The Villa and the Park
The area was created as a rural estate in the 17th century, being included in the 18th century cartography.
The second half of the century saw the estate as a union of two entities: on the west, the manor, with its rectangular layout (previous documents show it was square, between 1785 and 1809), and on the east a square stonehouse. Afterwards the estate was modified, at first around 1800 with the purchase by Paolo Zara, who declared the villa to the land register as a “holiday house” in 1839. The following architectural transformation, in 1843, saw the demolition of the residence, moving southwards the main entrance and the building of a new residence on the east of the stonehouse.
In 1866 the frescoes and flooring are completed, including marvellous diversified Venetian terrazzo floorings.
The main building, facing southwards, has two floors (ground floor and first floor) and a loft, illuminated through rectangular windows. The main entrance on the ground floor is trabeated, sided by windows, trabeated as well, repeated on the piano nobile (first floor) where a French window lies centrally. The single lancet window, sustained by brackets, opens on a wrought iron railing balcony and is surrounded by pilasters topped by a triangular tympanum. The salon of the villa has fresco decorations with architectural views, the grand staircase has armorial bearings and floral ornaments decorate the ceilings. The chambers are equipped with period furniture and every chamber has terrazzo paving in different colors and patterns. The grand Custoza stone staircase is embellished by frescoed walls and a precious wrought iron railing with a walnut handrail.
The ceiling shows a painting of Italy personified by a woman who, having broken the chains subjugating it to the Augsburg eagle, raises the Italian flag with the symbol of the house of Savoy.
On the western wall of the salon nobile a fresco shows the ruins of a basilica with a statue of Dante Alighieri in the foreground, the same as in Padova in Prato della Valle square, underneath the Loggia Amulea palace, sculpted in 1865 by Vincenzo Vela (1820-1891), native of Ticino. The painting is therefore attributable to Vela himself, who worked intensively in Veneto, particularly in Padova.
The barchessa, joint to the manor, is characterized by wide round arches on pillars, decorated by rusticated cornice on the portico; the pillars are also the base of the pilasters, which reach up to the eaves. The beauty of the villa is enhanced by a lawn garden, embroidered by colourful flower beds within a park of ancient trees providing comfort, even during the warmest days. A thick kiwi pergola separates the portico from the wide ancient barnyard. Water lilies adorn a little lake, surrounded by a cane thicket, trees and bushes, and fed by a fountain enhancing the beauty of the nature.