The splendid Villa Balbiano, nestled on Lake Como in an idyllic location, will be the home that will host artists and actors of the caliber of Lady Gaga, Jeremy Irons and Al Pacino for the next few months. Alongside them other Hollywood and music stars, such as Jared Leto and Adam Driver. But what are all these celebrities doing locked up in this breathtaking villa? The answer is simple: they are under the orders of Ridley Scott to shoot the film “The Black Widow”, the story of the murder of Maurizio Gucci.
Filming, which will begin in mid-March, will see Lady Gaga impersonate none other than Patrizia Reggiani, his wife, nicknamed “The Black Widow”, instigator and organizer of the murder for which she was sentenced to 26 years in prison. Instead, it will be Adam Driver who will play Maurizio Gucci, victim of the brutal murder that shocked the fashion world in 1995.
The places of the film
The cast has been in Italy since February, while the filming of the film on Lake Como will begin shortly; the crew will then move to Milan to finish the Italian part of the shoot.
Beyond Villa Balbiano, towards the end of March some scenes will also be shot in Piazza della Magnolia in Mezzegra, which for a few days will become the second location of the film; therefore it will be closed to the public and to traffic. This beautiful square directly overlooks the lake, a summary of the Italian dolce vita that Hollywood directors so passionate about.
The splendid Villa Balbiano, surrounded by a splendid park, is located in the village of Ossuccio, and overlooks Lake Como. This residence was built by Ptolemy Gallio, cardinal, at the end of the 16th century. But it was only 200 years later that the villa acquired the prestige that still distinguishes it today, thanks to the sumptuous renovation carried out by Cardinal Angelo Maria Durini, who made it his “villa of delights”, inside which he moved his intended literary cenacle, including its library and its art collections.
In its time, Villa Balbiano hosted eighteenth-century high society parties and banquets, but also meetings, concerts and literary discussions. Even today the villa shows traces of those times, thanks to its Baroque frescoes. Also interesting are the canalization works, again by Cardinal Durini, put in place to stem the waters of the Perlana stream, which flows into Lake Como.
Nowadays, Villa Balbiano is used as a setting for dream weddings, or for exclusive events. The mansion has also gained fame among the youngest, for being the location of the marriage between Elettra Lamborghini and Nick van de Wall, for all Afrojack, a Dutch DJ of Surinamese origins.
The facts of the film
The story of the Black Widow is set in the 90s, and is inspired by the sad crime of the former president of the famous Italian fashion house, which took place on March 27, 1995. The grandson of the founder Guccio Gucci died in fact murdered on March 27, 1995, when he was just 47 years old. The investigations carried out after his death nailed his wife Patrizia Reggiani, married over 20 years earlier with the opposition of her father and from whom he divorced in 1992.
The day of his death began in an absolutely normal way, leaving the house to go to the offices of his company Vierse; Unfortunately, however, he was followed by a car from which a man got out, who pierced him with 4 pistol shots, the last of which was fatal. After the murder, the man fled; later investigations revealed that it was Benedetto Ceraulo, a bricklayer, hired by Reggiani together with a series of intermediaries and helpers to commit the crime.