In my apartment there is a poster showing photographs of villas in and around Padua. Mostly we have ticked them off, but a few remain, mainly because they require group visits and there are only two of us. However, I did notice in this month’s ‘Padova Today’ leaflet that Villa Pisani- Scalabrin was open for visits and quite near us.
We drove into the village of Vescovana looking for signs to the villa, and saw nothing, although there was a long ancient brick wall which looked as if it might enclose large gardens. We drove around the wall, past the main gates which were padlocked, but at least a plaque informed us that we were in the right place.
There was nobody about, but eventually a woman appeared on a bicycle and she told us to walk down the road and ring the bell on an ancient door which looked as if it hadn’t been opened for a couple of centuries. There was a click, and we stepped through, into another world, opposite a lovely garden full of bright colours and box hedges with topiary beyond. We were greeted by the Contessa who was busy gardening, and as we were the only visitors, we had the freedom of the grounds.
In a field of wild flowers with tulips making points of colour scattered across the surface, we found a hedgehog solidly nibbling away and not at all concerned that we were watching him.
The Contessa invited us to see the Piano Nobile, again just the two of us, wandering though glorious frescoed rooms including one by Veronese. An undiscovered treasure!