Villa Draghi at Montegrotto Terme
Villa Draghi stands isolated on the slopes of Mount Alto, on top of a hillock to the west of the town of Montegrotto Terme. The structure as it appears today, is an elegant building constructed between 1848 and 1850 by Pietro Scapin. In the seventeenth century, the holiday house of the Venetian Alvise Lucadello (a wealthy accountant in the service of the Venetian government) was located in the place of the Villa itself. Later, the ownership was transferred to the family Donati, and then the seventeenth-century property was purchased by Scapin, who found the building in a severe decay and determined to demolish and rebuild it. The new edifice is largely well-preserved and, it hasn’t been called by the name of its owner for over hundred years, being known as Villa Draghi, with reference to the family who owned it from 1874 to 1965.
In 1972, the whole property was acquired by the municipality of Abano Terme that recently has carried out the restoration of the building.
Villa Draghi is a little mansion having a square plan, that spread over two floors. The most distinctive feature of its neo-Gothic architecture style is the elegant dovetailed battlements on the top, namely a decorative element inspired by the famous Palazzo Ducale in Venice and other buildings existing in the Euganean Hills, for instance, in the nearby Villa Zadra in Torreglia and Villa Selvatico in Battaglia Terme.
The interior of Villa Draghi is bare: there is almost no trace of the ancient furnishing and decoration, supposedly luxurious and opulent in the past. The last private owners, due to their unstable financial situation and testamentary disputes, alienated all the furniture and sold any decorative element removable from the villa. As a result, a long period of abandonment occurred, before the take-over by the municipal administration.
Nowadays the halls of Villa Draghi are dedicated to conferences and cultural events. However, their intended use is still under consideration so to find a wider enhancement. The building certainly stands in a privileged position, provided with a superb terrace and a square where you can enjoy a stunning view of the spa town and its surroundings. In addition, the property includes a vast park of about 30 hectares and part of the wood that covers the hill above. Here hikers may walk some interesting trails to discover both landscape and nature.