An Italian businessman, the inventor of the Mio cheese. Flamingos, free in the middle of a garden. If you think that these two things do not have any kind of connection, you are not thinking properly.
And, probably, you have never heard of Villa Invernizzi.
It’s the end of the XIX century. Romeo Invernizzi is eight years old and his teacher of Pasturo elementary school, on Lecco’s mountains, has called his mother for a parent-teacher meeting.
Romeo is always tired and often falls asleep in class. The mother is mortified, leaves the interview in tears, but she is ashamed to tell the truth.
The Invernizzi have a small milk factory and everyone in the family has a role in its management: Romeo has to get up at two in the morning to milk the cows.
Romeo’s character, loyal, pragmatic and determined, makes him the favorite heir of the milk factory. He enlarges it, opening two new establishments, one near his greatest opponent’s, Egidio Galbani.
In less than thirty years, Romeo transforms the small milk firm in the second dairy firm of Italy.
This success must is both due to Invernizzi excellent quality of cheeses, fresh and tender, and to Romeo’s revolutionary ideas of Romeo.
Instead of relying on the nascent industry gurus, Romeo founded the family brand in 1928 and created an advertising company inside the firm.
In addition to cheese, the great passions of Romeo Invernizzi, who died in 2004, was philanthropy and nature. He and his wife Enrica, who moved into the villa in Corso Venezia, often invited their friends Rizzoli and Falck for movie screenings at their house.
That house still overlooking Via dei Cappuccini, and inhabited by a family of flamingos.
Romeo didn’t like the villa in Corso Venezia. He preferred the one in Trenzanesio, 400 hectares of land, 12 kilometers from Milan. Enrica, however, loved the city, and considered it their source of inspiration.
What persuaded Romeo to move to Milan was not his wife’s insistence, but the trip from South America of twelve pink flamingos.
Even today, the flamingos wander beyond the gates of Villa Invernizzi.
A storm of curious stand in front of the villa gates to admire the flamingos balance and take a picture while they sink their curved beaks in their pink feathers. They have lived in the villa since 1970: they have perfectly adapted and don’t look like they wish to fly away.
Besides, who would want to leave the villa, a perfect example of Art Nouveau, with a rooftop garden from which you can see the skyline, Enrica’s rose garden and magnolia trees treasuring it?
Not flamingos and certainly not the 70 researchers to which the Invernizzi family have left their villa, now Invernizzi Foundation.
Now that you know the whole story, you should join the curios crowd with their cameras and their legs stretched to imitate the flamingos. Maybe, while eating a Mio cheese.