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Villa Spada

Historical building, Bologna

Villa Spada: Attraction informations

Villa Spada is a beautiful 18th-century villa in the heart of the namesake park in Bologna. Its main entrance faces via Saragozza, just before the crossing with Portico del Meloncello.

It was built under a project of Giovan Battista Martinetti, a neoclassical architect who lived in Bologna with his wife, Cornelia. Martinetti was part of the middle-class and was a supporter of Napoleon. His wife, Cornelia, was famous for her vivacity of the parties she hosted in her home in via San Vitale, inside the building of the Monastery around the Church of Santi Vitale and Agricola in Arena.

Villa Spada belonged to the Zambeccari family, one of the most important families in the city, until 1811. Afterwards, it was bought by the Marchioness of Beaufort. The Marchioness was married to a Romanian prince named Clemente Spada Veralli, hence the actual name of the villa. At this time, the park was enlarged until it reached via Saragozza.

During the Austrian occupation, the Villa was chosen because of its beauty and isolation as the main quarters of the Austrian army.

Around 1920 the villa was bought by the Pisa family, an industrial family in the peak of its economic growth and expansion. The villa stayed in their hands until the 60s, when it was acquired by the city council and opened to the public.

Its park, of over 6 hectares and which extends into the hills, is decorated by amazing statues, although many of the original ones have gone lost, and was designed by Martinetti himself.

Walking into the park from Via Saragozza and keeping our left, we find a stairway that takes to a memorial for 128 women partisans, victims of the terrible battles of World War II. The memorial was inaugurated during the seventies.

The rest of the park opens towards the Church of Saint Luke and comprises large fields and vegetation. From its highest point an amazing view of the city of Bologna rests before our eyes.

Villa Spada is home to the Museum of Tapestry, which holds numerous examples of ancient dresses from different cultures and traditions. The museum is almost a unicum in its kind, and its rooms are of great importance as one of them is still completely decorated “alla boschereccia”.