The story of this villa starts at the end of nineteenth century, to be precise in 1893. At that time Captain Francesco Scarsella, at the end of his maritime activity, bought from Marquis Gerolamo Serra a part of the hill, including a small farmhouse, spending 9500 liras. The money came from the dowry of his wife, Clelia Lagomaggiore (daughter of the Rapallo pharmacist ), from the maritime businesses, from the sale of hir brigantine (the Giulia Paris) and from a very frugal life. He moved, in 1893, in that small farmhouse, which he called La Pace, with his wife Clelia and his son Attilio Regolo. Man of great energy and practical sense, Francesco immediately began to build other villas in the land he had purchased, first of all Villa Olimpo. Those were the years when Tigullio was discovered by Italian and foreign aristocratic tourism. At that time the first luxury hotels, bathing establishments, cinemas and dance halls were opened. In the original building the villa had a very simple structure: it had no rear body, the only bathroom was the one on the ground floor, and it had no heating system.
In the letters that Attilio Regolo (low student in Torino) wrote that year to his mother, we find some information about the project: the name of the villa, the shape of the driveway, the type of wood to be used for floors, the decorations to be made.
After married Attilio moved to Santa Margherita, and the villa was rented for several decades.
Initially, a wealthy family from Rapallo lived there, making significant improvements to the house, building the backside with the current kitchen, two greenhouses (the upper no longer exists) and three bathrooms on the first floor, one of which is still almost unchanged. He also installed a heating system and moved the veranda to the west window of the living room.
When, in the early thirties, this tenant moved to South America, the villa was rented to a German artist, Bob Gesinus, and, as reported in his biography, it became a small center of cultural meeting attended by distinguished guests such as Oskar Kokoschka, Ezra Pound, Herbert Eulenberg, Rudolf Levy, perhaps even Gerard Hauptmann.
The Captain, Attilio Regolo and Clelia
In 1944 Domizio, the youngest son of Attilio Regolo, a graduate of the Academy of Brera, moved to Villa Olimpo; that was a period of great splendor for the house, precious furniture was bought and a beautiful park was set up, illustrious guests frequented the villa, such as Enrico Paolucci and Alberto Moravia. Domizio continued to live on Olimpo alone, with his brushes, the maid Rina, the irascible dachshund Tommasino and the gigantic cock Giove Tonante until 1963, when he died and the Villa became the summer residence of his brother Franco's family. Only in 2008, the youngest daughter of Franco, Marina, retiring from work, decided to move here, and since then countless guests from all over the world could know, appreciate and remember this little jewel of the Tigullio.