In 1916, when Kinta Beevor was five, her father, painter Aubrey Waterfield bought the Fortezza della Brunella in Aulla. Waterfield had fallen in love with the Brunella at the end of the Nineteenth century and he had his wife Lina Gordon Duff – The Observer correspondent in Italy – convinced to go along with his wishes and to move there.
At that time, the newlyweds found themeselves tending to a grand military architecture – not a love nest indeed – that was designed after the revolution of firearms: the fortress forms at one with the hill and whoever built it – someone says it was a fort along Jacopo Ambrosio Malaspina’s defensive curtain, someone says it was Giovanni delle Bande Nere to have it built – had a clear idea of where the art of war was heading.
The Waterfield transformed it into a luxurious mansion and it is a shame that their most spectacular and poetic restoration work – the roof garden a few steps from the stars, where they used to enjoy nights and days together with Bernard Berenson, D.H Lawrence, Aldous Huxley and many other friends, poets and painters – was dismantled and hence no longer visible. You can read about it in A Tucan Childhood, the book written by the late Kinta Beevor to go through her early years in Aulla.
Built with the same brown rock that is the spur on which it arises, the Brunella seems a monolith. Nowadays it is home to a scientific library and to the Lunigiana Natural History Museum. Don’t miss a visit to the surrounding park and don’t hesitate to contact Natour Coop if you are in the need of a guided tour.
Source: Trame di Lunigiana