Villa Parravicini (1929) is an anthology of details, which characterise Dioli's aesthetics. Clearly inspired by a simple, yet sophisticated type of dwelling, it consists of two bodies intersecting each other perpendicularly, harking back to the language of art deco or “twenties style” for the linear, geometric structure of the project. It consists of an attic floor, a first floor and a ground floor, accessed via a small terrace, linked to the surrounding garden by an impressive entrance stairwaywith a low wall on each side of the steps. This original design uses the curved lines to link the risers. The irregularly shaped little terrace on the first floor overlooks the bow-window. The balustrade is broken by square columns on a rhomboidal base with a trapezoidal capital, and by vertical bands at the sides, on which the customary diamond shapes have been drawn. These decorative patterns in the Ridgeo style, invented and used by Dioli not only for the overall design of the building, but also for certain external decorative details, can be seen side by side with the graffito images on the window frames and on the band running around the perimeter of the eaves: wavy, natural shapes, such as the gentian, the portrait of the purchaser's wife, the leaves, berries and a monstrous, grotesque face, which reminds us of a dragon. A refined, geometric stylisation, naturalism and symbolism define what the maestro called Malenchino,

a decorative style with two main elements: Alpine flowers and animals enriched with leaves in an imitation oriental style (Monglunder), whereas the architecture is dominated by geometric motifs of Egyptian influence (Ridgeo).


  • Silvio Gaggi, Gente di Valtellina. Erminio Dioli: maestro d’arte e di umanità, in “Rassegna economica della Provincia di Sondrio”, No. 4, October-December 1989