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HOW TO REACH VILLORBA
To reach the town of Villorba, take the "Pontebbana" highway (Route 13), the "Postumia" highway (Route 102), or the A27 toll road and exit at North Treviso.
The important Venice-Udine railway line stops in nearby Lancenigo station.
A thick network of public buses also runs between Villorba and its outlying villages (Carità and Fontane) and nearby Treviso.
Villorba is situated on the Venetian plains not far from Treviso.
The municipal territory is characterized by the presence of many springs of water and streams from underground water sources.
This has led to the building of numerous mills in the area over the centuries, many of which were constructed in the "Fontane Bianche" area. It is thought that Villorba was inhabited very early in time. There are records of a Roman settlement here that was subject to the town of Treviso.
After the fall of the Roman Empire, the area was invaded by various barbarian tribes, including the Ostrogoths and the Lombards, until the Franks took over in the eighth century A.D. After the Lombardic period, Villorba was ruled by bishops and several members of the Treviso nobility, until the twelfth century. During the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, the Da Romano, the Da Camino, the Della Scala, and the Carrara families governed the area.
At the end of this period, Venice took over and ruled until the occupation by Napoleon's troops.
The Venetian nobility, attracted by the natural beauty of the place, built many summer homes in this area. The town of Villorba took on its current layout during the restoration period after the battles between the French and the Austrians during the nineteenth centuries.
The municipality of Villorba was set up in 1816, uniting the villages of Villorba, Lancenigo, Castrette, Limbraga, Fontane, and Piovenzan.
Villorba was annexed to the Kingdom of Italy in 1866.
A TOUR OF A TOWN
The numerous shrines left from the time of the Roman Empire are characteristic of this area.
The gods to which these ancient people prayed for protection were later Christianized.
The Casal Vecchio shrine is located at an important crossroads.
It has been attributed to the sixteenth century, but most certainly existed long before then.
This is a sixteenth-century home with a valuable fresco depicting the Madonna with the Christ Child.
It has a façade with five arches.
"FONTANE BIANCHE" ("White Fountains")
Located in the village of Lancenigo a few miles northeast of Treviso, this is an area of about 70 hectares.
The waters from these natural springs feed into the upper part of the Melma River, one of the tributaries to the Sile River.
The temperature of the spring water is a constant 10-12°C. year round, and helps to maintain cool atmospheric temperatures in the area in the summer, and to avoid freezing in the winter.
This home in the village of Lancenigo was built in the fifteenth century and bought by the Foscolo family in the nineteenth century.
It belonged to the Fathers of St. Nicholas of Treviso during the sixteenth century.
VILLA GREGORY, PIOVESANO CASTLE, AND ST. ALBERT'S CHURCH in Lancenigo
Near the Melma River stands Villa Gregory. It was built on the land where the Piovesano Castle once stood, and has a traditional façade decorated with majolica tiles. There was once an old chapel dedicated to St. Albert across from the villa. It had been built in the eleventh century and had a single nave with a rose window on the façade.
VILLA PEROCCO-SAN SISTO
This old residence was purchased by Marco Michiel at the beginning of the eighteenth century. He renovated and expanded it. Roman tombs and the remains of a Roman home have been found near the villa.
VILLA GOBBATO DOMENICA
Located in the village of Lancenigo, this building dates back to the early sixteenth century, at which time it was made up of a central body with a wide balcony and four side buildings.
This building was erected in the sixteenth century by the Pinadello family, in the village of Colombera. It had a dove tower to one side, from which the village eventually took its name.
This home set amidst green fields and woods belonged to the Scoti family for more than two centuries. There was also a chapel in the house in the seventeenth century. Count Persico bought the home in the latter nineteenth century.
This two-story building was erected by the Tivaroni family, bakers of Venice, in the eighteenth century. The interior is almost entirely decorated by lively frescos by Giovanni Bernardino Bison, which were damaged during the 1940's. Restoration work carried out after the war ruined the frescoes even more. Renovation completed in 1993 partially restored life to this great work, which would otherwise have been condemned to total decline.
VILLA FARSETTI FELISSENT
This seventeenth-century building was renovated in the latter eighteenth century by A. Zorzi, who built a new façade on it facing the main street.
This was built in the eighteenth century. The front has been remodeled, but the back part of the building is still in its original form. It is surrounded by unusually beautiful trees.
VILLA PASTEGA MANERA
The building was remodeled by architect Tadao Ando, and currently houses the Fabrica educational activities.
This residence was built in the mid-sixteenth century and remodeled in the nineteenth century. It has a beautiful coat of arms in Istria stone on the front, and is flanked by two nice side buildings connected to it by arches.
This eighteenth-century villa is located on the left as you drive from Carità to Lancenigo, shortly after the railroad. It is a typical Venetian building with a high pediment and the Gradenigo family coat of arms in iron.
"MARIO DEL MONACO AUDITORIUM AND GALLERY"
This structure was inaugurated on October 16, 2002 by the new municipal government, guided by Mayor Liviana Scattolon. It is located in the old deconsecrated Catena parish church, which belongs to the municipality. It is named after the great tenor Mario Del Monaco, who lived in Villorba from 1940 until his death in 1982, in a large villa in the village of Lancenigo.
The auditorium was inaugurated exactly twenty years after his death. Mario Del Monaco was born July 27, 1915 in Florence.
A BICYCLE TOUR
Our tour begins at the Fontane Church and proceeds west along the road to Ponzano.
Before the Pegorile River, we turn left into Via Silvello and soon reach the old Fontane Church.
We continue along Via Fontane to the Pontebbana Highway, where we find Villa Felissent on the left. Going right on the highway, after about 100 yards we turn into Cal di Breda street on the left.
Across from Villa Manfrin, with its splendid park, we turn right into Strada delle Acquette, then left into Strada della Madonnetta, along which we will find a little old church at the edge of the "Storga Springs" natural park.
Beyond the church we turn left into a field lane, which we follow north to Cal di Breda street.
Here we turn right and follow the road to the end, then turn left shortly after the village of Pezzan. Continuing north we reach an eighteenth-century compound, where we turn right into Via Gamanti.
After passing Villa Gregory and the spot where it looks like a fortress once stood, we reach the center of Lancenigo.
There are numerous pretty villas in this little village.
From Lancenigo, we proceed to Catena and back to our starting point in Fontane.
AN ILLUSTRIOUS CITIZEN - SIR SILVIO MARSONI
After World War II, when the people of Villorba and the surrounding areas were quite poor, before the advent of labor unions, Sir Silvio Marsoni sent sandwiches to his employees' children in the elementary school.
He supported the parochial nursery school, and provided a free cinema for his workers and their families on Saturday nights.
He set up a company cafeteria and ate there himself in order to check the quality of the food.
The cafeteria was also used for various activities after hours.
Marsoni sent his employees' children to summer camp at the seaside or in the mountains, as their health required.
He contributed to the Vascon di Carbonera professional school, and bussed his employees' children there. He organized company bus trips to the isles of Venice or to Cortina, with free lunches and all expenses paid.
He also made lots on company-owned land available for his employees to build homes on, and lent them money on extremely advantageous conditions.
Marsoni was an innovative farmer.
He was among the first to believe in automatic milking machines, and bought his first one in 1959 and the second in 1960. Marsoni is one of the few people in our land who can boast of such a vast number of works dedicated to others, while being at the same time an industrialist with world famous patents to his name.
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