In Lonigo, in the Vicenza countryside, La Barchessa di Villa Pisani, part of the homonymous villa designed by Palladio in 1541, houses an "art relais" with fine dining restaurant really unique in the Veneto region, that combines the charm of historic homes with contemporary art.
Difficult to find another hospitality project that embraces so many parallel universes, offering guests just as many suggestions, each with its own distinctive personality, harmoniously kept together from the 16th century to today thanks to the various owners and patron-of arts who, over the centuries, have enriched the villa and its magnificent park with precious wonders.
Villa Pisani, designed by Andrea Palladio and a UNESCO heritage site, is perhaps the most representative work of the youthful period of the famous architect, with whom he begins his successful collaboration with the Serenissima Republic of Venice, and that he chose, also to honor the powerful patrons, the family Pisani, even as the opening of his famous treatise: “The Four Books of Architecture” of 1570.
…And this is where finally the soul tired by the turmoil of the city will take much rest and consolation.
(Andrea Palladio, I Quattro Libri dell’Architettura)
Inspired by the thermal baths of ancient Rome, the villa maintains its central body intact, the original facade, the secular park and the majestic barchesse (colonnade in English), with beams that reach up to 16 metres, which now house the resort. The property, purchased by the Bonetti Bedeschi family in the 2000s, after a long conservative restoration, reopened its doors in 2017, offering a truly unique concept of hospitality.
The charm of “life in the villa”, which takes us back to the period in which the Venetian nobles descended along the Brenta river for business and the wonderful parties that were held in the country residences, joins, in fact, the great passion of the owner, Manuela Badeschi, professional artist, for contemporary art.
Between the rooms and the ancient corridors of the barchessa, in fact, Manuela’s works find space, creating a wonderful theatrical contrast, in which neon is combined with other noble materials, in a mixture of sculpture and signs of light. In addition to her creations, the relais also houses many design objects collected by the owners, such as the unique pieces by Cleto Munari.
A truly unique ensemble in which Manuela’s personal touch is evident even in the refined furnishings and details, cared for just as if it were her home. Fifteen rooms, including four spacious suites, each furnished in a different way and, ça va sans dire, enriched with works of art and every form of modern comfort.
A distinctive feature of the structure are the extraordinary facilities offered to guests including, in addition to the wonderful park, the swimming pool with solarium, the wellness area with sauna, the gym, the library with billiards, a large ballroom overlooking the garden and a fine dining restaurant, the Osteria del Guà, from the name of the river that flowed along the villa. Here the chef Marco Culeddu and the Restaurant Manager Luca Pinter will be able to pamper you with creative delights and the products of the Bonetti Bedeschi family farm, located not far from the villa.
The breakfast ritual is wonderful, served in the charming Granaio (barn) room in winter and in the outdoor area overlooking the park in summer, based on the delicacies prepared fresh every morning by the Osteria del Guà brigade.
For those staying at the hotel, the possibility of visiting the interiors of Villa Pisani is also included, which conceals real treasures of Venetian history. Like the original kitchen, which remained in use until the 18th century where one can curiously see the “hand basin” created by Palladio himself, an ante litteram interior designer, where the Queen Mother also dined in 1987 during a private visit.
The Villa also hosts the project “Contemporary Art at Villa Pisani”, curated by Luca Massimo Barbero and Francesca Pol, created by Manuela Badeschi who has personally selected some of the major contemporary artists – from David Tremlett who decorated an entire wall to Arcangelo Sassolino who created the portrait of the titled couple – thus making the villa an extraordinary “installation” in which 500 years of art history interact perfectly with each other.
Truly, a stay at La Barchessa di Villa Pisani – perhaps by booking a guided tour of the works of art – is truly an experience to be had at least once in a lifetime.
The villa was born as a “farm with manor house” serving the rice fields of which the area was rich. Once, in fact, the river, a tributary of the Brenta, passed right in front of its noble façade (today the river no longer exists for safety reasons, which is why the main entrance is perceived as a “rear”) and was used to transport the goods. Even the Barchessa was used for agricultural purposes and, along the exteriors, you can still see the large hollow blocks of Verona marble which were part of the ancient wholesale rice grinding machines.
La Barchessa di Villa Pisani
Via Risaie 1/3
36045 Bagnolo di Lonigo, Vicenza
Tel. +39 0444 831207
Room from 300 euro, breakfast included
The visit to Villa Pisani is free for guests of the structure, while for external visitors it can be visited by reservation, ticket 5 euro with free internal parking.