The territory of the Colli Bolognesi has always been coveted by the Bolognese nobles as a place of residence or vacation.
Where to develop palaces, gardens and land estates.
Palazzo Albergati in Zola Predosa is a grandiose country house belonging to the Bolognese family of the same name, originally from Zola, who was one of the most illustrious and representative of Bologna between the 16th and 17th centuries.
The construction was started by Girolamo Albergati, senator and ambassador from Bologna in Rome, in 1659; works that lasted for thirty years, defining the structure that can still be admired today.
Outside, the garden constitutes the extension of the geometrically delineated spaces of the cultivated countryside and testifies to the double function of the building: a holiday resort and the administration center of the landed property.
The essentiality and compactness of the exterior, reminiscent of military architecture, make the interiors of the Villa even more amazing, by contrast, with its frescoed walls and its bold architectural oddities. For example, the stairs have different shapes and the most spectacular and characteristic is the noble staircase, consisting of 3 helical ramps.
The prodigious hall of honor is also beautiful and amazing: over 30m high, it occupies 250 square meters, is surrounded by a double order of loggias and can be reached from all apartments and terraces.
In the 18th century Francesco Albergati used it as a theater for his own performances, by Voltaire and Goldoni (who was a guest in the Villa and wrote 5 comedies on purpose).
The Villa was visited by many illustrious guests: writers, such as Goldoni and Alfieri, politicians, such as James III of England, and historians, such as Giacomo Casanova.
Palazzo Albergati opens its magnificent rooms for initiatives such as Autumn and Spring Brunches (all Autumn and Spring Sundays) and Summer Thursdays (Thursdays in July and August) or for other cultural events and events . It is also possible to organize private and corporate events.
For further information on the events, you can also consult the website: www.albergati.com
Palazzo Bentivoglio Pepoli (also known only as Palazzo Pepoli), in Zola Predosa, was built at the beginning of the sixteenth century by Alessandro Bentivoglio, later it passed to the Marescotti and finally to the Pepoli. It was the Countess Marina Grimani Pepoli to promote a significant restructuring between 1778 and 1806, entrusted to Angelo Venturoli, who gave the Palace its current appearance.
Maintaining its complexity of Renaissance architecture, legible in the double loggia of the north facade, and adding characters of neoclassical architecture among which it stands out
the neo-Palladian tympanum decorated with two winged victories supporting the family shield surmounted by an eagle. Inside there are precious painted wooden ceilings, decorations and friezes.
Outside, the garden preserves the pools for water games, with fish ponds and fountains, which characterized it in antiquity. The courtyard garden was to be welded to the large and more ancient "noble stable" (with stable and barn) on two floors, divided into three large naves with cross vaults.
Currently the Palace is privately owned.
It can be visited on some occasions through the guided tours organized by the Association of Historic Villas in Bologna: www.villebolognesi.it
Villa Edvige Garagnani stands where originally the agricultural property called "delle Donzelle" was located, adjacent to the estates and the Palazzo degli Albergati and belonging to the Olivetan monks.
Following the establishment of Napoleonic power, the estate passed to several owners until 1908 when the nobleman Paolo Baldi Randi bought it because it was the dowry for his daughter Edvige, wife of Ferdinando Garagnani. The villa belonged to the Garagnani family until 1971 when it was purchased by the Municipality of Zola Predosa .
The Villa was known as the "Villa of the Mayors" because of the public offices held by Ferdinando Garagnani (and by a previous owner).
The passing loggia, the most significant element of the Villa, offers the visitor frescoes with trompe l'oeil motifs (to deceive the eye) and wooded landscape scenes, enriched with exotic details such as lion skins and pairs of sphinxes.
Of the external garden there are some trees of considerable size such as the majestic Cedrus deodara in front of the villa.
The Villa was restored in 2003 and since June 2005 it houses the IAT Colli Bolognesi Tourist Information and Reception Office. Since 2010 the Villa is also home to the "Ville Bolognesi" study center.
Today, thanks to its elegant and versatile spaces, Villa Edvige Garagnani can host weddings and private events in addition to the cultural events that are organized there during the year.
For more information, visit the Villa's website: www.villagaragnani.it
Villa Balzani is a sober nineteenth-century villa derived from the transformation of a rural building, it owes its current aspect to the transformation desired by Andrea Balzani in 1860.
In 1797 an oratory was annexed to the house which opens every three years on the occasion of the feast of the Holy Trinity.
The park surrounding the villa retains some hundred-year-old trees, among which stands out a beautiful specimen of Taxus baccata and a singular oak forest of all origins.
The Balzani family continues with great commitment to take care of the park, which has been enriched in recent decades with one of the richest collection of roses in Italy.
Villa Balzani opens its doors annually on the occasion of initiatives organized by the Municipality of Zola Predosa , especially in May to admire the beauty of the roses in its garden.
The palace is included in a farm and is surrounded by a romantic park.
Palazzo Stella , in Crespellano , owes its name to Count Stella who purchased it in the 1700s as it is an original building from the 1500s.
In the park there are also several structures such as a chapel, a stable and an icehouse. The villa externally has an elegant porch, while inside the rooms develop laterally than two passing loggias.
Both the loggias and the various rooms have painted ceilings. Among the illustrious guests of the villa, mention should be made of Princess Carlotta Bonaparte, Napoleon's grandson.
Today Palazzo Stella hosts private events, weddings and cultural events.
For more information, you can visit the website: www.palazzostella.org
Palace of Cuzzano
Already home to a Roman fund (Fundus Acutianus), starting from the 11th century Ponzano hosted the Cuzzano castle, a family of feudal lords serving the Countess Matilde of Canossa.
In 1360 the castle fell victim to a fire.
In 1522 the new building was already built, which incorporated the remains of the burnt castle including the main tower, still visible today, accompanied externally by a spiral staircase in terracotta.
Over time the palace changes several owners and takes on its current appearance with further additions made in the eighteenth-nineteenth century: such as the altana of the tower, the courtyard with portico and a fake oratory in symmetry with the real one.
The latter, perhaps from the sixteenth century, is dedicated to the Holy Cross and replaced an early medieval church dedicated to San Niccolò, the patron saint of the Cuzzano.
The body of a building that stands isolated at the north end of the courtyard retains a large medieval nucleus with vestibule together with two stables added between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
The Palace hosts cultural and private events.
for more information, visit the website: www.palazzodicuzzano.com