The Villa di Piazzano is classified as an historical residence (Residenza d'Epoca). It was built in the early 1500s by Cardinal Silvio Passerini, a protegè of the Medici Family, to serve as his hunting manor. There is evidence, however, of an earlier building on the site dating back to 1464. At one time the property extended for 360 hectares up to the top of the hills which separate Piazzano from Lake Trasimeno. Today hunting of wild board, pheasant and other animals still takes place in the surrounding hills during the hunting season.
The hills, which now serve as a beautiful backdrop to the Villa di Piazzano, and where Cardinal Passerini and his entourage once hunted the elusive wild board, are also of historical importance. It was in these same hills that, many centuries earlier, the Carthaginian general, Hannibal, defeated the Roman army in the bloody Battle of Trasimeno. In fact, the Cartahginians ambushed the Roman army at a place now known as Sanguineto (bloodshed) and it is thought that the Roman army had set up its campsite in Piazzano which was its "piazza d'armi". Today Sanguineto is a tourist site and many events of the battle are recorded along a well marked route.
After the mysterious death of Cardinal Passerini in 1529, the Villa remained property of the Passerini family and later became a convent. The bell tower of the old convent is still visible on the roof and the bell itself carries the coat of arms of the Medici's.
For a period during Warld War II, the Villa di Piazzano served as the local headquarters of the Germany army. Upon leaving the Villa, the German soldiers punctured the wine casks in the cellar in an attempt to prevent the good wine from fallling into the hands of the approaching allied forces. When the owners returned they invited the local farmers and their families to come with their buckets and remove the wine. The response was overwhelming and today there are a number of elderly gentlement in the neighbourhood who have happy memories of that day.
When we came across the Villa di Piazzano in 1998, it had been abandoned for a number of years but was not beyond the point of no return. To restore the Villa to its former elegance, while at the same time installing up-to-date plumbing and electrical systems was not an easy task, but we are convinced that it was well worth it.
We sincerely hope that you decide to come and experience in person the magical atmosphere which this ancient building exudes.
The Wimpole Family