Villa Favorita, Ercolano

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Villa Favorita
Villa Favorita
Ercolano il Miglio d'Oro Villa Reale della Favorita.JPG
Palace facade.
Alternative namesReal Villa della Favorita
General information
StatusOwned by the Italian state, awaiting restoration, possibility of concession of use to private investors
Architectural styleItalian Baroque
LocationErcolano, Italy
Construction started1762
ClientFerdinand I of the Two Sicilies, Maria Carolina of Austria, Ferdinand II of the Two Sicilies
Technical details
Floor count2
Design and construction
ArchitectFerdinando Fuga
Invalid designation
Official nameVilla Favorita
State PartyItaly

Villa Favorita, also known as Real Villa della Favorita, was a royal rural palace (villa) in Ercolano, Italy.


A small villa previously stood at the site. Prince Giuseppe Beretta, Duke of Simari and Marquis of Mesagne, commissioned designs for a new building from the architect Ferdinando Fuga, and in 1762 the villa was completed. In 1768, the prince gave a sumptuous party in honour of the King Ferdinand IV of Naples and his new wife, the Habsburg Maria Carolina of Austria, just arrived from Vienna. The Queen liked the villa that reminded her of Vienna’s Schönbrunn palace and since then was called “Favorita” (favoured). In 1792, the King acquired and expanded the villa, and obtained access to the sea through a great park from the main building on the street to the sea and a pier for the access by boat. It was frequently used by the royal couple and their children.

The second son of the King, Prince Leopold, Prince of Salerno, while living there enlarged the palace and built some pavillons for entertainment, such as the Casino of mosaics (so called after its interior decoration with mother-of-pearl and porcelain scraps). He created an amusement park in the grounds.

From 1879 and 1885 Villa Favorita hosted the exiled Isma'il Pasha, former Khedive of Egypt who had presided over the inauguration of Suez Canal. He decorated the interiors of some of his apartments with a Moorish style.

With a facade overlooking an urban street, the much dilapidated palace is a prime examples of the villas in the Miglio d'Oro or Golden Mile of Villas that occupied the eastern slopes of Vesuvius. The interiors were decorated and frescoed by Domenico Ascione and Filippo De Pascale. The interiors were highly decorated in a florid Rococo style, with stucco, woodwork, mirrors and glasswork. Rooms and halls were painted in various themes and styles, including Etruscan decorations, a stanza of Bacchus and Story of Abraham, and a room (c. 1765) in chinoiserie style. Much of this decoration has been lost. Some stanza retain their fresco decoration including ones by Crescenzo Gamba.[1][2]


  1. ^ Villa Favorita ad Ercolano Archived October 29, 2014, at the Wayback Machine., StoriaCity, Storia dell'Architettura e della città Fabio cerrao e Cerbone degli errichiello - 2012.
  2. ^ InCampania Archived July 25, 2014, at the Wayback Machine. entry on villa.

Coordinates: 40°48′01″N 14°21′17″E / 40.80029°N 14.35474°E / 40.80029; 14.35474