CA' EMO VILLA IN THE EUGANEI HILLS

Ca' Emo, as it was represented in the beautiful "The Hundred Italian Cities" xylograph dated 1895, still reflects the planning of who designed it between 1500 and 1600. The same xylograph shows an overall view of the architectural aspects of the building and of its annexes which are still there today, as a result of a series of transformations due to many different owners and destinations of use.

All these changes were somehow recorded in the engraving by De Angeli and in the eighteenth-century one by Vincenzo Coronelli. They portray the building complex in a broader view of the town on the southern side of the Fortress. In his "Catastico di San Francesco" of 1741, Bortoli describes the building from a curious and unusual point of view. Until 1830, Ca' Emo seemed to be located at the top of a small natural hill, giving elegance and perspective to its facade. Actually, it stood on a hill that transformed that year into an embankment which is still there. This intervention modified the uphill access route and the road network in its upper part. As a result, the facade of the Villa now directly overlooks the paved street of Via San Martino. In the seventeenth century, the Villa was owned by Marin Faliero of Venice, while at the beginning of the following century it was the property of the aristocrat Andrea Bon.

In the first twenty years of the eighteenth century it was bought by Zuane Emo, who in 1740 sold it to the noble Codognola family. During these centuries the splendid mansion, with its terrace gardens facing the Duomo of Santa Giustina, was used as a home. In 1823 Girolamo Codognola sold the mansion to Antonio Zanellato. In 1836 it was bought at a public auction by Giacomo Marigo of Monselice, who in turns sold it to the Municipality of Monselice in 1866, and became a public hospital. In 1923 a new hospital was built in Ara della Decima of Vallesella and Ca' Emo became an old people's home, until 1935, when it was handed over to a technical/commercial school and later became the detached department of the "Liceo Ferrari" a high school of Este, open until about the beginning of the '70s. Even though some rooms were temporarily used by some local organizations, a period of slow desertion and neglect started then for Ca' Emo.

At the beginning of the '90s, the local government gave it for free use to the Regional Park of the Colli Euganei Consortium in order to restore it and use it for the activities of the organisation. In 1994, the Park undertook to restore the building complex granted by the Municipality of Monselice for forty years free use. The restoration gave a beautiful Mansion back to the town.

The style of the façade is visibly influenced by Scamozzi, the entrance portal in particular and the pattern of the venetian type balcony brings a lot of light to the first floor rooms. During the restoration work, a series of stratified levels came to light revealing the different uses of the building in time: the medieval part through the gross masonry of pre-existing houses incorporated in the 1600 construction and the bizarre fresco ed writings above some of the doors connecting the lobby with the large rooms used at present for cultural activities and sightseeing promotions of the Colli Euganei Park. In 2003, part of the Villa was handed over to the premises of the Gal Patavino (Padua Local development groups) a European organization for the promotion and enhancement of the territory. Starting from January 2008 the Villa has been holding the courses for Master in Tourism of the University of Padua.

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