The historic Grape Festival is underway in Villa Angarano, like every early autumn, at that moment of the year awaited by everyone in Bassano and the surrounding area.
We celebrate wine, which for centuries, let's say to each other without quibbling – always! Bring joy and luck together to this land where everyone together, at this moment, is celebrating the grace of divine nectar.
Palladio already wrote, almost five hundred years ago, of a "place famous for the precious wines that are made there, and for the fruits that grow there, and much more for the courtesy of the owner".
Which was, obviously, Giacomo Angarano, the great friend of our Andrea, that Magnificent Lord to whom the first two of the Four Books of Architecture are dedicated.
That man who lent the money for the dowry of his architect friend's daughter, who also lent him his palace in Vicenza, the one overlooking the Ponte degli Angeli, so that that wedding - of his daughter Zenobia - could take place in a worthy context.
And that courtesy that Palladio writes about, well, is still at home in Villa Angarano.
The five Bianchi Michiel sisters, the five countesses, welcome you with a simple and true smile.
You can recognize authentic nobility precisely in the total absence of ostentation.
I "Gentil" Huomini: The "Gentle" Men.
The gentlewomen, in this case. What does it mean? Who is noble?
Kindness. Kindness above all. And kindness is light, and simple, and those who are kind do not place themselves above those in front of them. How could a nobleman who makes you feel the class distance be kind?
In addition to the fact that nowadays very few would still accept such behavior. But beyond that, what could be less kind than this?
Being Gentile, even in Palladio's time, also meant treating oneself as equals, recognizing value elsewhere and certainly not in the right of blood. In Virtue, in Merit.
Palladio is certainly not a nobleman: he is a bricklayer, who then rises to the rank of architect, but who will always maintain a very elegant simplicity in living and designing his architecture.
Villa Angarano, Palladio's, is exactly like this: when you walk among the barchesse, under these Tuscan columns, hearing the laughter coming from the court, seeing the carts loaded with those grapes on the verge of bursting waiting for nothing other than to be pressed, or eaten.
When, above the main body of the villa, of a sparkling baroque like the joyful Vespaiolo done here - among these few hectares, you glimpse the wooded mountain, or turning south the perspective of the sun-kissed vineyards opens up.
When you go to the ancient barrique cellar, Countess Giovanna offers you a glass of their Torcolato, describing it with the grace we said above.
Here, here at Villa Angarano, you can still enjoy that simplicity that Palladio pursued and created almost religiously all his life.
What is elegance if not graceful simplicity?
What does harmony mean? Let's go further: a place where you can breathe harmony, where you can live it, can only be a place where you feel good, first and foremost. Passing the seconds, then the minutes, then for some the hours, for a few days, for a very few years, here you can live in harmony.
The Grape Festival, that of San Eusebio, somehow celebrates all this, opening this magical place to all those who live around here, to those people who live and work this land together with the nobles, or rather with the noblewomen! who have looked after it for centuries (for four centuries the line of succession has been female!), but also to foreigners: to those who, from further afield, have learned of this both normal and special event and, intrigued, decide to stop by.
You will find music, dancing, activities for all ages, art, the inevitable spit, as well as obviously wine and games. Like the ancient Roman game of Pissotta, ancestor of Tombola, or the pressing competition inside the large vats from which the Mosto Fiore (the sweet juice) came out to make wine...
Dancing here, right at this moment, Beauty and Joy, Wine and Friendship, Architecture and Nature, Harmony and Concord.