In 1623, this villa was chronicled as “a most delightful place, for the Bishop of Padua a superb palace with vast gardens, fountains and other items fit for a prince”. Built in the first half of the 16th century on a small rise in the Euganean Hills, with splendid views over the surrounding natural landscape and vineyards, it has been under Fondo Ambiente Italiano ownership since 2005.

This villa was built between 1535 and 1542 as a holiday home for Francesco Pisani, Bishop of Padua. Veronese painter/architect Giovanni Maria Falconetto won the commission from Venetian patrician Alvise Cornaro, who was responsible for initiating reclamation of the Euganean Hills, supervising the works himself. The owner was keen to create an “old-fashioned” villa, bringing the classical architecture of papal Renaissance Rome to the Veneto countryside. Anticipating Palladio, he had the villa built on top of a pleasing hill, framed by spectacularly interweaving terraces and stairways to create a symbiosis between the architecture and surrounding landscape, views of which may be enjoyed from within the house thanks to its square plan and loggias. Landscape paintings inside, by Flemish painter Lambert Sustris, foster an interplay between interior and exterior, culminating in the south terrace, which is frescoed with pergolas and vine shoots. Documents from the 17th and 18th centuries attest to the fact that the villa had a garden that stretched out over the hillside. Bordered by perimeter walls that have three gateways, the entrance courtyard is arranged in a cross shape with a central fountain, and divided into four grassy squares. Recent works have restored this design, in one of the spaces maintaining a well and a centuries-old yew tree. The flower beds are bordered by a hornbeam hedge, while the south terrace now leads to a brolo orchard and vineyard. Sold in 1962 by the Paduan Curia to Vittorio Olcese, the property also has a number of rustic buildings and a small lake.


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Paesaggi e giardini

Le oltre 4000 ville venete, costruite nell’arco di quattro secoli, hanno dato forma a un paesaggio in cui dimensione estetica e governo del territorio raggiungono una compiuta armonia.