Report - Villa Grompo-Pigafetta, Northern Italy, April 2017

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28DL Regular User
Regular User
Jan 15, 2013
1. History
Given the size of this place there is surprisingly little info on the web (maybe it’s up there but in Italian!) and, as far as I can see no previous reports. Initially this is all I could find on this delightful place, translated from an Italian source:

“Villa Grompo-Pigafetta is a late-17th century building located in Grompa, near to the left bank of the Masina canal. It is the extension of a former 16th century building. It consists of a central body with residential functions and two side arches that originally functioned as workers' and cattle houses, which enclose a large court. The central part is embellished by a small pronaos bearing the coat of arms of the house. Towards the end of the 18th century, a further building was built from the fully-landscaped façade destined exclusively to farm activities.”

I did, however, then find this drawing on page 147 of the book entitled “Days spent on a doge's farm” by Margaret Symonds, published in 1893, which refers to the place as “Villa Estense”:

Grompa Drawing by HughieDW, on Flickr

Having traced a digital copy of Symond’s early travel book of the Padua area, I gleaned a bit more info about the place. She refers to it as a flourishing farm and the name of the previous owner – the Grompass of Padua. A later owner, a general in the Venitian republic was apparently a bit of a gambler who then sold the estate to Princess Giovanelli who, in turn, let it to Signor Marchiori of Lendinara who was the owner when the author visited the house. Symonds makes reference to his magnificence in a “huge felt hat and velvet coat” and his love of cattle and his prized ‘Pugliesi’ breed. She makes reference to the house being scarcely furnished even back then. Tellingly, she also makes mention of a fresco in one of the top rooms that shows the house back in its heyday with many colonnades and nicely planned parterres but that “many of these things have fallen away and vanished”, even back in the late 1800s. The book looks like a delightful account of the Paduan countryside in late Victorian times and can be found here HERE for those interested.

2. The Explore
Came across a Youtube vid of some drone footage of this place when searching for locations. Looked pretty awesome and having located it on the map and found that it wasn’t too far from where we were staying, incorporated it in to a day-trip. The place is a bit in the sticks but easily findable with a good Satnav. It’s almost like a village and the estate even has its own church (the only part of the site that isn’t derelict). The many out-buildings are pretty much secure. Ironically the bit that is do-able is the house itself. No idea how long the place has been empty but it must be some time given the state of some parts of the house and how over-grown it is. Stupidly I had shorts on and couldn’t find an obvious way to the upper parts of the house. I subsequently realised it I’d pushed through the undergrowth I’d have come to the steps up. School-boy error.

3. The Pictures
The first of many out-buildings:

img9659 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Cute row of estate cottages:

img9660 by HughieDW, on Flickr

A very large barn:

img9662 by HughieDW, on Flickr

And a smaller building;

img9679 by HughieDW, on Flickr

A hint of the house:

img9664 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img9666 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Roof gone on the entrance to the courtyard:

img9667 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img9669 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img9676 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Balls missing!

img9671 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Gateway to the house:

img9670 by HughieDW, on Flickr

And we’re in!

img9686 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img9709 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Through the undergrowth we go:

img9705 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img9702 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Not the greatest light:

img9688 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img9694 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img9693 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img9701 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img9703bw by HughieDW, on Flickr

Into the lower ground floor. Former boilers?

img9695 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Interesting wall decoration:

img9696 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img9697 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Not too sure what that is/was:

img9698 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Floor gone completely here:

img9691 by HughieDW, on Flickr

And here:

img9692 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Quick look at the left wing of the houses’ courtyard on way out:

img9706 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img9707 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img9708 by HughieDW, on Flickr
Likes: Lil'Legs