Marella Agnelli: The Last Swan

The exclusive world of one of the twentieth century’s most glamorous and alluring women, as seen through her private homes and gardens. Nicknamed "The Swan" by Richard Avedon when he photographed her iconic portrait in 1953, Marella Agnelli is not only one of the great beauties of the last century, but also the most elegant and cultured of that exclusive club. Born the Neapolitan princess Marella Caracciolo di Castagneto, she became Marella Agnelli with her marriage to Gianni Agnelli, the Fiat industrialist. However, her innate style dates back to her New York internship with photographer Erwin Blumenfeld, and she was a Vogue contributor in the 1950s and ’60s as well as appearing in its pages. One of the most photographed women of the jet-set society, she was captured by Avedon as well as Irving Penn, Henry Clarke, Horst, and Robert Doisneau, among others. Agnelli collaborated with the best artists and designers of her day, with her many residences as their palette. From Italian interior design legend Renzo Mongiardino—who worked on her New York apartment alongside a young Peter Marino—to Gae Aulenti, the important Italian architect, who built her homes in Turin and Marrakech, Agnelli created a series of extraordinary houses and gardens, full of timeless elegance, invaluable art, and groundbreaking decorating ideas. With ten residences spread throughout Turin, Rome, Milan, New York, St. Moritz, and Marrakech, ranging from regally classic villas to ultramodern apartments, her impeccable taste shines through in these gorgeous interiors and gardens. One of the famous modern fairy tales of love, glamour, and heartbreak, Marella Agnelli has become an icon of our times.

About The Author

Marella Caracciolo Chia is a respected design journalist for Architectural Digest, the New York Times T Magazine, among other prestigious publications.

  • Publish Date: October 14, 2014
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Category: Biography & Autobiography - Rich & Famous
  • Publisher: Rizzoli
  • Trim Size: 9-3/4 x 12
  • Pages: 304
  • US Price: $75.00
  • CDN Price: $110.00
  • ISBN: 978-0-8478-4321-3


A New York Times Best Seller!

"There is good taste—and then, in a stratosphere all its own, there is Agnelli taste, as Marella Agnelli: The Last Swan proves so abundantly. This breathtaking tome, written by Agnelli and her niece Marella Caracciolo Chia, charts the life of the goddess of style...” –Vogue

"Peel off the handsome paper dustjacket to reveal the gleaming crimson silk and gold embossed binding of this glorious book—and it is clear this is a lavish production and an intelligent and superbly produced and edited one. This is, however, a very personal book full of private houses, private apartments, gardens, family life, family snapshots, and some of the prettiest wedding photography. With interiors in over many decades…this is a heady delight. The key is that it was produced and edited by Marella Agnelli herself, along with her adoring niece. Beautiful.” –The Style Saloniste

“The world has been waiting on this book forever, a definitive design guide on the world of Marella Agnelli and the homes she’s created for her family.” –Tabulous Design

“Marella Agnelli: The Last Swan...
Portraits by Irving Penn, Horst, and Richard Avedon detail the charmed life of one of the twentieth century’s true beauties.” –Elle
“…explores the life of a social grand dame and the life and homes she inhabits. But this is no ordinary book. This one is written by the subject herself…we get a first person account. In Marella Agnelli: The Last Swan, the Italian aristocrat and original member of the jet set, opens up her rarefied world to readers. It is a lavish tome that is part auto-biographical, part coffee table book coupled with historical details and a smattering of boldfaced names. Reading through the book or just flipping through the photographs is like going through someone’s family album and scrapbooks. There in its pages are vivid recollections of significant moments in life, snapshots of holidays at home and abroad, and wedding photographs. The book is nostalgia in its most glorious form.” –

“Marella Agnelli The Last Swan is one of those rare books that chronicles a life within a family legacy. What you quickly find out is that this book is not so much about “the Last Swan” as it is about how she lived and what she loved and the seemingly endless resources it took to accomplish her various missions. This book is an endless source of amazement as Ms. Agnelli has created “worlds” that are unknown to most of us. Even those who are not botanically inclined will note that the incredible world of art she created outdoors is astounding. Mind boggling. Marella Agnelli: The Last Swan is a collection of rare beauty that allows us to live within her world if only while enjoying this book.” –New York Journal of Books
"...this book is perfect for any individual interested in fashion, high society and glorious homes, and it deserves a place in your library!" –
“…impressive new monograph…” –Tory Burch Blog

“This is one book where the story is just as compelling as the photos and I loved learning more about Marella Agnelli’s incredible life. It’s definitely a must read for autumn." –Habitually Chic

"Style icon Marella Agnelli shares her personal memoirs with this stunning publication..." –Bal Harbour Magazine

Gaze over the exclusive world of one of the twentieth century’s most glamorous and alluring women, as seen through her private homes and garden that are full of timeless elegance.” –Society Diaries

Author Bookshelf: Marella Caracciolo Chia