Last Updated on November 27, 2023 by Laura Teso
San Pelagio Castle dates back to the year 1100, but it has been restored several times. The tower was added in 1300s as a part of the defence system of the Da Carrara family, rulers of Padova. For over 300 years it was the house of the Zaborra family.
This place is famous mainly because from here the poet Gabriele D’Annunzio departed to accomplish the “Flight over Vienna” in 1918 (the poet flew over Vienna throwing Italian leaflets).
Since 1980 the villa houses the Museum of Air and Space regarding the story of the human flight starting form the inventions of Leonardo Da Vinci and arriving to the Space Shuttle. At the Ticket Office you are given a folder with the description of the rooms and the garden. You have to return it before leaving.
San Pelagio Castle
Things I liked the most
- The prints depicting the balloon flights over Prato della Valle in Padua and Piazza San Marco in Venice.
- The balloons hall (former ballroom), because it was cheerful and full of colours, with reproductions of three air balloons. On the yellow and blue one in 1783 flew a rooster, a sheep and a goose (it seems the beginning of a joke).
- The room dedicated to the Wright brothers.
- The rooms where he D’Annunzio stayed (although I do not like at all the dummies, they are disturbing. Aren’t they? IMHO it were better to leave the furnished rooms alone, without these presences).
- The model of the Caproni 300 because it reminded me of The wind rises by Miyazaki Hayao!
- The Red Baron story because… who has never heard of him, even if only in the Peanuts?
- The history of the Prancing Horse, now well-known symbol of Ferrari. It was once painted on the plane of Francesco Baracca, heroic aviator during the World War. Enzo Ferrari met Baracca’s parents and the mother suggested him to use the horse as a good luck symbol.
- The section about the Flight over Vienna because I learned things I did not know. When D’Annunzio made it he was 52 and was already famous and accustomed to a life refined and full of comforts. But he decided to go to war anyway to fulfil the ideals in which he believed.
- The section dedicated to the airships and to Umberto Nobile reaching the North Pole.
- The women in space section, where there was also a short article about @astrosamantha, Samantha Cristoforetti.
Around the Castle there is a beautiful and large garden in which there are here and there planes, some scampering hens and roosters, a rose garden, benches, two labyrinths and a pleasant outdoor bar. The complex also houses a restaurant, often used for weddings.
- Full of planes models and reconstructions
- Large park where children can play
- Big parking lot
- Many stairs, ergo not accessible for disabled
- Ticket a bit expensive
- The museum is rather old-fashioned
Now who knows what they will say… I noticed that on Tripadvisor they always answer taking a defensive position. I’m sorry but I can’t say that everything is perfect here! It could modernised because it has an enormous potential! This is my opinion.
In conclusion I think the visit can be interesting mainly for flight and aeroplanes lovers.
Via San Pelagio, 50 – Due Carrare (PD)