Villa Angarano: the villa of the women

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Villa Angarano is a gorgeous villa near Bassano del Grappa. The Venetian Prealps and the Mount Grappa are on the background.  The original project and the two lateral wings are by Palladio, designed for his friend Giacomo Angarano, while the central body is by Domenico Margutti, scholar of Baldassare Longhena (among Longhena’s works: Ca’ Rezzonico, Ca’ Pesaro and Santa Maria della Salute in Venice).  Since 1996, together with the city of Vicenza and the other Palladian villas, is a Unesco World Heritage site.

Over the centuries the property passed into the hands of many noble families. Since 1800 is owned by the Bianchi Michiel family. The current owners are the five Bianchi Michiel sisters: Giovanna, Carla, Anna, Maruzza and Isabella (that’s why I entitled the post “villa of the women”). The proximity of the Brenta river is vital for the grapevine and olive cultivation. It is in fact not only a beautiful villa but also a farm producing extra virgin olive oil and doc wine (white, red and rosé).

Being the main body still inhabited by the family, the parts normally visitable are: the park, the vineyards, the farm courtyard, the two barchesse (lateral wings), the little church (St. Mary Magdalene) on the side and the ancient horses stable, where you can also enjoy a wine tasting with local cold cuts and cheese. The villa is also available to host events.

We arrived on a late Sunday morning after taking the wrong way. I set Google Maps heedlessly without properly looking at the map. Since there are two pins under the name Villa Angarano, I had the 50% chance to make a mistake and I did it 🙂 so we ended up 20 minutes away. I have to say, it was not a disappointing detour, cause the country route was pleasant and full of spring colours. But, if you want to reach immediately the right address please go to the indications below the post.

Fatto a mano in Villa Angarano

When we reached Villa Angarano, I knew I had to meet Ilaria (with whom I spoked the previous days – actually, typed… ) but I had no idea how she looked like. The coloured stalls of the handmade market “Fatto a mano in Villa Angarano” welcomed us: clothes, home décor, jewels, lamps, fabrics, ceramics, belts, hats, liquors, jams. Plus the wines of the Angarano farm ready to be tasted by guests. I spotted a lady dressed in casual clothing. Yet she had a refined aura. So I decided she had to be one of the Bianchi Michiel sister.

I reached out for her and introduced myself. And I was right, she was Giovanna Bianchi Michiel. We talked for a while and then she introduced me Ilaria. Naturally they were very busy with the event going on. So, after a chat, we left them to their work and continued to explore the market. Matteo, my husband, tasted a glass of their rosé wine (I had 2 or 3 sips too). We took some pictures. We visited the stables. There you can see the signs with the name of the horses: Athos, Delano, Romeo, Saturno (I reckon that horse must have been a bad-tempered one!).

After seeing the gourmet panini stand by Zanco Food Project we couldn’t help but stop there for lunch. The stand was not actually a stand, but an “ape car”. Ape [pronounced AH -peh]means bee and not monkey. It is a three wheeled vehicle, once very common in Italy, and still used nowadays (but less) for small load carrying. My panino: porchetta with friarielli (broccoli rabe) and caramellized onion. Oh my, it was delicious! My husband’s: black cuttlefish bread (I know, sounds weird, it was the first time for me too), with seared sesame-crusted tuna, courgettes and a special gravy. Yummy!

Amd now the stands I liked the most: the handmade clothes with a retro touch by Rraro (amazing unique pieces), Benniblu‘s adorable baby clothing, the fairy-tale-like wooden home décor by TerapiaCasa. Though completely different I really like both the jewels stands: the retro one by Ecole d’Anais and the super contemporary one by Maison Vivi (those inspired to the Lotus flowers are marvellous).

You may have the chance to attend a similar event also in September (grape harvest feast) and at the end of November (Christmas markets).  It can be the right opportunity to see this villa and taste the local wines. As for me, it would be great to visit also some parts of the interior but we have to respect the family’s privacy, don’t we?


Villa Angarano
www.villaangarano.com
Via Contrà Corte S. Eusebio, 15 – Bassano del Grappa (Vicenza)