For an opportunity to explore some fascinating Venetian villas, consider visiting Costozza, one of the most beautiful yet lesser-known villages in the province of Vicenza. Here, you can indulge in an incredible tourist experience that showcases magnificent villas, breathtaking nature, and houses carved into the rock.
Although we often associate Venetian villages and villas with other well-known destinations, few are aware of the hidden gem that lies in the province of Vicenza. Costozza, nestled in the Berici Hills, is home to the villas of the Trento family, offering visitors the chance to discover architectural and cultural treasures, as well as to relish the natural beauty and savor the local food and wine delicacies.
Venetian villas: carved into the rock!
During Roman times and the Middle Ages, Costozza played a significant role as a center for mining the valuable Vicenza stone. This activity gave rise to a unique natural phenomenon known as “covoli,” a network of caves and hollows formed in the limestone rock.
So, what do these natural formations have to do with the villas in the village? Well, in the 16th century, the Trento family, who were the noble owners of the Costozza territory, decided to construct their villas within the village, utilizing the “covoli” as a natural ventilation system. They created “ventidotti,” ducts that channeled cold air into the cellars and halls of the villas, ensuring a constant temperature of around 10–12 degrees even during the hottest summers. This ingenious idea made Costozza a popular tourist destination, even attracting visitors such as Galileo Galilei, Torquato Tasso, and Andrea Palladio, who were all fascinated by it.
However, the Trento family Venetian villas are not only renowned for this innovative technology, but also for their artistic and architectural value. Let’s explore together the architectural treasures that these magnificent mansions hold.
Vicenza Villas: Villa da Schio-Trento
The Villa Da Schio-Trento is the primary attraction in Costozza, featuring a stunning garden considered one of the most beautiful in Italy, and the Grotta del Marinali, a villa carved into the rock, providing visitors with a one-of-a-kind experience. Additionally, the villa affords the opportunity to savor local wines in the cellar of the Counts da Schio and stay in luxurious rooms.
Vicenza Villas: Villa Carli-Trento
Villa Pizzocaro, erected in 1645 by architect Antonio Pizzocaro, is one of the most notable instances of 17th-century Venetian villas. The compound of structures that comprise the villa is situated at the hill’s base, featuring a vast English-style park in front. While not easily accessible, the villa’s grandiose facade is certainly worth admiring.
Costozza to be discovered slowly, on foot or by bike
Costozza, like any typical village, has much to offer for those who prefer leisurely walks without visiting the monuments. Simply strolling through the streets and stone houses of the village is enough to soak up the peaceful and tranquil atmosphere. We recommend taking a walk-up Via Santa Tecla, a gently sloping road that leads to a vantage point overlooking the village and the surrounding plain. This walk of less than 3 kilometers is suitable for families and adults alike. Alternatively, trekking enthusiasts can follow Trail No. 4, which ascends to the top of Mount Brosimo from Villa da Schio, surrounded by lush forested areas. The trail then rejoins the final part of Via Santa Tecla, and from there you can choose to return to the village or continue the loop by following the Lumignano trails.
The village of Costozza offers an amazing and relaxing experience for those seeking culture, views, and quality food away from mass tourism. The surrounding region is full of enchanting places, including little-known but ready to be discovered Venetian villas.
| Keep reading: Explore further Wonders – Berici Hills |