Villa Tolomei at Torreglia
Villa Tolomei is set on the top of hill Mirabello, a hummock halfway between the center of Torreglia and the hamlet of Luvigliano. Thanks to its favourable location, the place has been inhabited since ancient times, as testified by prehistoric artifacts unearthed in recent excavations. The building of the villa dates back to the early sixteenth century; by the way in the Middle Ages certainly there was already a noble edifice whose structure is partly discernible on the eastern side of the Renaissance architecture. The purchaser of the villa was the bishop Altobello Averoaldo of Brescia , the papal nuncio in the Republic of Venice and the prior of the Monteortone monastery. Altobello was a man of great culture and rich patron; he spent much time in this home that he loved so much. At his death occurred in 1531, the property was inherited by his brethren, the Augustinian Fathers of the Monastery of Monteortone. For nearly three centuries, the monks rented the house and surrounding land, until 1789, when the monastery was suppressed by Napoleonic decree. Among the tenants of the villa there were mainly senior members of the Venetian nobility, attracted by the beauty and health of the place. Over the centuries the villa underwent some changes, but the building essentially maintained the original structure. It can be reached along a majestic lane lined with pines, which climbs on the gentle eastern slope of the hill. Villa Tolomei stands on the top enjoying a wonderful 360-degree panoramic view over the nearby Euganean hills and the plain that extends towards Montegrotto. It almost appears as a small borough embedded in the vineyards covering the hill sides. Once they were crossed by even five streets that allowed its residents to come down and reach the main connecting roads: Montana street climbing the mount Venda, Liviana street that led to Luvigliano, Antenorea coming down towards the plain, Girabella which surrounded the hill and Balenaria heading towards Abano and Montegrotto.
Villa Tolomei has a “L” shaped structure, with the main entrance facing east; the guesthouse and chapel are located on the west side instead and stretch towards the garden. Nowadays, the outer aspect of the housing section is in neoclassical style, typical of the late nineteenth century; the doors and windows are provided with architraves: those on the ground floor are juxtaposed triple lancet and the ones upstairs are open onto balconies with iron railings. The splendid park surrounding the villa is by the great Paduan architect Giuseppe Jappelli, who designed an “English”- style garden inspired to romantic taste, combining natural and artificial elements in order to create a parallel between the environment and the lives of man. The garden paths all converge on the artificial lake located on the northern side of the park, whose center includes two small islands with trees. A further characteristic feature of the romantic park is the roccolo, a circular tower that probably belonged to the pre-existing medieval building which was later used to catch birds. Since 1850 the owners of the villa have been the Tolomei family, who still reside there at certain times of the year and that have turned the rustic buildings (adjacent to the residential part) into family winery.