The dual charms of Villa Bassi, venetian villa and museum

Nestled in the rolling green hills of Abano Terme stands Villa Bassi, an architectural gem that enchants visitors with its timeless elegance and compelling history. So, for guests wishing to explore the beauty of Venetian history and art, we recommend a visit to this enchanting residence: a unique experience that combines artistic beauty with historical richness.


The villa

Easily accessible from the Hotel Tritone, the sight of Villa Bassi is announced by tall trees that testify to its centuries-old history. Four successive owners have contributed to creating the magnificence that can be admired outside and inside its walls.

Giovanni Antonio Secco, a great expert in clinical medicine and a scholar of the curative properties of thermal waters, started construction of the first core of the manor house between 1566 and 1576. The three-arched loggia is still visible today: it is the space that can be seen just above the staircase.

Shortly after the middle of the17th century, the brothers Giovanni Antonio and Francesco of the patrician Dondi dall’Orologio family worked on the mezzanine floor, unfortunately covering the 16th-century frescoes with polychrome stucco, now removed to expose the frescoes. Visitors can admire them in the hall, and recognise scenes from the myth of Scylla, narrated by Ovid in his Metamorphoses.

Towards the end of the century, Villa Bassi changed hands again to the Camposampiero family, before passing to the Zasio family in 1843. The current owner, since the 1960s, is the municipality of Abano Terme. These were the years when the villa also became a museum: Roberto Bassi-Rathgeb, grandson of Alberto Rathgeb, a wealthy merchant of Swiss origin, arrived on the scene.


The museum

Roberto Bassi-Rathgeb, having inherited his grandfather’s art legacy, made two separate donations of works of art to the municipality of Abano Terme, which therefore decided to create the museum and name the villa after Bassi-Rathgeb. The donation in 1972 consisted of fifty works including paintings, drawings and engravings dating from the 15th to the 20th century. More recently, in 1980, another four hundred pieces including paintings, drawings, engravings, furniture and furnishings were added from the donor’s palace.

Within the walls of Villa Bassi, every brushstroke and every inlay tells a compelling story that spans the centuries. One only has to cross its threshold and allow oneself to be enchanted by the majesty of the works and objects in the Bassi-Rathgeb collection, immersing oneself completely in a visual narrative that has endured throughout time.


To visit Villa Bassi and book your next stay at the Hotel Tritone, you can write to us here or call (+39) 049 8668099