Villa Dupouy, also known as Villa Jermy and Villa delle Rose, lies on the hillside near Montenero, to the south of Livorno, and is the place where Lord Byron stayed for a period of six weeks in 1822, as inscribed on the commemorative plaque on the front of the house. This was shortly before the death of his friend and fellow poet, Percy Bysshe Shelley who had also spent some time in Livorno, at Villa Valsovano (see separate article).
Byron is said to have rented Villa Dupouy between May and June 1822 and to have installed his mistress Countess Teresa Gamba Guiccioli and her brother there. It was also here that the American artist William Edward West painted the portraits of Lord Byron and Countess Guiccioli.
Byron rented the villa from the then owner, Pietro Dupouy, a wealthy banker of Basque origins who had bought the property from a merchant from Constantinople, Abraham Culely, in 1793.
Byron’s short stay at Villa Dupouy was not the property’s first connection with the British, since already in 1683 it had belonged to the British merchant Francis Jermy. When Jermy's son, also Francis Jermy, and also a merchant in Livorno, died in 1781 at the age of 76, he left the villa to the British Community of Livorno, as attested by his will and by a prominent plaque which he requested to be placed on the front of the building.
In 1784 the property was bought by Giovan Nicola Bertolla who sold it to Abraham Culely in 1790.
In 2008 Villa Dupouy was featured in the British press regarding plans to take it to auction. At the time, local conservationists appealed to the authorities to save the historic building from this uncertain fate, but the two million euro asking price was beyond their resources. It is not clear who the current owner is.
The villa lies along a narrow track that leads off the road called Via di Castellaccio between Montenero Basso and Castellaccio, about 50m after the fork in the road and the petrol station. It is not marked by any sign. Visible only from the outside, the fading building still possesses a certain amount of charm, hidden as it is in this tranquil spot on the hill above Livorno. The interior is decorated with frescoes.
Former owner Francis Jermy(1705-1781) is buried in the Old English Cemetery in Livorno.
To see the exact location of the villa, follow this link for a map. (Note that the road named after Byron, Via Giorgio Byron, is in another area and not the location of the villa).
How to get here: LAM Rossa bus from the city centre/station