Located on the hillside of Vicenza and overlooking the poetic Valley of Silence, which inspired famous Italian writer Fogazzaro, Villa San Bastiano is an elegant, luxurious retreat in the heart of Veneto, a family home that has seen generations of children and travellers enjoy a land, Veneto, blessed by unbelievable wine, food and architectural beauty. While gourmands and prosecco enthusiasts will not believe their eyes when matching the quality of meals and bills received, travellers who look for history and architecture will not be able to fit all in one trip and end up booking a second stay: Veneto is, in one word, amazing. Whilst the villa interiors are classy, elegant and constantly updated, the outdoor is peaceful and extraordinarily panoramic: one can enjoy that Venetian sunset’s golden aura amidst ancient cypresses, cedars, pines and beautifully scented osmanthus bushes from the villa beautiful terrace, facing the Valletta del Silenzio (Silence Little Valley). The pleasant and wide garden features roses, geraniums and lilies. A swimming pool with a view and a manicured alfresco complete the garden.
The hillside on which San Bastiano stands has been witness to the life of Antonio Fogazzaro, renowned author who lived here at the turn of the 19th century. Here was his family home and where he created some of his most renowned work; today the villa belongs to his descendants, the Ceschi a Santa Croce family, who built the house on the ruins of the original Villa Fogazzaro, destroyed by the bombings of World War II. In front of the house lies, peaceful and verdant, the 'Valley of Silence', as Fogazzaro described it, a secluded oasis of calm, in view of which he wrote 'Piccolo Mondo Moderno' published in 1901.
The book leads us through the plains of the Venetian hinterland and the town of Vicenza, bustling background to the tormented life of Piero, son of Franco and Luisa Maironi, unforgettable protagonists of his previous acclaimed work 'Piccolo Mondo Antico', written by Fogazzaro in his beloved house in Oria, on the lake of Lugano. Just as that villa sits gazing peacefully at the tranquil waters of the lake, Villa San Bastiano seems absorbed in contemplation of the little valley of silence below it: two oasis of peace that have welcomed illustrious guests and discerning travellers for many years.
Fogazzaro married Margherita Di Valmarana, noblewoman from Vicenza and her home, Villa Valmarana, is still today but a few steps from the house, host to many events in the lives of the most prominent players in the history of the city.
In the book it is called Villa Diedo, home to Jeanne Dessalle, beautiful and sophisticated woman, who Piero Maironi falls desperately in love with, a love unfulfilled by his inability to leave his insane wife: their story unfolds in these beautiful places, whose beauty exacerbates the drama.
San Bastiano still gazes at the Valley of Silence and on Villa Valmarana, where Fogazzaro imagined the beautiful Jeanne hosting lavish parties amid the fabulous frescos by the Tiepolos, still admired today by cultured and sensitive tourists. Fogazzaro's books and his world will come alive, as you visit the areas surrounding the Villa, which he loved so much.
Walking in the gardens of San Bastiano one can today, wrapped in the golden silences of the celebrated Venetian sunsets, be transported to the genteel world that inspired the author and lured many travellers, writers, and artists to this historic land. The Villa San Bastiano, subsequently to the destruction of the original building during WW2, has been host to many illustrious guests who have enjoyed its tranquil beauty and exquisite hospitality.
In 1949 the famous Spanish surrealist painter Salvador Dalí spent, as a guest of the family at their villa in nearby Montegalda and wondering at San Bastiano still in ruins, many days absorbed in the beauty of the venetian countryside finding inspiration for his paintings 'La Madone de Port Ligat', being a fervent admirer of italian art and architecture, form Andrea Palladio to Benvenuto Cellini.
More recently the celebrated concert pianist Geza Anda was a guest at San Bastiano when he came to Vicenza to play at the Teatro Olimpico as did Claudio Scimone, founder of the 'Solisti Veneti' orchestra. Also the Maharaja of Kapurthala who loved to sit with his wife on the cane chairs of the terrace in front of the house while sipping a Bellini cocktail in front of the Silent Valley, after being chauffered on sightseeing tours in the tiny Fiat 500 by his hostess, in marked contrast to the sumptuous carriages he was accustomed to from his royal garage!
The famous British photographer Cecil Beaton also loved sitting in front of the villa admiring the view, but he would choose the steps, informally chatting with fellow guests about art and fashion after lunch. Then came the turn of Prince Michael of Kent and Victor Gauntlett, co-owner of Aston Martin, who stayed overnight during the 1987 re-edition of the 'Milla Miglia' car endurance race and the Prince remarked on the marmalade that was served to him for breakfast and 'far superior” to the one he was served daily at home!
Renowned ballerinas Dame Margot Fonteyn and Carla Fracci were also guests when they visited Vicenza on tour performing at private receptions and at the Teatro Olimpico. A touch of Hollywood glamour also arrived with actors Jack Palance, star of high profile films such as Le Mepris, Tango and Cash and Tim
Burton's Batman and Albert Finney who loved the tomato risotto served to him and Diana Quick at dinner on the terrace, during a balmy summer evening. Film director Joseph Losey also stayed here during filming of his Don Giovanni opera adaptation.
Bedrooms 6+1 • Full Bathrooms 6 • Service Bathrooms 2 • The property features a swimming pool • The property features Wi-Fi in all bedrooms • The property features air conditioning in main bedrooms, corridor and dining room • The estate is 60 meters above sea level and it's few minutes away from historical villas of Vicenza • The property offers 580 square meters of living space and 1500 of exterior spaces • 13 is the maximum number of guests the property can accommodate
Air conditioning is installed in the main bedrooms, in the first floor guest room corridor, and the main living areas, while ventilation is provided during summer months • Ceiling fans in all remaining bedrooms • Fireplace • Barbecue • TV DVD • HIFI stereo Satellite TV • Pool sun-beds • Courtesy kit • Private parking area within the gated property • Alarm System connected to police • Automatic gate with code • Gated • Laundry room with washer, dryer and iron (staff use only) • Outdoor Swimming Pool (not heated) • Pool house • Satellite Television 400 channels (access in living room) • Wi-Fi
Lower Ground Floor: One country style kitchen is located on the lower ground floor is where one can create sumptuous meals from the large range with electric oven and 5 gas hobs, microwave, large fridge, freezer, fireplace, dishwasher, washing machine, and a lift to send all your gourmet creations to the dining room on the ground floor. There is also one utility room with ironing facilities, a drying room and the staff accommodation • Ground Floor: on the ground floor we find the main reception room and the dining room, sumptuously furnished and tastefully decorated in a traditional yet functional way. There is also the main bedroom suite comprising of a master bedroom with sitting room, changing room and fully equipped bathroom; the room has direct access to the garden and the swimming pool. One extra double bedroom (French) with bathroom en-suite is also on this floor. The beautiful sitting room has direct access to the terrace area, sheltered from the sun by an electric awning, and warmed during the winter months by a cozy log fireplace. The dining room has a bow-window annexe with extra seating and a television, and the beautiful views of the garden and valley beyond • First Floor: On the first floor there are four additional bedrooms, twins or doubles, two of which en-suite, a sitting room and a family bathroom with a separate shower room/WC. Twin beds can be made into doubles if needed • Upper first floor In the loft, reachable with steep boat-like stairs, there is an extra charming double bedroom with en-suite bathroom and air conditioning download the facts-sheet with villa maps for further details.