The Origins of the Villa

by Micaela Scimone


Uncle Chico Scimone with his wife, Spanish actress Aurora de Alba during Carnival gala evening at “La Giara” nightclub.  photo Vittorio Malambri

Uncle Chico Scimone with his wife, Spanish actress Aurora de Alba during Carnival gala evening at “La Giara” nightclub. photo Vittorio Malambri

It all started when…

The original villa, the Family House was built in the early fifties by the German editor Aenne Burda, founder of Burda Moden magazine. The Family House still retains the original garden layout with its trees and plants, the façade of the house and the red marble flooring inside. My family, the Scimones bought the house in 1998 from Mrs Burda’s grandchildren; we renovated the original house and built the Upper House and terrace. 

 
The facade of the original 1950's family house with the stairs leading to the Upper House and terrace

The facade of the original 1950's family house with the stairs leading to the Upper House and terrace

 

The houses are decorated with personal memorabilia, antique and modern furniture, books in various languages. Most of the antique furniture belonged to our English/Swiss grandparents, Charles and Mary Schorno. Our father Egisto Scimone painted the landscape pictures of Taormina, whilst the contemporary drawings are by the renowned Milanese artist, Luigi Rigamonti who also designed the villa. Various portraits and flower paintings are by artist Dori Vasta from Taormina. The large colourful paintings representing dancers are by Sicilian painter Nino Carnabuci who was commissioned by our father in the seventies to do these paintings for our nightclub, La Giara. 

 

Our father founded La Giara in 1953, together with his older brother Chico Scimone, well-known Italo/American pianist and sportsman. La Giara soon became the place to see and be seen; the best Italian orchestras played here and famous Italian and inernational actors and actress were frequent clients of the nightclub especially during Taormina Film Festival.

 

La Dolce Vita: Vintage stills by local photographer Vittorio Malambri. The images were shot at the infamous La Giara nightclub and feature the owners Egisto and Chico Scimone, cornerstones of the Scimone family.