Wonder  }  Architecture

Villa of the Bishops

A hill so welcoming that perhaps even Titus Livy made it his home. We don't want to be outdone, do we?

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Where is


Via dei Vescovi, 4, 35038 Torreglia PD, Italia (41m s.l.m.)


What it is and where it is

A very special Veneto villa on the top of a small mountain in Luvigliano di Torreglia. You get there from the center of Torreglia, taking a side road on the right with gentle ups and downs, slight curves, vineyards and small houses on either side. Already from a distance you can spot the beautiful mass of this villa, as if crowning the surrounding lushness. The bishops of Padua used to come to the villa for vacation to enjoy the salubrious air and to get away from the busy work in the city of Padua.

Why it is special

Even from a distance one realizes that the way the architecture and gardens have been integrated into the landscape masterfully emphasizes the union between the environment, the Venetian culture and the Roman culture that radiated from Rome to other cities in the early sixteenth century. The sense of peace generated by this union, combined with the pleasure of sitting in the armchairs of the two loggias for a few minutes, makes us feel at home. Often the newspapers of the day are resting on the small tables, and each visitor can enjoy reading in the living room that art and nature together give us.

Not to be missed

The villa today belongs to the FAI, which loves to bring it alive through various events. There are days with picnics in the park, markets of crafts, flowers and plants, moments to do yoga among the trees, aperitifs and even private events. However, if you choose to visit the villa when it is half-empty, the frescoed themes on its walls suggest deep reflections; when you then descend the steps and find yourself immediately immersed in the orchard or vineyard and slowly reach the pond area, magic is assured.

A bit of history

In the Middle Ages the Bishops of Padua owned this land where there was a small church, a cemetery and a small castle. In the 15th century, work was done to separate the sacred areas from the living areas, and the castelletto became a real villa for idleness, with canons of a mixed architecture inspired by ancient Rome and the Venetian style. Over the centuries the villa's needs changed, and the interior rooms were adapted. In the second half of the 20th century the whole complex was sold to the Olcese family, who restored and inhabited it and then donated it to the FAI in 2005.


It is said that the name Luvigliano may derive from Livianum: it is believed that the house in the Euganean hills of the renowned Roman historian Titus Livy was located here. The bishops then allegedly built an ancient Roman-style building with an internal impluvium (no longer visible today), loggias and Roman-style frescoes, precisely to keep this memory alive.

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Recommended by
Anna Maria Baraldo

Villa dei Vescovi has always been my go-to destination on bike rides with girlfriends, slowly approaching it and seeing it from afar created a fascination in me that culminated in my choosing to make it the subject of my bachelor's thesis.


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