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Stepping on Magic Land and Fairy Dust

editorial & arteditorial

5 November 2020

A soft step, a few dew drops to prove the static time of the place, a diaphanous walk and ethereal sounds from the rubbing leaves ... climbing up to the Mortola Tower is just a walk in the garden, when it suddenly dawns to you that you have a painted Mediterranean scenery in front of you and a lot of history at the other side of the view. Among them, a dog and a cat, the essentials among the plants! And the master of it all, Carlo Maria Maggia, who is a nature artist who puts his souls into canvas, into plants and gardening. A marvel what he has done to this place! You can feel at ease on an instant. All the basic needs of life are there, you don't need to look further. And then, you enter the Tower villa with magic everywhere from composite pieces of history, natural landscape and Mediterranean sea, with colours that burst to your eyes and windows that breath colourful lines from outside. And you feel like playing and singing along on the perfect swing spot. Just like those in Bali where you feel like flying over the green void, the sea at your feet, the chapel below at your left. Peculiar corners and things, mystical spots, a mix of vintage and contemporary with a lot of fairy dust.

But who is the designer of this place?

I'm Carlo Maria Maggia, half Swiss, half Italian. Till thirty I was racing in motorsport, motorbike, rally cars. At thirty, the passion of designing a garden,  from my childhood, came alive.

I find beauty everywhere and want to share it with people in order to come back to the roots and the real things.

I've been living in this place for seventeen years. At first, it was a post guard tower that I completely restored. When I bought it, it was a ruin. It took me six years of work to renovate and restore this property. There is a 2ha garden, plenty of tropical pants. Among them the one I truly love, the the Aloe arborescens which magical properties. With it I can manage most of the human health problems.

My dream was to buy and restore this place that I fell in love with. It took me eleven years to buy it because it was owned by a very rich family who was not at all interested in selling this place. Even very important persons tried to buy it. It was not for sale!

After eleven years, in a very strange way or destiny, I bought it. And this was only the beginning! It was an unbelievable work to restore and keep it in the original shape with its allure from the past.

My project: don't own anything

I am an artist in my soul. I started painting oil canvas when I was eight, a heritage from my grand-mother. I created this place like a work of art. But, now, my mission in Mortola is finished. And other projects are on their way. My main project now is to not own anything. I want to spend my life out of the economic system that manages the world. I want to stay completely free from this.

I like to travel and now, because of the virus, it's a difficult time to do it, I fly in paraglide.

What is your lifestyle?

My lifestyle is completely in touch with nature. For me, I just need basic stuff. For example, I don't use toilet paper, I have the bidet. This is my way of thinking...

And your way of thinking is very much linked to the concept of this villa...

Yes, because this villa is not for everyone. It is not for the artificial things. This is a fantastic place where you can live with the family, close to everything but without neighbours. It can be an eco resort, it can be a beauty spa, it could be an exclusive club for the people who live in Monaco. Monaco has everything, it's safe, it has a luxury lifestyle, it's like a small Hong Kong on the sea. But it misses two important things: space and nature.  This place is full nature. I preserved everything; even the alleys are made from gravel, just like in the garden of Eden. I want and can to stay naked in the garden.

Now, the villa is for sale or for rent. I need someone who will fall in love with this place. If not, I don't sell anything. The money is important but, more than this, it is like a father-daughter link. It's like giving my daughter to her future husband. I want to be super sure that he will take good care. It's a unique place for unique people.

I like to spend time alone here, I have the time to listen to music, to read, to paint, to take care of the garden, to have a fantastic walk. For me, this is paradise! I travelled the entire world but this was the only place I wanted to come back to, every time.  

Below the hills of the villa, there is the Hanbury Garden that is in the top fifty world sights. We have fourty-four Unesco sights in Italy. This spring, the Hanbury Garden will become the fourty-fifth.

So, this place is within a preserved space. These eight km of coast lining the garden to Menton are unbelievable, untouched from the time, the only remaining untouched parts of the coast between France and Italy.