The Castle of Thiene
Castello di Thiene is the most significant XVth century gothic building located in the heart of Thiene, an historical small town twenty kilometers from Vicenza.
The Castle is a private residence of the Counts Thiene who live there and who passionately preserve and exhibit the vast complex through important cultural events and tours in the designated areas. They also offer the opportunity to spend an unforgettable holiday on the grounds of their beautifully curated mansion.
The boundary wall and big doorways in the form of crenellated towers separate twelve thousand square metres of grounds from the public streets.
It is an extraordinary example of a pre-Palladio villa, the only one of its kind and a benchmark in the evolution of the Veneto villa.
The Castle associates the characteristics of a castle with those of a Venetian palazzo and in particular the casa-fondaco: residence and warehouse/trading depot. The layout of the castle at the centre of the three floors is in the shape of a T. The main body has a deep loggia, open at the front with five, big, slightly pointed arches, flanked by two towers; on the first floor there is a corresponding five-light Gothic window, a rare example outside Venice.
There are no documents allowing attribution of the design, but the obvious formal references to Venetian architecture (chimneys, capitals, trefoil windows and stone decorations) suggest Domenico da Venezia (‘engineer’ of the Venetian Republic who is documented from XNUMX to XNUMX with regard to the cathedral and Palazzo della Ragione in Vicenza). Inside, its many halls are still perfectly furnished and they include a large collection of family portraits; of great importance are the frescoes painted by G.Battista Zelotti and G. Antonio Fasolo. Antiques such as clothes, fashion accessories and every-day objects are on-show in the 'private' rooms. The equestrian paintings are rather unsual and absolutely spectacular are the stables, designed by the architect Francesco Muttoni, and which date back to the beginning of the XVIIIth century. In front of the castle there is a wide courtyard with age-old magnolias and 'barchesse' on its sides; instead on the back, there is a park which includes a 'grotto', a 'cedraia' and an irrigation-ditch. In front of the Castle’s entry tower there is the small monumental complex of the church dedicated to the Nativity of the Virgin Mary, with oratory, sacristy and chaplain’s house
The history of the Castle of Thiene
Francesco porto in 1441 inherited from his father and uncle a conspicuous land patrimony, between Thiene, Marano and Malo - where already in the 300 the Porto had bought many lands - for which the construction of this building begins towards the 1450.
Francesco Porto junior (1472-1554, grandson of the founder) commissioned works of enlargement (the raising of the granary floor), the embellishment of the garden with labyrinth, fountain and statues (of which only the memory remains in the documents), the construction of the stone staircases and the decoration of the facades (of Venetian tradition) with large horses and medallions depicting Roman emperors.
Francesco will be nominated by the doge Gritti (1532) General Collateral, charge entrusted to a person of proven faith with administrative tasks aimed at hiring troops, overseeing their quartering and providing for their payment.
Francesco is fundamental to the history of the castle: in the 1541 he draws a fidecommesso in which - having no children - he designates the firstborn male, among the lines descending from his brothers, who owns the heritage of the palace and the non-alienable property of the properties "Thiene "Obtained by inheritance.
The overall project of renaissance transformation continued by nephew Giovanni (first heir in the hierarchy) with the well of Palladio (1554) and the frescoes of the camerone (about 1570) and concluded by Giovanni Battista (Giovanni's only male) who will make the cedraia and the cave with fishpond in the garden (1580), a work of Cristoforo Sorte.
In Eighteenth century are performed on a project of Francesco Muttoni in collaboration with the famous sculpture workshop of the Marinali the stables, a splendid example of splendor and rationality.
At the end of the '700 the left wing of the portico is transformed to the ground floor where there were service rooms (kitchen, laundry, oven, etc.) connected with the "farm" where the administrative functions of the property were carried out: demolished the partition walls were made two representative rooms including one frescoed with "the fall of Fetonte"
Horace Port (1729-1816) nominates his great-grandchildren Orazio Guardino Colleoni as his heiress to reside in Vicenza and associate the surname Porto with his. Colleoni-Porto are the owners of the castle for three generations.
At an initial period of indifference, followed by a vast program of renovation of the furnishings and the transformation of the gardens: Guardino, last of the line, dies in the 1918 without children and indicates as his cousin heir Antonio Thiene.
More than five hundred years of life - transformed into transformations, adaptations, extensions and maintenance - have changed the original structure generating a stratification of functions, materials, furnishings and decorations of great interest, with a continuous evolution, still far from the be completely unveiled.
The Castle, by now symbol of the city of Thiene, is still a private building guarded with passion by the current owners Conti di Thiene who are committed to the enhancement of this vast monumental complex to make it more usable to the scholar, the visitor, or the simple curious.
location weddings and events in Veneto
Prices for events: from € 2.500 to € 3.000 + VAT
Prices for weddings: from € 2.000 to € 3.000 + VAT
Prices for visits:
Singles: € 10,00
Groups: € 8,00 if more than 20 people
Students in a group and boys 12-18 years: € 6,00
University students: € 8,00
1 family package (parents + 1 child 12-18 years): € 25,00
2 family packages (parents + 2 children 12-18 years): € 28,00
Free access for children under 12 years
The rates shown are inclusive of the guide service and the visit takes about 50 minutes
Always with our internal guide, only by telephone arrangement you can choose to visit also:
- The bedrooms: € 2,00 per person (duration: 20 ')
- The west wing and kitchen rooms: € 2,00 per person (15 'duration)
- The park and the ice-house: € 2,00 per person (20 'duration)
The events at the Castle of Thiene
In April and November, within the Castle there is an exhibition of Italian artisan excellences named "Spring time" and "Christmas time”
Places of interest nearby
Thiene is located between the provinces of Vicenza (20km), Padua (60 km), Verona (75 km), Venice (80km). Garda Lake (100 km), the spa areas like Abano (50 km)
Tourist locations nearby: Asiago, Marostica, Bassano, Asolo, Vicenza, Villa Caldogno (Caldogno), Villa Godi Malinverni (Lugo), Villa da Schio (Castelgomberto), Villa Trissino Marzotto (Trissino), Villa Valmarana ai Nani (Vicenza)