In the second half of 1800, Gerolamo Pirinoli, a successful business man from the industrial town of Intra (part of Verbania), on the Piedmontese shore of Lake Maggiore, wanted to help the many unemployed of the opposite shore in Lombardy, and commissioned a huge wall to border the grazing fields he owned in Cerro.
The wall would also eliminate the danger for navigation of the submerged rocks, and cover the ponds where insects would proliferate. The stones came from the local granite quarry, Baveno, famous for the pink nuance.
The walls extend for almost one Km., winding, and gracefully adorned with stairs, ports and slides.
In 1911, his nephew Vincenzo Sarto, chief engineer of the Province of Milan, designed and built the villa, named Intragnola from a breeze the comes from Intra in the evening.
In 1915 Gerolamo Pirinoli died leaving the property to his favorite grand nephew, Ernesto Sarto, son of Vincenzo, who was six years old at the time.
Being a passionate botanist, Vincenzo Sarto started a collection of rare and exotic conifers taking inspiration from the local, worldwide famous botanical gardens, namely Isola Madre, Isola Bella and villa Taranto.
Because the family had a villa in Ghiffa, on the other shore, and Ernesto was a little boy, Intragnola was rented to Albert Coates for many years.
Albert Coates, a well known British conductor and composer, was friend of George Bernard Shaw, and Paul Troubetskoy, who came often to visit him at Intragnola.
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