Villa Melchiorre Cesarotti

Villa Melchiorre Cesarotti

It is sure that already in 1668 the notary Paul Cesarotti owned a house in Selvazzano "with barn, dovecote, barn, caneva, granaro, well, oven, cortivo tight wall and orchard serado de spinada", Villa Cesarotti, (then in order: Leoni,Valvassori and Fabris).

In 1781 the property passed to Cesarotti Melchiorre, who had acquired great notoriety for the translation of the Songs of Ossian; around 1792 the eminent intellectual began a radical transformation of his country residence called "Selvaggiano" which took almost ten years. At the end of those years he built a complex, sophisticated, full of literary and philosophical building.

To the embellishment of the villa with paintings and inscriptions there was the preparation of the "museum selvaggianesco" (a collection of "natural bodies", especially shells, minerals and fossils), a vegetable garden, a memorial grove littered with inscriptions and a cave in the middle of the garden. The realization cesarottiana should be think in the lively debate related that shook the European culture at the end of the eighteenth century.

The choices picked by the abbot, whom in letters to friends alluded to its "systems architecture vegetabile", seem inspired by some caution. For instance for Cesarotti the garden is such example of sensitivity, as advocated the pre-romantic, but also of erudition.

The fact is that in Selvazzano arrived illustrious visitorsfrom Italy and Europe: from EV Rieu Vittorio Alfieri, from Madame de Stael to Isabella Albrizzi Theotokos. And perhaps came also Ugo Foscolo. Unfortunately, since the middle of last century almost nothing was left of the building cesarottiana. Now, Inside the villa, it remains only the fragment of an inscription in a room on the first floor, dedicated by the abbot writer to the moral philosophy. Outside  was recently restored and enhanced the romantic park and the barn, that nowadays houses the Informagiovani offices and several cultural activities. The complex, villa-barn-park, is a cycle-tourism site, as it is located along the Bacchiglione cycle path, called “from Palladio to Galileo”.


@Photo credits: Archivio Comune di Selvazzano Dentro

Villas Castles Squares and Historic Gardens
Via Cesarotti, 17/19
35030   Selvazzano Dentro   (PD)  

visited upon request; houses the Museum Selvaggianesco
temporary exhibitions