Mansarda del Frutteto

Villa dei Vescovi, Padua, Italy


One of two rooftop apartments giving privileged access to an important Renaissance villa. Sit amid the frescoes on the wide west loggia as the sun sets on the Euganean hills in a landscape little changed since the 16th-century.

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Beds 1 Twin, 1 Double

4 nights
£1312 equivalent to £82.00 per person, per night

Chosen for its beauty in the Euganean Hills

The 14th-century saw the rise in popularity of countryside villa retreats amongst the wealthy Italian intelligentsia. In 1535 the architect Giovanni Falconetto set about designing an elegant villa on a raised terrace. The design of the building placed emphasis on the green surroundings of the Euganean Hills and the shady flanking loggias were purpose-built to capture the stunning scenery. Villa de Vescovi became more impressive as the centuries passed, with the addition of Doric and Ionic portals and the development of the grounds and gardens. 

A breathtaking Landmark

One of two Landmark Trust apartments on this site, Mansarda del Frutteto is part of the bigger Villa dei Vescovi. Passed onto the Fondo Ambiente Italiano (FAI, the Italian Heritage Trust) in 2005, extensive archaeological work was carried out before the building was carefully restored so it could be opened up to the public. The views from the Landmark and the beauty of the building have to be seen to be believed. The air conditioned apartment sleeps 4 and is reached via a modern spiral staircase from the main villa up to the mansard floor beneath the roof. Those who stay here are spoilt for choice: one can simply relax into the rich history of the building, the natural beauty of the surroundings or perhaps venture out to the local towns or cities. The capital of the region, Padua, is nearby and those willing to make a longer trip will find Venice about an hour's drive away.

See our other Landmark at Villa dei Vescovi

Sit surrounded by Renaissance frescoes on the wide west loggia.

In partnership with:

Fondo Ambiente Italiano

Floor Plan


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Map & local info

The Euganean Hills are a miniature heaven on earth: sweet valleys, conical volcanic peaks, fascinating flora and fauna, hot springs, castles, villas and historic gardens. It is easy to imagine why incredibly famous literary works were inspired by the uniqueness of this beautiful landscape.

There is indeed a literary park trail to follow, where you can see the buildings where great authors made their home and engaged with the spirit of the place. Francesco Petrarca wrote some sections of his famous ‘Canzoniere’ in his house in Arquà, which is open to visitors. The ‘Italian Byron’ Ugo Foscolo wrote some of his ‘Last Letters of Jacopo Ortis’ at Villa Cittadella-Vigodarzere in Feriole. This spot is near Abano Terme, a quiet spa town where you can enjoy relaxing treatments and thermal pools. Percy B. Shelley wrote ‘Julian and Maddalo’ and ‘Prometheus Unbound’ in Villa Kunkler-Piccioni (or Villa Cappuccini) near the medieval walled town of Este. Villa dei Vescovi is also part of this literary park trail in honour of Alvise Cornaro, who wrote a Renaissance treatise on sober countryside living.

Thrill-seekers might be drawn towards the High Ropes Adventure Park in Teolo. Alternatively, families with children might enjoy the colourful inhabitants of the House of the Butterflies in Montegrotto. Many footpaths and park trails traverse the Euganean Hills. Download your maps here to find the perfect picnic spots.

 Spend at least one day in nearby Padua, “cradle of the arts”, to follow in Donatello’s footsteps. You can see his altar pieces and a bronze crucifix in the Basilica di Sant’Antonio, the equestrian statue of Gattamelata outside the Basilica, and also a wooden crucifix in the Chiesa dei Servi. Don’t forget to visit the Cappella degli Scrovegni and the Palazzo della Ragione, both considered outstanding achievements of European medieval art and architecture. Find more ideas for cultural itineraries in Padua and its surrounding areas here.

You can take a coach tour of the Palladian Villas, or head to Vicenza to see other fine examples of this architecture. Hire a gondola around Venice, or take in an opera at the celebrated Arena di Verona Opera Festival: all these are in easy reach of your Landmark in the Euganean Hills.

See our other Landmark at Villa dei Vescovi

Clear directions
What you need to know about this building
  • No.
  • From the main road.
  • Terme Euganee – 10km, about 15 minutes by taxi at a cost of approximately 20 euro. Taxi phone number +39 049 667842
  • There is public parking in the FAI carpark nearby. It is also possible to park the car on the right hand side of the road, past the Villa, within specified spaces.
  • Electric central heating and air conditioning units
  • The kitchen is fully equipped with all plates, cutlery, glasses etc. There is also an electric cooker, a fridge freezer and a microwave.
  • There are two bathrooms, both with baths. Both have double sinks and bidets.
  • Yes, there are three flights of external steps and then a long, steep spiral staircase up to the apartment.
  • There is a big courtyard in front of the building bounded by a wall and fields with vineyards all around.
  • Yes, parts of the main building are sometimes used for weddings or special events, these usually finish by 2am.
  • Events take place in the building and at times the communal areas may not be available.   When the villa is open to the public, which can include evenings in the summer, the communal areas are shared with the public.  
Booking and Payment
  • If the weather is bad, please contact our booking office who will be able to tell you whether the Landmark is accessible. If the housekeeper can safely get to the building to prepare it then we consider that it is open and available for guests. However if we cannot undertake a changeover then we will do our utmost to transfer your stay to another Landmark, depending on what we have available. It may not be of a similar size or in the same part of the country as your original booking. If the building is accessible but the customer cannot travel due to poor weather in his/her local area then please be aware that Landmark will not provide a refund. However the customer may be able to claim on his/her own travel insurance. We recommend that all guests take out travel insurance when they first secure a booking.
  • We accept Maestro (if issued in the UK), Visa, MasterCard, direct transfer and sterling cheques drawn on a UK bank. Cheques should be made payable to the Landmark Trust except for Lundy stays and boat/helicopter tickets which should be payable to The Lundy Company Ltd. All payments must be in sterling.
  • The key arrangements will be included in the Further Infomation document which will be sent to you prior to your stay.
  • If your stay starts more than two months from the date you make the booking, you are required to pay a deposit of one third of the cost of your stay (or £100 per booking, if greater) at the time of booking. Camping on Lundy and The Bunk House at Llwyn Celyn must be paid for in full at the time of booking.
  • If you wish to cancel or change your booking, please contact our Booking Office on 01628 825925
  • At the moment we only accept payment in sterling.
  • Our housekeeper will leave the key in a suitable place, the details of which will be sent to you prior to your stay.
  • It depends. Some of our most popular Landmarks are booked up a long time in advance, but many can be booked at short notice. We will always have Landmarks free for the coming weekend so it’s always worth checking our availability list.
  • No, Landmarks are available to be booked for anyone.
  • No, all the information you need can be found on our website, although we’d like you to buy one anyway as it will be a pleasure to own!
Staying at a Landmark
  • Some of our Landmarks are suitable for people with disabilities or limited mobility. However, many Landmarks have steep or narrow staircases, uneven floors and thresholds, changes of level, low ceilings or beams, as well as indistinct colours on steps and in corridors. We recommend that you call Booking Enquiries on 01628 825925 if you would like to find out the suitability of a particular Landmark for anyone with a specific disability.  Further information on access when visiting Lundy can also be found here.
  • Yes, Landmarks are only available as self-catering accommodation. We do not offer bed and breakfast.
  • Landmark does not provide catering, but we can recommend Greycoat Lumleys who can arrange for expert and well-trained staff to cater for one evening or for your entire holiday. Their cooks and chefs are able to work with you to meet your specific requirements
  • You may bring up to two dogs to properties where dogs are allowed (please see specific property details for exemptions however dogs are not permitted on Lundy except assistance dogs). They must be kept off the furniture and under proper control. A charge of £20 per stay is made for each dog. Please contact booking enquiries if a registered assistance dog is supporting one of the guests, for which there is no charge.
  • Apart from two dogs (see above) no other pets are permitted.
  • Arrival is from 4pm and departure is by 10am.
  • We do not carry insurance for breakages. However we appreciate that accidents do sometimes happen. If you have a breakage during your stay, please let the housekeeper know and if appropriate we reserve the right to invoice you accordingly.
  • Yes, most of our Landmarks are perfect for children, with gardens to play in and secret places to discover. Our furniture is surprisingly robust and we positively encourage families to stay. However, some of our buildings may not be suitable for small children; for example, some of them have steep or uneven spiral staircases. We recommend that you call the Booking Enquiries team if you would like to find out the suitability of any of our Landmarks for young children.
  • Unfortunately, most of our Landmarks are not licensed for weddings. However, you may get married on Lundy.
  • All our larger Landmarks are perfect for gatherings of family or friends. You may invite an additional two guests to visit you during your stay, however they must not stay overnight. This is very important because our fire regulations specifically note the maximum number of people in any one building. In addition our properties are prepared, furnished and equipped for the number of people specified and greater numbers cause damage and excessive wear and tear to vulnerable buildings. Should this condition be ignored we shall make a retrospective charge per person per day (whether or not they stay overnight) for each guest over the permitted limit, the charge being pro-rated on the total cost of your booking.
  • We deliberately do not provide televisions and find that most people appreciate this.
  • One of the challenges of restoring unloved buildings is gaining access to them. We frequently have to negotiate rights with our neighbours and share tracks with them. In many cases tracks do not belong to us and we have no right to maintain them. Wherever possible we work with our neighbours to provide you with a good quality surface, but where this is a problem then you will be warned at the time of booking.
  • Yes, we have standard electricity sockets for UK appliances. If you are coming from outside the UK, you will need to bring your own adaptor plug(s). If you are visiting one of our European properties we have standard European electricity sockets. If you are visiting from the UK, you will need to bring your own adapter plug (s).
  • Landmark’s electrical systems have not been designed to provide continuous power from one socket over several hours.  If an ordinary socket is used to charge an electric vehicle, there is significant risk of an electrical fire and consequent danger to life.  Therefore, we are unable to allow electric vehicle charging from most of our Landmarks at present.

    We are working to provide Type 2 Electric Vehicle charge points at our properties where there is private parking.  Where this is available, please request this facility when booking the property to ensure the outlet is enabled on your arrival.  There is a small charge to cover the cost of electricity provided.  Please book this facility in advance.
  • No, we do not allow smoking in any Landmark.
  • Sometimes our kitchens and bathrooms have to be imaginatively fitted into the available space in buildings where before there were none, but they are all planned and equipped to a high and modern standard.
  • Yes, Landmarks are fully equipped with sheets and towels. All the beds are fully made up for your arrival. Except for the Llwyn Celyn Bunkhouse.
  • Yes, our kitchens are well equipped with cookers and fridges. There are freezers and dishwashers (in larger buildings) and, where space allows, microwaves as well as a wide and standard range of utensils. A full equipment list is available at time of booking.
  • Logs are provided at many of our Landmarks for an additional cost.
  • Mobile coverage varies. Some Landmarks have an excellent signal, but others have none at all. If you are concerned, you can check with the housekeeper before your arrival.
  • No. At the moment, we have decided not to implement Wi-Fi in our buildings following a consultation with our customers. Many said that they would find it useful, but many also felt that it would somehow damage the experience of staying in a Landmark. As the responses were so split, and as we have so many other initiatives requiring funding, we have decided to put this on hold for the time being.
    Except at Llwyn Celyn Bunk House where a password is available in the property when you arrive.
  • A welcome tray with tea and sugar awaits your arrival and you will find a pint of milk in the fridge. We also provide toilet rolls and a bar of soap per basin, but no other toiletries. Hairdryers are provided.

The ideal of the villa

After the poet Petrarch retired in around 1370 to live in nearby Arquà (you can still visit his house) the Roman idea of civilised retreat to a villa in the newly peaceful countryside became increasingly popular among the wealthy intelligentsia of Renaissance Italy.

Cardinal Francesco Pisani, Bishop of Padua

In 1524, Francesco Pisani was appointed Bishop of Padua, where he initiated the construction of many fine buildings. He also decided to develop an earlier episcopal residence outside the city, here at Luvigliano, as a villa. Luvigliano was named after Roman historian Livy, who also chose the place for his own villa. Livy and Francesco could not have chosen a more beautiful spot, a natural amphitheatre surrounded by the green, conical, ancient volcanic Euganean Hills with views far across the landscape.

The circle of Alvise Cornaro

Bishop Francesco Pisani was at the heart of the circle of important cultural patron, Alvise Cornaro. Cornaro was a generous and sentient sponsor, who nurtured the talents of many, including, from about 1538, a young stonemason born in Padua whom he nicknamed Palladio. Another protégé was architect Giovanni Falconetto.

Designed by Giovanni Falconetto

In 1535, Falconetto designed an elegant square villa on a raised terrace, with shady flanking loggias to make the most of the views out across the countryside. Architect Giulio Romano completed this first phase and Flemish artist Lambert Sustris covered its walls with frescoes (which mostly survive), a hugely important early survival of the Renaissance cult of the ancient world. The building as a whole similarly epitomises the mature Renaissance villa form, built just before Palladio put his characteristic stamp upon the genre. As such, Villa dei Vescovi (or Villa of the Bishops) is an important counterpoint in Landmark’s portfolio to our own Palladio villa, Villa Saraceno, which lies just 15km to the west of Villa dei Vescovi.

Made still more magnificent

Villa dei Vescovi became ever more imposing under successive bishops through the 16th century. Architect Andrea da Valle added stately Doric and Ionic portals as entrances though the estate’s containing walls, and later Vicenzo Scamozzi added external stairs and a grotto. Through the 18th century, beautiful gardens and grounds were developed.

A generous gift to the Italian nation

Villa dei Vescovi remained under the episcopate, largely unchanged, until 1962 when it was sold to Vittorio Olcese. After his death, in 2005 his second wife Maria Teresa Olcese Valoti and son Pierpaolo generously donated the villa to the Fondo Ambiente Italiano (FAI, the equivalent of the National Trust in Italy). FAI carried out an exemplary archaeological investigation of the site and completed the restoration before opening the main villa to day visitors. They also created two holiday apartments on the top floor, tucked under the eaves, which Landmark has equipped. Through our partnership, these are now offered as the first Landmarks in what we hope will be a long and fruitful partnership.


Detailed archaeology

The Olcese had cared well for Villa dei Vescovi during their ownership in the second half of the 20th century, and the Fondo Ambiente Italiano (FAI) continued their work. Detailed archaeology had added greatly to the understanding of the form of the earlier episcopal residence and the evolution of the current villa.

Restoration of the frescoes

More than three years was spent conserving the frescoes by Lambert Sustris in the villa’s principal rooms, which are a particular glory of the villa. By removing the dust and candle smoke of centuries, the extraordinary use of colour and the detailed brushstrokes of this skilled master were revealed. Missing portions of the frescoes (the result of earlier structural modifications or repairs in inappropriate materials) were filled with neutral tones, so restoring a sense of unity to the cycle.

‘Uno palazzo de prencipe’

Private chambers and studioli, typical features in such 16th-century villas, were reinstated and the furniture in the principal rooms was also restored and placed according to the original functions of rooms, to present this ‘palace fit for a prince’. Staying in your eyrie above, you will have free access to these marvellous spaces during opening hours. After the visitors have gone, it will be a truly special experience to sit on the wide west loggia, and watch the sun sink in a landscape little changed since Francesco Pisani and Alvise Cornaro and their friends did the same.

Availability & booking

Select a changeover day to start your booking...

What's a changeover day? and Why can't I select other dates?Explain MoreQuestion

A changeover day is a particular day of the week when holidays start and end at our properties. These tend to be on a Friday or a Monday but can sometimes vary. All stays run from one changeover day until another changeover day.