On Sunday, the 21st, Palazzo Valmarana Braga in Vicenza, our venue, will host the Italian Historic Houses Association's event.
It is an opportunity to evoke a glorious moment of one of the most beautiful palaces in the UNESCO-listed Palladian heritage.
As often happens, it arises from a tragic event, namely the bombing of the palace during World War II, on that 18th of March when it was partially destroyed, reduced to an apparently irrecoverable ruin, except for the extraordinary but precarious façade, a memory of the family's history.
The Valmarana family sells to those who choose to become the new custodians, after four and a half centuries, of one of Palladio's most extraordinary monuments.
It is Vittor Luigi Braga Rosa, who with enthusiasm and pride - as seen in historical photos - takes on the responsibility of restoring, or rather, reconstructing, the palace that no longer has its roof, attic, or noble floor salon. But it must be returned to the city and the world.
These are rare and noble individuals and moments.
Leonardo Valmarana, almost five hundred years ago, had chosen to forgo completing the family palace, the place that represented them more than any other, in order to finance the construction of the Teatro Olimpico. He, the prince of Vicenza, had understood the greatness of the man who had transformed the city forever. Who today would prioritize the city over their own family?
It is that greatness which we are fortunate enough to contemplate today, thanks to those men who elevated themselves, aware of their historic mission, transcending their own time and narrow social sphere.
Today, the Braga Rosa family, the women of the family - Vilma and her daughter Francesca - continue their father's work.
Francesca recently carried out an extremely meticulous restoration, capable of reviving the original plasterwork and marmorino, a rare example among Palladian facades that had become darkened by a stubborn layer of black. Restorations upon restorations continue to unfold inside, year after year, restoring beauty and spaces that can and will continue to live, to narrate, to pass on.
In our small way, we contribute, proud to be able to do so, as a headquarters of the Palladian Villas Owners Network and a visitor center for the same.
We strive to make that same spirit, which has generated and then passed on something beyond utility and the individual, come alive more and more each day.
Fortunately, we are part of something greater...
Discover more here in our profile of Palazzo Valmarana Braga.