VILLA GUSSONI VERSON
Villa Gussoni Verson is situated in Torreglia, near the ancient hamlet of Torreglia Alta. It can be reached by climbing the slopes of the hill della Mira, along Carromatto street leading to the church of San Sabino. The villa dates back to the sixteenth century and was built by the family Gussoni. In the following centuries, due to the succession of various owners, the ancient manorial house underwent many structural variations. The property took on its current appearance in the early nineteenth century, when the abbot Barbieri decided to purchase and restore the building (being it totally abandoned, at that time) to turn it into a gorgeous Venetian villa.
The Abbot Giuseppe Barbieri (1774-1852) was born in Bassano and, still young, moved to Padua to undertake his studies in the Paduan seminary, where he became the favourite pupil of Melchiorre Cesarotti, a great Italian poet and writer. Later, he retired at the Abbey of Praglia, took religious vows and worked for some years in the archives of the prestigious monastery. However, following the Napoleonic edict, in 1810 the monastery was suppressed: the abbot therefore found refuge in the small village of Torreglia, where he bought and renovated the above mentioned villa. In this enchanting place, representing an intense source of inspiration, he composed his most famous work, the “Veglie Tauriliane”, a hymn to the peaceful and majestic serenity of the Euganean Hills.
As a matter of fact, Torreglia owes to this poet part of the fame that it attained in the mid-nineteenth century, when many Paduan nobles and bourgeois chose this hillside town as a holiday resort.
In accordance with his wishes, at his death, the poet was buried in the cemetery of San Sabino church, near his beloved villa. Then his burial was shifted inside the church that still houses his memorial tomb designed by Pietro Selvatico: it is endowed with a valuable marble bust of the abbot, created by the Paduan sculptor Pietro Ceccon (1833-1919).
After the death of Barbieri, the Villa was transferred to his heirs who, due to their financial straits, sold all the furniture and even the decorations of the rich house, erasing all traces of the abbot’s refined taste. Twenty years later, the family Verson (still owners of the property) decided to purchase the villa that was completely abandoned at that time. The new owners carried out an elegant restoration, retaining the internal structure and the exterior features, as well as preserving the little remaining of the memory of the poet.
The southern side of the villa overlooks a lovely Italian-style garden featuring two small mazes of boxwood and a valuable collection of English roses. The tympanum stands above the façade that features a central body spread over two floors, accessible by a staircase. The entrance hall on mezzanine floor is richly decorated with stucco and frescoes, portraying both bucolic scenes and romantic landscapes, embodying the typical taste of the painting in the early 20th century. Instead, the northern side of the villa faces the valley: from the wide terrace in front of the north facade, you can enjoy a breathtaking scenic view over Val de Rio, Luvigliano with its majestic Villa Vescovi and knoll Mirabello beyond which the Alpine mountain range can be glimpsed on clearest days.
Nowadays, the villa can be visited on request only outside. The park includes some centuries-old trees and several vineyards, which extend over most of the northern slope of hill della Mira. Walking in this place steeped into the quiet and hilly landscape, will evoke the sweet verses of the poet Barbieri: "... this blissful Paduan fecundity, these branching and flourishing plantations, these lush furrows of cereal richness, this brown juicy greenness of grasslands, this seriousness, if I may say so, of the Euganean nature, has a certain something, that ‘je ne sais quoi’ of melancholic and heroic, that moves me deeply. "
VILLA GUSSONI VERSON Via Carromatto, 16 - 35038 Torreglia (PD) Telefono +39 347 2267196