Villa Breda at Ponte di Brenta
The Villa Breda at Ponte di Brenta was bought by Vincenzo Stefano Breda, a trader from Padua, in 1859; the building had previously been property of the noble Venetian family Contarini and, then, of the countess Guastavillani. The senator Vincenzo Stefano Breda bequeathed his considerable properties to the local community indicating a philanthropic aim for them, the same he had pursued during his life in memory of two women, his mother Angela and his wife Rosa. He stated that his house, his charities and his cultural properties should be shared with the city of Padua. Today, his ambitious plan has come true. The villa has been recently refurbished and is home to a well-organized museum; it also hosts important temporary exhibitions. The foundation owns 60 paintings collected by the founder, as well as objects made of bronze, silver, pottery and crystal, and statues and clocks revealing the middle-class taste of the second half of the 19th-century. The Foundation also manages the racetrack `Le Padovanelle¿ where women are not charged for the entrance. The museum activities covers three different sections: the horse museum, the museum and archive of the Foundation, and the industrial archaeology museum.