Villa Emo Capodilista at La Montecchia
Villa Emo Capodilista: the origins of the 16th century villa that dominates the plain around La Montecchia from the top of a hill and all its outbuildings are very old. The feud of Monticula already existed before 1000 and included a fortified building that was destroyed the first time by Ezzelino da Romano, then rebuilt and destroyed again later on by Alberico da Romano, until the property was finally bought by Forzatè Capodilista. The presence of this family and their possessions are repeatedly documented from 1400 on, showing the progressive development of their estate. The house with courtyard, wood and fields was declared in 1546 by the heirs of Sigismondo Capodilista, and in the will left by Pio Capodilista in 1617 had become a palazzo to all effects, together with another one that was only partly completed on the nearby plain, together with a pigeon tower, farm buildings, courtyards and extensive lands. The villa is reached along the road from an arched entrance gate surmounted by the tower and was designed by the Verona architect Dario Varotari around 1578, according to a drawing that has been conserved virtually unchanged. The physical layout with the square building with small towers at the corners is marked on all the façades by an arcade on the ground floor and a loggia on the first floor; the arches are framed on both levels by a series of pilasters, while the top is crowned by a sort of mixed-line attic. Internally the spaces are divided in distinct rooms, with an unusual four-flight stairway which forms a scenographic cross. Together with Antonio Vassillachi, Varotari also studied the decorations that were made in the rooms on the ground and first floors, the arcade and the loggias. The frescoes in the rooms are dedicated to subjects involved with the family history and its possessions, inside fake painted buildings, and they were painted by Varotari, while those in the entrances are also attributed to Giovanni da Udine; the grotesqueries in the upper loggias are less refined.