Prestigious and ancient mansion situated in the pleasant and green Marcellise valley, located just six miles from the city of Verona, the manor “Villa Sogara” is a building the history of which has its roots deep in the prehistoric age. In the park around the mansion many finds have been discovered, such as spear tips, arrow tips, xysters and so on, that are evidence of a human settlement of the paleolithic and neolithic age similar to the one found on the top of the nearby hill of San Briccio.
Exhaustive studies evidenced the roman origins of the colony settled in the Marcellise Valley (Villa Marcelli, toponym deriving from the patronymic of a consular family). This colony derived from the pre-existing village of San Martino Buon Albergo (2 miles far), where still exists a roman stone monument dedicated to the Bonus Eventus, that is the roman god of Luck.
In the house, architectural elements likely to be of roman origin are a column shaft, a marmoreal entablature and, probably, the two centerpiece columns of the large lower lodge. These elements confirm the preexistence of a building of roman age that had to be based on the massive base stone wall, still existing in the mansion’s cellar, on which then grew the medieval building. It can be supposed that the various roman architectural elements, along with the masterful perfection of the stone walls, are the remains of a small roman temple, that was the only building in the valley dedicated to some sort of religious cult. This fact is based also on the ancient, and nowadays modified, topography of the valley, where all the road paths merged up towards the location where now stands the mansion, as if it was, indeed, a place of cult.
Throughout the mansion there are many remains of the medieval age, despite the fact that the building attained its actual architectural appearance during the 16 th - 18 th centuries. It is during these centuries that were built the oven with owner’s bread-making right, cited in the 1769 cabreo still kept in the house, and the small bell tower, with the peculiar bronze bell that dates back to the first part of the seventeenth century, that was part of a gentilitial chapel now dismantled.
From an architectural perspective, the most important event is the renovation of the large lower lodge that occurred in 1675. During the eighteenth century, after 1769 (as evidenced in the south façade depicted in the cabreo, was built the entire west wing with its elegant balcony and the other parts of the house were completed too.
Since the end of the nineteenth century, the mansion suffered heavy alterations, mainly in the Renaissance structure, to the point that both upper and lower lodges were immured and used as stables and for other farming purposes. The Peruzzi family, actual owner of the estate, since the date of purchase (1929) began a drastic reversal setting up a deep and careful restoration aimed to bring back the mansion to its original splendour. The first works were directed and supervised by Giovan Battista Salvi, architect, Eugenio Salvi, engineer, and Angelo Zamboni, artist and painter. During the second world war the house was a shelter for many families of evacuees until it was occupied and exploited, in the years 1944-1945, as a base camp by some battalions of the german Division ‘Hermann Goering’. After the war, the owners again undertook a long series of restorations that brought the mansion to its actual conditions.
MOST DISTINGUISHED GUESTS
In the nineteenth century, during the napoleonic campaign of Italy, the mansion hosted His Imperial Highness the Viceroy of Italy Prince Eugène de Beauharnais, that left a precious and exquisite souvenir gift that is still preserved in the house. Under the Imperial government of the Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia, the mansion was residence of the last Hapsburgic mayor of Verona, Edoardo De Betta, member of the Academy of Agriculture Science and Literature of Verona, eminent scientist and humanist, author of various scientific works. As the mayor of Verona, Edoardo De Betta received at Villa Sogara the official visit of Their Imperial and Royal Majesties The Emperor Franz Joseph I and The Empress Elisabeth of Austria-Hungary.
The main apartment is placed on two floors connected by both a medieval staircase as well as a modern lift certified for use also by disabled people. In the lower floor are located the spacious dining room, the vast kitchen equipped with modern household appliances and an amazingly huge ancient fireplace, a fully equipped laundry room, and a bathroom.
Overlooking the garden with its ancient statues gently shaded by wonderful Deodar cedars, the vast renaissance lodge opens to the guests all its calm beauty made by impressive marble columns, a high lacunar wooden ceiling, a gentle staircase and a pleasant view of the mansion’s park. The lower lodge is a true open living room where you can agreeably spend some time of complete relaxation or, if there is the need, give charming and exclusive parties.
In the upper floor are located the library, the music room and three living rooms (the biggest one with 19 th century opulent furniture, followed by a smaller living room with a huge ancient fireplace and, next to it, a large and comfortable living room equipped with satellite tv). Two of these rooms are connected also by the sober and elegant 15 th century upper lodge, suggestively marked by seven arches and six columns, where you can find an incomparably warm and cosy privacy just having some rest or enjoying a small breakfast, an aperitif or the five o’clock tea.
In the upper floor are also located six bright and comfortable bedrooms (three double and three twin bedrooms), all elegantly furnished with antique furniture, and three modernly fit bathrooms.
If you wish to receive further information about the accommodation opportunities of Villa Sogara, please write an email to the following address: