The Veneto by bicycleVenetian Villas
Villa Chiericati-Fogazzaro at Montegalda (VI)
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Map of the villa and surroundings

Montegalda (VI), Via Giuseppe Roi 26; 26 m/85 feet above sea level; train station at Grisignano di Zocco, about 5 km/3 miles to the north; the villa is located a short distance from the Vicenza-Padova bike route.

The villa is situated a bit north of Montegalda in the middle of a vast estate. The main structure has its facade oriented south with the main entrance; to the east there are a limonaia [greenhouse for growing lemon trees] and a chapel; to the north a low structure with porticoes connects it to another structure of three-stories.

A building much smaller than the current buildings, was constructed during the 17th century on behalf of the Vicentine Chiericati family. After various exchanges of ownership, the villa was acquired in 1824 by Giovanni Antonio Fogazzaro, who modified and enlarged both the villa and the surrounding estate; design and construction were the work of architect Antonio Caregaro Negrin. During the 20th century the villa was acquired by Giuseppe Roi who connected the various structures with the low, porticoed building to the north.

Antonio Fogazzaro (nephew of Giovanni Antonio) stayed at this villa; he was one of the best known writers of Italian literature of the 19th century, known especially for the novel Piccolo mondo antico [translated as The Little World of the Past]; the villa is where he wrote his sequel Piccolo mondo moderno [The Little World of the Present].

Since 1990 the villa has been the property of the Colbachini family, owners of a foundry [for making church bells] established in 1745 and which since 1898 had been the official papal foundry; here is where the Museo Veneto delle Campane [Venetian Bell Museum] was created and is now housed on the estate of the villa. Museum and villa can be visited between March 1 and October 31, but require reservations.

Latest visit: 2017-02-26

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