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THE GARDENS OF PIETRO PORCINAI Villa Leonetti (formerly Poggio Fiorito) is a historic villa in Naples, located on Aniello Falcone Street in the Vomero district. Originally a dependency of Villa Salve, the structure is situated in an elevated position above the street and surrounded by a terraced park designed by the architect Pietro Porcinai. Initially owned by Antonio Winspeare after his marriage to Emma Gallone, the Duchess of Salve, the villa passed to Edoardo Winspeare upon Antonio's death in 1918. Edoardo, being the son of Antonio's cousin with the same name, inherited the property as the couple had no children. Between 1928 and 1931, it was sold to Michele Platania. Subsequently, Platania sold it to Carlo d'Errico, and eventually, it became the property of the Leonetti Counts.

Thanks to Count Tommaso Leonetti, the building underwent renovations and received additional enhancements, including a 16th-century carved gray peperino portal, contrasting with the yellow tuff wall above. The portal originates from the historic Sirignano palace, which stood at the corner of Piazza Municipio and belonged to Laura Caravita di Sirignano, Tommaso Leonetti's wife. The palace was demolished in the late 1930s. Within the complex, there is also a lookout tower (similar to the Torre Ranieri on Via Manzoni) dating back to the 17th century.


Pietro Porcinai possessed a significant skill in identifying real problems and understanding appropriate procedures, consistently staying ahead of his time through a foresight grounded in well-tested technical foundations. In addition to his early and innate natural talent and professional intelligence, Porcinai had acquired specific training abroad, considerably ahead of others. Undoubtedly influenced by the landscaping culture of those countries, particularly Germany and Belgium, where he practiced horticultural techniques at specialized nurseries. In Italy, his educational journey intersected with a crucial period in the art of gardens: in 1924, Luigi Dami published “Il giardino italiano,” demonstrating Italy’s leadership in garden art.

The indigenous and distinctive nature of the Italian garden, reclaiming its primacy in a field that had become the subject of study by foreigners, especially Anglo-Saxons, culminated in the famous Exhibition of the Italian Garden in 1931 in Florence. Here, efforts were made to highlight a grand past without attempting to pave the way for the exploration of new modern forms in garden art. Ugo Ojetti, a supporter of monumental and stylistic architecture, served as the President of the Executive Committee of the exhibition. Within the event, ten ideal models of gardens were presented, representing a historical journey of Italian garden art. These were conceived as small scenic creations, including the English landscape garden, although deemed foreign to the national classical tradition.