The bigger a city is, the more little stories it’s hiding among its roads and buildings. I love to disclose these tales. They are footnotes in a book, Milan is full of these and “Casa con l’Orecchio” (house with the ear) is a good example.
I remember I discovered this house while looking for a more famous one named “Villa Invernizzi”, which is not far from this one and equally interesting, should you be in the neighborhood (check the Villa Invernizzi article). The building is designed in liberty style around the 20s by artist Andreani, who came from Mantova. The building owes its name to an original interphone with the shape of a human ear, placed on one side of the front door. The idea behind that is by Adolfo Wildt, a well known art-nouveau artist, experimenting with the new technology of interphone in an original way.
Despite the fact that it is no longer in working order, this “ear” has never stopped “listening”. Legend says that the wishes of passersby will be realized, if gently whispered into the ear. When I did it, it probably had otitis. Perhaps the Italian singer Eugene Kelly was more lucky, it could explain why he wanted to use it as the cover of his album “Acoustic”.
I suggest to those intrigued by this story that they should also not miss a visit to Villa Necchi Campiglio (via Mozart 14), historical building of the ’30s and property of “FAI”, and the aforementioned Villa Invernizzi.