HISTORY

VILLA MUZANI, BISSARI, VISCONTI, CURTI, TOGNAZZI

Villa Solatia has a history that is intertwined with noble families and with multiple phases of interventions and decay, collapses and reconstructions.  

It was born in the first half of the sixteenth century, commissioned by the Muzani family (or Muzzoni according to the documentation) on a project endorsed by Andrea Palladio and probably carried out by Serlio. In 1559 it passed to the Conti Bissari, the prominent family of the area who, however, preferred their other properties to it.

In 1778  Ottavio Bertotti Scamozzi, made an accurate survey of the villas attributed to Andrea Palladio and we therefore have a "photograph" of the state of this: it is described as "dilapidated" and in a "bad situation" due to the "frequent floods" caused by the transformation of part of agricultural land in rice fields at the behest of the owners of the time, the Bissari, who put even the foundations at risk.  Already at the time only one barchessa was described, the one on the right, identifiable with the one present and restored today.

The Villa and the fields related to it then passed to the Visconti of Milan who intervened on the strongly degraded structure, giving it more neoclassical forms than the rigorous original Palladian layout. It finally came to Domenico Curti (paternal great-grandfather of the current owner) in the early decades of the 1800s, remaining the property by direct descent and passed by marriage of Luisa Curti with the Tuscan Tognazzi family of Siena who carefully restored it by removing the precarious additions and the conjunctions between the buildings that made them lose the original Palladian language. The only preserved element not present in the original project is the Palazzetto, built in the Napoleonic period but kept well separated from the other buildings.

A story of glory, decay and rebirth, of redemption and renewal: a Palladian story.

THE GREAT HISTORY AT VILLA SOLATIA

Like many Venetian Villas, the long history of Villa Solatia is saturated with events, passages and vicissitudes that over the centuries have given it this aspect and use.

From the construction under the careful supervision of Andrea Palladio to the frescoes of the loggia by Paolo Veronese, the beginnings of this story are sumptuous. It did not take long, however, for this country house, devoted more to agricultural production than to stately representation, to see a rapid deterioration.

 

The neglect and decadence of the families led the Villa to lose both the frescoes and many structures. At the end of the 18th century, with the advent of the troops led by Napoleon, under the half-ruined barchessa the soldiers of General Corso and then those of his opponents found shelter while the officers requisitioned the apartments of the villa in turn.

 

While in the first half of the nineteenth century there was an almost complete rebuilding of the buildings, with the expansion of the Palazzetto, the impending clouds of war became more and more oppressive. In the Villa and its surroundings, the Habsburg armies found a refreshment point before facing the famous battles of 1848 which found one of their nerve centers in Vicenza.  

The two world wars also left traces: it was not uncommon until the last restoration of the roof, to find shells and graffiti in the granary of the soldiers who spent the idle and distressing days of waiting before being sent to Asiago.

Not a story of princes and kings, but a much broader human story that shocked both Italian and European history at various times.  

If only the large plane tree over 4 centuries old could tell!