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Corte Grande di Pegognaga di Filippo Gonzaga Gardens, today Villa Angeli Gardens

Corte Grande di Pegognaga di Filippo Gonzaga gardens, today Villa Angeli gardens

italiano Italian version

Private property, open for booked visits


Among the best-structured garden complexes in the House of Gonzaga courts of the 18th century, we must include the Corte Grande di Pegognaga, former Corte Pusterla, today Villa Angeli. Alongside the parish church and the ‘castle’ district, it was originally a vast part of the historic Pegognaga residential estate. The court housing dates back to the 1520s, commissioned by Bernardino Pusterla, including a main garden and fishery. With the dying out of the male line of the family in 1630, the court was passed down to the Gonzaga family, who held it until the end of the 1700s, first and foremost as a splendid residence featuring various gardens and adding later, in 1766, an imposing silk spinning mill with 34 burners, in partnership with the entrepreneur Antonio Greppi.
The gardens were divided into three distinct areas. To the west of the palazzo, the giardino grande (big garden) stretched in an uneven shape with a central axis, the symmetrical orangery and tinazzara (winery) buildings and, slightly out of view, the dovecote. To the east, there are the private gardens: the giardino alto (raised garden), on an embankment level with the main floor of the palazzo, and the giardino basso (low garden). There was also an integrated icehouse, now separated from the complex. In the 14th century, the court underwent many changes in ownership until 1884, when it was bought by Andrea Angeli; his descendants are the current owners.
As well as the palazzo, completely restored after the recent earthquake, a large part of the giardino grande is still preserved tody, with vast areas of lawn and woodland and numerous ancient trees; the fishery, orangery, winery and dovecote are no longer to be found, however. Even part of the area originally devoted to the giardino alto and giardino basso, although they have been transformed, is still used as a garden, with lawns, lime trees and English oaks. The majority of the old buildings of the court and the mill have been lost.

(From  L. Valli, Il complesso dei giardini della Corte Grande di Pegognaga di Filippo Gonzaga, oggi Villa Angeli, in I giardini dei Gonzaga 2018, pp. 374-377)


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