Villa Grock

Thursday, 14th June

Location: Villa Grock (info | map)

The WFCS2018 Gala dinner will be held in one of the most fascinating location in Italy, the famous "Villa Grock".

Adrien Wettach "Grock", born in Reconvilier (Switzerland), 10 January 1880 and anointed "King of clowns" in Paris at the Olympia in 1919, was an extraordinary artist and a real international star since the beginning of the 20th century until his farewell to the stage in 1954. He met Imperia by chance and was so impressed to buy a house with land there, initially intended for spending his holidays. In that place he built a "villa" that still dominates the hills of Oneglia and became his home until 1959.

After Grock's death in 1959, the Villa gradually degraded until 2002, when it was bought by the Province of Imperia in order to make it a cultural pole of great importance and a Circus Museum. The villa gardens have been accessible to the public since May 2006, while waiting for the museum to be completed.

Restoration plans were drawn by the Genoese engineer Armando Brignole based on Grock's own ideas, and the building reflects a Liberty style that is excessive, mannerist and clownish, just like its original owner. Actually, the villa style is contaminated by Baroque, Rococo and Liberty influences, besides suggestive echoes from the East that are reinforced by exotic vegetation.

The villa park, originally very large (almost 11.000 square meters), includes a small lake-swimming pool with a sort of lowered bridge connected to a tiny island and temple with moulded concrete columns.

Villa Grock can be reached in a 16-minute walk from the WFCS 2018 conference location. A shuttle service will be provided for the conference attendees.