The Valmarana Family
The Valmarana family is very old: the first written sources where a member of the family is mentioned as Archdeacon of Vicenza Cathedral date back to 1174, while in 1260 Bonazonta Valmarana is considered “a man much loved by the people” and Bugarando Valmarana “one of the most important figures hostile to the tyrant Ezzelino da Romano”. Around the 14th century the family divided in three branches: the Villa ai Nani was bought by the San Faustino branch to which it still belongs. The great Architect Andrea Palladio worked a lot for the Valmarana family. In 1561, thanks to their support, Palladio is awarded the rebuilding of the Basilica in Piazza dei Signori in Vicenza and 5 years later (1566) is asked by Leonardo Valmarana to plan the Palace in Corso Fogazzaro in Vicenza. The small (in size) but grand Valmarana Chapel situated in the crypt of the church of Santa Corona is also by Palladio. Giustino bought the Villa in 1720 and called the Tiepolos in 1757. His descendents mostly held public offices showing throughout their life a high sense of honour, liberality, administrative and social responsibility. Gaetano Valmarana (1803 – 1874) was Podestà and Provincial Deputy; Giustino (1849 – 1873) in his very short life was member of the City and of the Municipal Council. His son Angelo (1874 – 1915) was Councillor of the Province and of the Township of Vicenza and its enlightened Mayor: a whole book contains the condolences for his premature death.
Coming to our days, Tommaso Valmarana (1909 – 1991), owner of the Palazzina, was a notary in Vicenza, a man with social and professional responsibilities and a great sport supporter. Giustino Valmarana, owner of the Foresteria, was a Senator for the Christian Democratic Party from 1946 to 1963 and member of the European Parliament. He managed to prevent, together with the Minister Bottai, that the frescoes of the Villa would be pulled out to be sent to the Italian Embassy of Paris according to Mussolini’s wishes. His wife Amalia (1895 – 1966) devoted her professional life on issues concerning women in the post-war society and children education. She was for 12 years (1955 -1962) the President of the Catholic Association CIF (Centro Italiano Femminile). One of their sons, Paolo Valmarana (1928 – 1984), film critic and essayist, was an important manager of RAI, the Italian television.