A Bygone Era and start of a New - Castello Bibelli with 'live' again!

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 How much would I appreciate the opportunity to see the Castello Bibelli mansion, who all seem to desire but that has, for some reason, unbeknownst to me, been left abandoned and uncherished?

 

From the day I first saw the advertisement for the sale of this stately old lady I felt the need to lay eyes on her. I would have loved to be able to purchase this unusual and very aesthetically exciting colossus and even considered the possibility of trying to get a syndicate together to be able to take possession of her, to be able to walk her halls and explore her once ‘richest of the rich’ finishes.

 

Would I be able to find a letter, a forgotten earring, a piece of china or a memento belonging to a guest from a by-gone era? Would her ceilings be adorned with frescoes or stucco or simply be falling down after years of neglect and her being forgotten? Would she have chandeliers hanging from ceiling roses or nothing left at all?

 

I wonder whether her floors are marble or timber, tiled or inlaid. I have searched the internet for photos that may have been posted which would give an inkling of what the heart, the interior, of this grand old girl once held. How many rooms, how many bathrooms, baths with cast iron feet or was she renovated to the art nouveau or art deco style or just renovated?

 

                                                  

 

What were the forms, light, colour, texture, pattern that she was graced with? What was her 1960’s to 1980’s style? Mid-Century Modern - mid-1900's with some of the most iconic pieces produced in modern design. ...Industrial – bare brick, rough textures, and solid structures… Vintage – elegant, romantic, and sophisticated in nature… Minimalist – valuing open space above things… Mid-Century Modern – organic and geometric…

 

I see her in vintage; brass or four poster beds with Anglais and lace, huge suites to feel pampered in with roaring fires in open hearths, leather and wood and all things good. Heady summers lazing out on the lawns, Pimm's, Gin and Tonic, wine in Waterford crystal and food; as in feasts.

 

I have been told that she was comparable to any hotel on the Cote D'Azur, to those on the Italian Riviera, the best of the best. I know that the Mimbelli family had her furnished and lavished with every finery that money could buy. I know that she was plundered during the war.

 

                              

 

What was she like when she was the equivalent of a 5* hotel? What did the aristocratic, exclusive guests see while they sipped their drinks in her vast lounges or retired to their rooms for the night with their high ceilings and luxurious drapes?

 

                      

 

We will never know…sadly all that remains is emptiness and devastation. The poor old lady couldn’t wait until we stopped the clock and cared for her.

 

                                           

                                                       Photo - George Hondrogennis         

          

Her stairs have disintegrated, her ceilings collapsed. She is a shell, a ghost of her former self. We will never know what it was like to grace her halls in bygone days. The hand-written letter, the single earring and Castello Bibelli, as she was, are lost forever.

 

                      

 

Footnote: The villa has been purchased for the sum of Euro 4,111.505. It is estimated that the total investment plan for the development of the property, totaling 77 acres, will amount to 20 million Euros. Castello Bibelli, by investor's obligation, will be restored and once again serve as a hotel. (Source mydimosio.gr)

 

                      

                                                            Photo - Kostas Dendrinos 

 

Castello Bibelli lives to see another chapter in her life. I, for one, can't wait! What I would do to see her now and, then again, when she is restored to her former glory...How I would so love to interview her new owner too! 

 

 Written by Adelia Cook for  MyKerkyra.com

 Photography courtesy of Castello Mimbelli

 

 

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