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One location, two marvels:

San Pelagio Castle and Air and Space Museum

San Pelagio Castle, residence to the Earls of Zaborra for almost 400 years, gives the impression of an enchanted location where time has stood still

With a gentle breeze blowing, we stand under the shade of the porticos (typical of a Venetian villa) transfixed by the peace and quiet, interrupted only by the birdsong and the smell of flowers, roses, and other essences that fill the precious gardens. The 14th century tower, a testimony to medieval history, was a souvenir of the Carraresi seignory of Padua, around which the Venetian Villa was successively constructed, helped by the influence of the Earls of Zaborra. It’s current appearance dates back to 1700 and reveals the agricultural work typical of the thousand Venetian villas in the territory.


Address and contacts

Via San Pelagio, 34 – 35020 Due Carrare - PADUA
Tel. +39 049-9125008 Fax +39 049-9125773 - e-mail:

Castle Restaurant
Tel. +39 049-9126167 Fax +39 049-9125773

Opening Hours

Tuesday, Friday, Saturday: 10.00-13.00 and 14.30-18.30
Sunday and holidays: 10.00-19.00

Admission Fees

Full-price € 14.00
Concessions (5-14 years old) € 10.00

For group fees refer back to the site.

A heartfelt thanks, on behalf of Abano.IT,
to Mrs. Ricciarda Avesani,
the perfect landlady, who knew how to share
with us the passion and love for her house,
her plants and the history of flying.
The air museum

Yet what makes the Castle of San Pelagio special is its history: it was in fact Gabriele D’Annunzio who stayed there for almost a year between 1917 and

1918 while he prepared for the famous flight towards Vienna that took place 9th August 1918, departing from this very Castle. The four rooms reserved for D’Annunzio during his stay are still preserved inside the Castle, along with its most precious heirlooms and a part of the castle’s original furniture. It is this very important historical event that has inspired the Zaborra-Avesani family to transform one part of the complex, more precisely 35 rooms, into an Air museum, a chronological journey that tells the history of flight from the ancient times of mythology (Daedalus and Icarus) to the flight of birds, from Leonardo Da Vinci to the conquests of space. From the first flight of the Wright brothers (1903) to the first launch of the space shuttle (1980) only 80 years have passed! Apparently the myth of Icarus really embodies man’s will to have their head in the clouds!

Visiting the outside of the villa - Once again we find at first hand all the typical elements of the Venetian villa

Main Garden : this is the principal garden, the one that should leave guests open-mouthed. The garden of the Castle is a natural work of art: more than 1,000 plants of different varieties of roses can be admired and, in its centre, the water lily pond. 

San pelagio castle

The water lily pond: its geometry, a rectangle subdivided into 4 flowerbeds, stands for the four elements of fire, air, water and earth.

san pelagio castle

Secret Garden: this was the family garden, where plants and aromatic herbs were cultivated. It hosts hundred year-old trees, amongst which lies a 300 year old Lagerstroemia (commonly known as Crape Myrtle), two hundred year-old linden trees.

an pelagio castle

A “wall of perfume”, climbing plants that grow on the Castle walls and which give off a scent. In the centre of the garden, there is an old thermal bath.

san pelagio castle

Barchessa: the place where hay and farm equipment were kept, but now where the old airplanes reside.

san pelagio castle

Carpinata: a shadowy path made up of century-old hornbeams shaped into a tunnel that leads to the ice house.

san pelagio castle

Brolo: common in Venetian villas, a cross between an ornamental garden and a vegetable patch/garden. From the many varieties of fruit trees, the “Biricoccolo” tree stands out the most, a natural crossbreed between the Myrobalan or cherry plum and the Apricot that produces a sweet, orange-violet fruit with an apricot scent.

san pelagio castle

St. John’s wort an intense yellow-flowering. Passiflora plant, commonly known as the passion flower, because its pistils remind us of the nails of the crucifixion.

The labyrinth

The labyrinth is 1,200 metres square and composed of more than 1.000 Leylandi trees almost 3 metres high. Be careful not to get lost inside it, but take more care when you finally reach the centre: you will, in fact, find a huge, somewhat starving, Minotaur waiting there!

san pelagio castle

The second labyrinth is the “Forse che sì forse che no” labyrinth (“Maybe, maybe not”), smaller and newer, and dedicated to D’Annunzio. This single-path labyrinth is composed of a one way route that leads to a centre with mirrors scattered around, in order to draw attention to the dannunzian “duality”

However for the children, this second labyrinth leads to the fairy of the elder, a tree with magical properties that is planted in the very centre of the labyrinth.

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