Terruzzi Museum in Villa Regina Margherita
via Romana, 34 - 18012 Bordighera (IM)
Telefono: 0184 26 49 41
Fax: 0184 27 61 11
Villa Regina Margherita Villa Regina Margherita

Margherita of Savoy, the first queen of Italy, had this villa built in Bordighera between 1914 and 1916 by the architect from Milan Luigi Broggi. This prestigious building has been a cultural pole par excellence since June 2011, when it was transformed by careful renovation lasting two years, also thanks to the involvement of the Fondazione Famiglia Terruzzi – Villa Regina Margherita (Terruzzi Family – Villa Regina Margherita foundation).

The intervention, part of the Development of the natural and cultural resources of Liguria project (Level 4 of the ROP ERDF 2007-2013), will allow the works of art, from the immense and prestigious collection belonging to the Terruzzi family, to be displayed in the restored rooms, and will also allow the rooms to be used again, turning the villa into a museum, cultural centre, training pole and display space.

A little bit of history

Located halfway along the coast, above via Romana (Roman road) there is a selected nucleus from the Terruzzi collection, one of the largest and most esteemed collections in Europe, created by the Milanese magnate Guido Angelo.
More than 1000 works are presented along the exhibition route. The rooms are very big: prestigious pieces of furnishing appear together with stuccoes and Lombard neo-late baroque decorations. Precious paintings with a gold base from the 14th and 15th centuries, important artists from Tuscany and Veneto, paintings from between the Italian 17th and 18th centuries with special attention to the Ligurian, Emilian and Neapolitan school, and other works by French, Flemish and Dutch artists complete the setting. Ligurian art is represented by the works of Gioacchino Assereto, Bernardo Strozzi and a splendid set of paintings by Alessandro Magnasco. The thematic nucleus of Italian and foreign landscapes and still life from the 16th to the 19th centuries are of notable interest. Among the many and precious furnishings – pieces of furniture, Oriental porcelain, bronze pieces, silver pieces, ceramic pieces – the famous Servizio Minghetti (Minghetti Service) stand out for impact and quality; the service was made in 1888 for the Duke of Montpensier, the son of Louis Philippe d'Orléans.

The intervention

After being purchased by the Province of Imperia and the Municipality of Bordighera, the restoration project and new functionalization of the historical Villa will pull the last residence that belonged to the Queen of Italy out of its degradation, and return it to the territory with the collaboration of the Terruzzi Family - Villa Regina Margherita Foundation.

The works of art in this immense and prestigious collection belonging to the Terruzzi family will be displayed in the restored rooms. The importance of the works will favour internationalisation of the place and, at the same time, will attract low-season tourists by way of a totally unique offer in Italy. The Terruzzi — Villa Regina Margherita Foundation will carry out a cultural function that will integrate with the territory, proposing itself as a museum, cultural centre, training pole and display area.

The position of these works will give life to a museum trail that was studied in line with the most modern exhibition concepts. The Museum will occupy the three levels of the central body of the villa; when displayed, the works (paintings, furniture, works of art, tapestries and other) will be divided thematically and/or chronologically, respecting their original geographic area as much as possible. The restoration of the villa basement was studied in order to allow temporary exhibitions dedicated to works of art that are not part of those in the permanent exhibition. These pieces will still come from the Terruzzi collection, but pieces from other Italian and foreign structures (museums, foundations, collections) will be added. This floor will have with a conference hall.

The divisions of this floor will not be rigid, but dynamic and modular in order to adapt them to different initiatives. As a result, even conferences and seminars can be held during temporary exhibitions.


The city is divided into two parts: the fortified Medieval village and the 19th century extension. There are many things to see: the town hall with the works of artists from the 19th and 20th centuries, the houses - towers, proof of the presence of all the historical personalities and artists who have stayed in Bordighera, from Margherita of Savoy to Monet and Dickens. The 17th century parish church of Santa Maria Maddalena, with a lovely steeple obtained from a tower, holds the relics of the patron saint Sant’Ampelio. Inside, the marble group of the Maddalena is attributed to Filippo Parodi, a sculptor from Genoa and student of Bernini.


Ubago and aprico: shaded and sunny, two typical words from far Western Liguria that describe the landscape and a mood, a way of life, at the same time. Ubago is the shaded face, on which the sun never shines, where the woods grow and agriculture is not possible. Aprico is the sunny face, where the land can be cultivated and where the villages arose. Even Val Nervia has its ubaga side and its aprica side, and it is interesting to discover them, present not only in the territory but also in the people who live in it.

Queen Margherita started coming to Bordighera in 1879, as host of the German banker Rafael Bischoffsheim; she stayed in the villa that was built on the via Romana for Bischoffsheim in 1873, following the project of the French architect Charles Garnier.

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