Villa Emo Capodilista, also called La Montecchia, is a Venetian villa built as a hunting lodge in the sixteenth century on top of a hill (Montecchia), 20 minutes from Padua and next to the Golf Club, which is also called Montecchia (from Latin “monticula”, little mount). Why the name Emo Capodilista? Emo is the name of a noble Venetian family. The Capodlista family got the feuds and the title of nobility thanks to the services rendered in the battlefield. The two families became united after a wedding. The villa, its garden and the frescoes were realized starting from 1568 by architect and painter Dario Varotari, pupil of Paolo Veronese.
The villa is open infrequently. In order to visit it you can book a tour for a group of minimum 15 people (only by appointment) or seize the opportunity to join a guided tour, like I did. Below the post you can find further information. Our guide explained that the Villa can also be rented for events and as accomodation for holidays. It must be crazy!
Villa Emo Capodilista
We had the opportunity to visit Villa Emo Capodilista and taste the wine produced by the owners (with a 10€ ticket each). At first we visited the wine shop. The bottles had gorgeous labels, inspired by the ancient family members. I found also very nice the emblem of a branch of the family, the Forzaté, a deer with a flower in the mouth that you can see on the table in one of the photos. Near the wine shop there is the Castle, not open for the tour. You can stay overnight at the Castle as well (I reckon there are apartments and rooms)!
To reach the Villa you have to cross the road, past a gate and walk along a path up to the hill along the vineyards. After a curve, between the green trees, Villa Emo Capodilista appears. On the right of the path, hidden by hedges, there is also a swimming pool.
I must say that it is really wonderful and very different from the Venetian villas that I’m used to see, because of its square plant and its loggia-facades. The strange colored balls that you see in the photos are a system to scare the woodpeckers that were ruining the wood of the ceilings.
The highlight of the villa (in addition to the villa itself, which is wonderful) are surely the frescoes with mythological and classical themes. The frescoes are in the inner part of the arcades and in the interior rooms.
In particular, I liked the room called “della Vigna” (of the Vineyard), whose decoration consists of a pergola of vines with putti harvesting grapes. Photos are not allowed so I attached a photo from the official website.
If you get a chance, I definitely recommend the visit.