Villa Angarano at Bassano del Grappa


Bassano del Grappa, Province of Vicenza, 135 m/443 feet above sea level; train station at Bassano del Grappa 3 km/2 miles to the southeast.  On bicycle the villa can be reached from the bridge of the Alpini of Bassano: cross the bridge to the west and continue up to the traffic light, turn right onto SP 73 until you reach the locality of Sant’Eusebio; the villa will appear prominently on the right.  Another option is to turn right immediately after the bridge onto Via G. Volpato which runs mostly along the Brenta and mostly on pavement, then running into Via Fontanelle which takes one directly to the front of the villa.

In 1548 Giacomo Angarano commissioned Andrea Palladio, with whom he was a friend, to design a large villa at the center of his property.  The grandiose Palladio design is presented in the Second Book of Architecture, but was not completed in its entirety; only the two internal barchesse and the colonnade of Doric columns reflect the original design; it lacked the external barchesse which are similar to the internal.

Eventually the central main building was completed, but during the following century, in the Baroque style, and therefore completely different from the Palladio design [among other things the central building is set back further than in the original design].  Still, the project completion was handled competently and has been ascribed to Baldassarre Longhena - mere conjecture supported only by the facts that the work was completed at the beginning of the eighteenth century and by the architect, Domenico Margutti, who had been an apprentice of Longhena.

Today the villa is the property of the Bianchi Michiel family and houses a winery that specializes in the production of quality wines; this seems to confirm the sentence  with which Palladio concludes his description of the project: “This place is celebrated for the good wines that are made there, and the fruits that grow there, but much more for the courtesy of the master.”

Latest visit 1 November 2013.

All photos by Paolo Bonavoglia, unless indicated otherwise.

For an overall interactive map of the Veneto, showing all these villas and many more, please see this custom Google map.