The Veneto by bicycleVenetian Villas
Villa dei Vescovi at Luvigliano di Torreglia (PD)
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Map of the villa and surroundings

Luvigliano, comune [municipality] of Torreglia, province of Padova [Padua], altitude 45 m/150 feet above sea level, Via dei Vescovi [bishops]; train station at Terme Euganee-Montegrotto 6 km/3.7 miles to the east on the Venezia-Padova-Bologna line. The villa can also be reached easily from the Padova-Monselice bike route.

The Venetian Francesco Pisani, archbishop of Padua, commissioned this villa to the architect Giovanni Maria Falconetto under the supervision of the Renaissance humanist Alvise Cornaro; work commenced during 1524 and continued for at least 50 years; the villa was built on the foundations of a medieval castle set at the top of a small hill at the foothills of the Colli Euganei [Euganean Hills]. During the course of construction Andrea Da Valle replaced Falconetto and constructed the barchesse and the exterior walls. Inside there are frescoes by the Dutch painter Lambert Sustris.

The villa is in the form of a square; three facades are very similar to each other with seven arches at the second floor creating the loggias, and with rustication at the piano nobile [main floor]; the north facade on the other hand has arches only at the extreme ends with normal windows in the middle section of a masonry wall. The building is surrounded by wide terraces connected to the garden level by stairways.

The villa for centuries remained the property of the Diocese of Padua as a summer residence for archbishops. In 1962 it was sold to Vittorio Olcese heir to a Lombard family of textile industrialists; this is why the villa is also called Villa Olcese. Olcese died in 1999 so that in 2005 his heirs sold the villa to FAI, Fondo Ambiente Italiano [considered the “Italian National Trust”. RB], which is till the owner and which opens the villa to the public. The foresteria [former guest quarters] of the villa is now used as a hotel.

Latest visit: 2014-03-30

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