Villa Cappello Imperiale at Galliera Veneta

 
 

Galliera Veneta, province of Padova, 55 m/180 feet above sea level, Via Roma 184 - 190; train station at Galliera Veneta-Tombolo 1 km/.6 mile to the south on the Vicenza-Treviso line, or at Castelfranco Veneto 6 km/3.6 miles to the east on the Venezia-Bassano line.  It is reachable by bicycle from Castelfranco, in large part on a bike path: from the east gate take the road to Cittadella, (a district of Vicenza), 2 km/1.2 miles after Via Soranza, then the overpass over the railroad tracks, cross through the village of San Martino di Lupari, immediately after take the right onto Via Tombolara and finally left onto Via Roma.


The villa is located in the center of the village of Galliera Veneta.  The noble Cappello family had an agricultural estate here since the beginning of the sixteenth century and therefore built this monumental villa here, which was then enlarged several times.  The name of the architect is unknown.  In 1834 the villa became the property of Maria Anna of Savoy wife of the emperor of Austria, Ferdinand I of the house of Habsburg and remained until 1866 a residence of the Habsburgs.  Hence the name Imperial Villa.

After the union of the Veneto with the kingdom of Italy in 1866 the villa passed to the Raggio De Micheli family; during the first world war it was used as a military hospital and then as the headquarters for the Fourth Army Corps.  The destiny of the villa as a hospital continued throughout the 20th century.  Today it is used as a residence for seniors as unit 15 of the ULSS (Unità Locale Socio Sanitaria) [Local health and social care facility].   It’s too bad that the garden in front of the main facade has been reduced to being a parking lot, partially spoiling the view of the villa.


The villa is renown above all for the park which surrounds it and which is often mentioned as being among the most beautiful in Italy.  Today the park is public property and is open to the public with free admission.


Latest visit 6 April 2014.


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.