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Wonder  }  Museum

The Castle of San Pelagio

It rises elegantly over the Paduan countryside

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Where is

Veneto

Via S. Pelagio, 50, 35020 Due Carrare PD, Italia (9m s.l.m.)

Directions
map

What it is and where it is

We are in Due Carrare, where there is a castle that is not a castle. It is a villa, precisely Villa Zaborra, named after the family that owned it. Castello di San Pelagio is the most common name by which the villa is identified, because of the defensive tower from the Carrara era that makes it unmistakable and fascinating. Two long, low wings developed on either side of the tower, which housed the residential areas and the barchessa for agricultural use. Outside, a garden full of sculptures, trees, flowers, some dating back to the 1700s, fishponds and labyrinths, access the air of captivating romance. Getting lost in the greenery will be a pleasure!

Why it is special

The castle houses in its rooms the Museum of Flight, a collection of documents, artifacts and aircraft that tell the story of the evolution of human flight from its origins to the present day, all the way to space flight. Of course, it is one thing to display tickets, components, suits and documents in the halls, quite another to display whole aircraft! That is why the museum outgrows the halls of the castle and expands into the arcade, all the way to the park, where these metal giants seem to play hide-and-seek with the visitor. Also connected to flight are the two labyrinths created in 2000 and 2007: one is based on the mythical flight of Icarus, the other is inspired by D'Annunzio.

Not to be missed

Gabriele D'Annunzio himself in the years of the Great War stayed at San Pelagio, which in those years was a military airfield. Here, he organized and set off on the Mad Flight that took him over Vienna, launching provocative leaflets calling on the city to surrender. The labyrinth called Maybe That Yes Maybe That No is the least of the tributes to the Poet. Indeed, inside the Castle are reconstructed D'Annun zio rooms, based on archival documents that describe what they were like when they housed Gabriele D'Annunzio. Inside are preserved mementos of the poet and furnishings of the Zaborra family.

A bit of history

The tower was built by the Carraresi, lords of Padua, around 1300 as part of a defensive system against the Scaligeri of Verona. In time, a farm was built around it. Documents first record the existence of the villa in 1544. Over the centuries, extension and modernization works continued. In 1752 the villa passed to the Zaborra family. During the Great War a military airfield was arranged here, from which Gabriele D'Annunzio departed with his squadron to the skies over Vienna on August 9, 1918. In memory of this role in history, the Museum of Flight was created in 1980.

Trivia

Apparently, the tower's subsoil houses ancient tunnels that served to connect it to other towers in the complex defense system of the Carraresi, and these reach as far as Mezzavia. Due to landslides and flooding, however, these tunnels would not be visited.

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Recommended by
Alessandra Lana

I have fond memories attached to this place, a trip with school, friends, a beautiful sunny day, the villa and the planes... I had never seen so many of them and so closely! It is a collection of emotions that I still jealously cherish.

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