A noble home in the old Roman town of Villanova was recorded back in the late 16th century.
It was a modest country palazzo and the first residence of the Ruzini family, Venetian aristocrats who owned a vast farming estate near Padua. The building was the centre of their estate and was used for short stays, and the first architectural alterations were probably related to the growing political importance that the Ruzini family began to have in the 17th century. Domenico Ruzini, legal authority of Brescia in 1628 perhaps commissioned the villa and attached Oratory of San Domenico, but Marco, legal authority of Padua in 1666, 1667 and 1709 and Antonio Giovanni also legal authority in the city in 1725 and 1726, had the Bishop of Padua as their guest in the Villanova estate; Carlo Ruzini was Doge of Venice in 1732.
The previous building was extended with two side wings and the southern façade was considerably altered, adding a Palladio style pronaos on a podium in the central section. The family coat of arms above the entrance door on the piano nobile also appeared in the panegyric of Padua, dedicated to Marco Ruzini and published in 1688; the main hall was decorated with a cycle of frescoes with scenes about the Ruzini history.
At that time, the various outbuildings to the residence, including a courtyard and a wood, were bordered off by a low stone wall. The flight of steps that flank the pronaos were built later, perhaps in the late 19th or early 20th century.
Apart from the reparation to the roof in 1914, the most recent restoration work was carried out over the last twenty years, which brought to light the frescoes in the attic which give witness to the fact that there was originally yet another storey, which was later partly demolished and used as a hay loft.