Tomaso Buzzi (Sondrio 1900 - Rapallo 1981) was undoubtedly one of the outstanding characters in the history of 20th century architecture.
After 1945 he became an arbiter of taste, working for some of Italy’s most illustrious dynasties from the noble and industrial circles, from the Volpi to the Agnelli, the Cini to the Contini Bonacossi, interpreting lifestyles and leading the vanguard of fashionable society. A well-known ironic, cultured and tormented snob, dandy, mason, partisan, bibliophile, and guardian of bon-ton, Buzzi graduated from Milan University in 1923. He subsequently joined the “Novecento Milanese” group that Gio Ponti, Emilio Lancia and other well-known names belonged to. The symbiotic relationship with the Italian aristocracy that was to last a lifetime was launched in 1931, when he carried out works on the Villa Vittoria belonging to the Contini Bonacossi family. His abandonment of modern themes from the mid-1930s onwards and his links with an elite clientele marks his divorce from the mainstream of the architectural establishment and the start of his damnatio memoriae which has lasted until the present day. 1956 marked his most eccentric, yet autobiographical work, the Scarzuola, with the purchase of a 13th century church and Franciscan monastery near Montegabbione (Montegiove, Terni). Once Buzzi had renovated them as a home he embarked on the construction of his “ideal city”, consisting among other things of seven theatres reminiscent of architectural styles ranging from the 15th to the 18th century and a sort of memorial museum that he worked on incessantly until his death and that represented one of the most singular and bizarre episodes in the history of 20th century architecture.