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By Elisa Bolognesi,
with the contribution of Laura Failla,
FAI  Villa dei Vescovi

Villa dei Vescovi

A thinking place suspended in time
for “meditating and actively idling”

This stately villa built
in classic Roman style stands atop a small hill, embraced by the green tranquillity of the Euganean Hills,
with a backdrop of the surrounding fields
and vineyards.


The soul of the villa

The wonderful correspondence between nature and human work that characterizes the villa acquires even greater value when the original destination of the villa is considered. Built as a summer home, it was conceived as a place to rest and to idle in total peace. It soon became a meeting place for humanists and scholars, a very important cultural center and source of inspiration for poets, philosophers and artists, who drew upon the wonder of the nature surrounding Villa dei Vescovi.

This same aim drove FAI to restore this splendid heritage to all of us: a place not only to visit, rather to live, where you can take a walk, idle and relax, read a book, drink a coffee, or have a picnic. Unlike other sites, at Villa dei Vescovi we can stroll in the park and vineyards; we can lounge on sofas or on the lawn; we can get lost in our thoughts in the cosy wicker armchairs under the loggias.

A brief visit


The villa is approached from the western entrance, which leads us to the courtyard, surrounded by perimetral walls and adorned by geometric flower beds. The staircase gives access to the terrace, which wraps around the villa following the square plan and lets us admire it from every side.


The ground floor houses rooms and hallways where visitors can linger, as well as a room that documents the renovation of the villa on behalf of FAI, models representing its initial appearance and subsequent modifications and a self-service café that sells fresh and organic products.


The internal staircase leads to the piano nobile, that is the main floor of the villa, furnished with period pieces (the majority of which came from other FAI properties, in particular the Castello di Masino, in Turin), to give visitors a sense of what life was like inside the villa.


In the Bishop’s room, located to the north, the prie-dieu is original. The fireplace, typical of the 1500’s, is also original and was rarely used considering that the villa was mainly inhabited during the summer.


The dining room was used for business dinners and important guests.


In the center of the villa the 18th-century main salon extends from east to west, connecting the two loggias.


Harmony between landscape and architecture

Both the villa interior and the loggias were frescoed by the Flemish artist Lambert Sustris, who represented the merging of architecture and nature in his work. In fact, on the interior walls the artist painted arches and landscapes, alongside visions of faraway sea or country horizons. This concept of merging art and nature can be particularly noted in the loggias: in fact, Sustris painted arbours with reeds and grapevines, with the intention of continuing the view of the surrounding landscape, visible through the arcades. The arches of the loggias therefore become frames for this wonderful landscape, painted by nature. In any direction you look, you will find the peacefulness of a landscape that has remained unchanged over the centuries: green hills, gentle slopes, fields, and vineyards. All you have to do is settle in and languish on one of the numerous sofas both inside the villa and in the shade of the loggias, or have a seat in the self-service café or at one of the tables in the garden. Enjoy the villa, live it and relax.


Things to do at Villa dei Vescovi

  • A nice stroll in the surrounding greenery.

  • Read a book you brought from home or one you can buy at the book shop; leaf through one of the magazines or newspapers that you can find in the rooms on the ground floor.

  • Lie down on a sofa and let your thoughts go, perhaps with your eyes shut.

  • Sip a coffee while sitting at a table in the park or on the terrace.

  • Have a picnic with the “picnic ticket” option offered by Villa dei Vescovi: at the entrance we will give you a bag with a blanket, sandwich, dessert, a piece of fruit and … a half bottle of Riserva di Vignalta red wine!

  • Take part in a wine tasting in the adjacent Vignalta cellar, in order to add the excellence of local products to the beauty of the landscape.

  • Relax in the shade while your children have fun under the supervision of our entertainment staff (on Sundays).

  • Realize how time seems to have stopped while you walk through the rooms of this wonderful villa, among glimpses of the landscape.

  • Browse and shop at the book shop.

  • Use the free Wi-Fi.

  • Spend the night in one of the splendid apartments on the top floor of the villa.

  • Become a member of FAI and support this non-profit foundation.



Some history

Villa dei Vescovi was built between 1535 and 1542, commissioned by the then Bishop of Padua, Francesco Pisani, as a summer holiday home. The project was entrusted to the Veronese painter and architect Giovanni Maria Falconetto, while the erudite Venetian Alvise Cornaro, responsible for curial administration at the time, was the superintendent of works. The villa was initially characterized by classic Roman style, that is a square plan with loggias and arcades and a central impluvium, which is an opening in the roof where sunlight entered and reflected into all the adjacent rooms.

In the 1700’s the architectural structure of the villa was modified, taking on its current appearance: external steps to the east and west were added; the impluvium was closed, which permitted creating the central room as well as the connection between the two loggias and the barchessa was built. The villa remained the property of the episcopate until 1962, when it was purchased by Vittorio Olcese and the then wife Giuliana Olcese de Cesare. Finally, it was donated to FAI (Italian Environment Fund) in 2005 by Maria Teresa Valoti Olcese, Vittorio Olcese’s second wife, and their son Pierpaolo, in Vittorio’s memory. FAI started renovation work in 2007, which continued until the villa reopened in June 2011, returning to the territory and visitors the wonder of this icon of Italian civil architecture, which is completely integrated in the surrounding landscape.



Villa dei Vescovi
Luvigliano di Torreglia, Padova
Tel. +39 049 9930473



Opening hours:

From February 25th to September 30th
10am - 6pm Wednesday to Sunday

From 1st October to 11th December
10am - 5pm Wednesday to Sunday


Entrance to Villa dei Vescovi with free visit:

FAI members: free admission
Full price ticket: € 11,00
Reduced price ticket (from 6 to 18 years): € 5,00
Students up to 25 years old: € 6,00
Children up to 5 years old, National Trust members, Mécènes members e Bienfaiteurs Amis du Louvre members, disabled persons and accompanying person: free admission

Entrance with guided tour:

FAI members: € 6,00
Full price ticket: € 20,00
Reduced price ticket (from 6 to 18 years): € 10,00
Students up to 25 years old: € 10,00

Park entrance only:(*)

FAI Members: free admission
Full price ticket: € 5,00
Reduced price ticket (from 6 to 18 years): € 3,00
Students up to 25 years old: € 3,00
Family: € 15,00

* The "Park" ticket may be subject to change on certain event days.

Excellence Ticket - cumulative ticket in partnership with the territory
A single ticket that allows you to visit the three excellences of the Euganean Hills: the Valsanzibio Garden, the Catajo castles and Villa dei Vescovi.
The ticket costs € 25,00, is valid for 90 days and can be purchased at the ticket offices of the three museums.

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