After Monselice was conquered by the Republic of Venice in 1405, the great wealth of the Carraresi lords of Padua, with medieval fortifications, was taken over by the Venetian noble Francesco Marcello. There were already an old Romanic house, small castle and massive defence tower on the hill built by Ezzelino III da Romano in the 13th century.
The new Marcello residence was built during 1400 and gradually reorganised during 1500 and was formed of a building fitted in between the previous ones. The façade is crowned by crenulations and windows that copy the typical Venetian gothic style, and seems to be an extension of the façade of the Ezzelino tower. In fact, the extension of the halls on the central floor of the tower created the summer home that the Marcello family continued to use right up to the 19th century.
The building that was used as a library on the flat area in front of the tower dates back to 1500, and the inner courtyard was completed over the next two centuries to give rise to one of the most exceptional Veneto villas. The so-called “Venetian courtyard” is bordered off by a short arcade on the side facing the house, and is really very fascinating: the trachyte floor was made from stone from the Monselice hill quarries, and the well curb in the centre of the courtyard is an exact copy of the Venetian ones, fully demonstrating the origins of the dynasty.
On the side at right angles to the arcade there used to be the family chapel, a project by Andrea Tirali in 1700. The palazzo and outhouses were further enriched with vast land estates, of vineyards and olive groves on the mountain, which were later turned into gardens and woods. Along the hill slopes there was a series of hanging gardens and terraces which gave a spectacular view of the surrounding countryside.
The fall of the Venetian Republic marked a period of decline for the castle which lasted until 1935, when Count Vittorio Cini began general restoration work and reorganised the interiors and exteriors.
Open to the public: From the 1st of march to the 30th of november, tuesday-sunday 9-12 and 14-17 or 15-18 (if legal hour). To book for group visits in differente time and period for at least 25 visitors