From a religious place to a Nature Museum
Villa Beatrice d' Este stands on Mount Gemola, in the heart of the Euganean hills, on the remains of an ancient Benedictine monastery. From here, visitors can enjoy a striking scenic view over the surrounding mountains and the plains, until the nearby hills Berici and the faraway Pre-alps.
The villa takes its name from a noblewoman and Benedictine nun, Beatrice I d'Este, who lived here from 1221 to 1226: She was the daughter of the Marquis Azzo VI and his second wife Sofia of Savoy and when she was still a young princess, she matured a religious vocation as a result of tragic events that befell her family. Her decision to leave the court life was initially opposed; therefore she found refuge in the nunnery of Santa Maria on Mount Salarola. Later she did restore an ancient monastery that stood on Mount Gemola, where she founded a new cloistered community and lived the last years of her short life, marked by a deep religious fervor. The monastery dedicated to San Giovanni Battista survived for more than three centuries and a half, spreading the fame of holiness of its founder.
In 1657 the property, by then abandoned, was bought by a Venetian merchant, Francesco Ruberti, who turned it into a villa, basically corresponding to the current building. Besides, on the ruins of the ancient monastery church, in the early 20th century, a barchessa (an outbuilding marked by a porticoed structure with round arches) was built to fulfill the main agricultural functions
Since 1972, the entire complex has been owned by the Province of Padua, that in the seventies and eighties promoted a thorough restoration, allowing to identify and appreciate traces of the medieval monastery, within the building.
Some rooms of the villa are currently intended to house the provincial Natural History Museum, whose halls widely illustrate the features of the Euganean Hills’ vegetation and wildlife.
Iniziativa finanziata dal Programma di sviluppo rurale per il Veneto 2014-2020
Organismo responsabile dell'informazione: GAL Patavino.
Autorità di gestione: Regione del Veneto
- Direzione AdG FEASR Parchi e Foreste -