Formerly the sumptuous country residence of an archbishop, this marvel of architecture, surrounded by a beautiful garden, is now open to the public. The ideal venue for those in search of relaxation and unexpected surprises.
This fantastic holiday retreat, located on the slopes of the Euganei hills, was built in the mid sixteenth century for the curia of Padua, who wanted to provide its archbishop with a lavish country dwelling, in which architecture and nature blended harmoniously and guaranteed his well being. Known as the Villa dei Vescovi (the Archbishops’ Villa), this fabulous residence featured a rectangular layout embellished by two open loggias. In those days its classical style was atypical for the area, and way ahead of its time with respect to Palladian aesthetics. Throughout the 17th century, the other archbishops who succeeded the villa’s first occupant, made a number of modifications. Additions were made to the gardens and orchards, a monumental staircase entrance was added, and the loggia and rooms were renovated. The entire villa was beautifully frescoed by Dutch painter Lambert Sustris, a student of one of the major artists of the time and an important interpreter of the post-Raphaelite school. Following lengthy, in-depth restoration, the villa, owned by FAI, the National Italian Trust, can now be visited in all its splendour. However, if you decide to stop here, don’t just admire the interiors, the relaxing garden is also definitely well worth a visit. Visitors can stroll through the orchard and vineyard by skirting its small, romantic lake, or discovering the secret passage of the avenue of hydrangeas. The garden offers several picturesque views of the rolling hills of volcanic origin that surround the city of Padua, and are one of the area’s main landmarks.
Glass Works on Display
“GLASS. Arte del Vetro oggi”, a spectacular exhibition organized by FAI, curated by artist and gallerist Jean Blanchaert, and coordinated by Irina Eschenazi Focsaneanu. The exhibition features more than 100 master glassworks, signed by some of the best-known artists and designers on the national and international scene. The majority of works displayed originate from Murano’s cultural centre of blown glass.
Visit the Period Furniture Exhibit
The villa also has a guest house where visitors can spend a few days enjoying beautiful period furniture and an olden-day atmosphere.
T: +39 049 9930473.
From the UK: bookings@ landmarktrust.org.uk.
Villa dei Vescovi
Via dei Vescovi, 4 Luvigliano di Torreglia, Padova [240 km from Milan]
(autostrada A4 Milano-Venezia, exit Padova Ovest).