Gabriele D’Annunzio (1863-1938) had two aims in mind when he built “Vittoriale” – to have a place to live and to create a monument to his own genius and audacious deeds during World War One.
The site is an extraordinary set of buildings surrounded by its own park overlooking the lake. It was designed by Gian Carlo Maroni and encloses the Priory (the pot’s house from 1921 to 1938), an open-air theatre (which holds a Summer season of D’Annunzio works each year), the poet’s tomb and mausoleum, avenues lined with the urns of his wartime companions and a series of extraordinary objects such as the bow of the cruiser Puglia built into the hill, the speedboat MAS 96 which he used in the “Buccari Escapade” and the aeroplane in which he flew over Vienna, on the 9th of August 1918, to drop subversive leaflets.
The Priory shows just what sort of mind D’Annunzio had and the life he lived with its Liberty furniture, thosands of objects, and the works of art, books and paintings with which he liked to surround himself.
The Library is very interesting for the collected works of the poet, rare editions of his favourite writers, and musical scores including signed copies of works by the famous musicians Debussy and Wagner.