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Villa del Colle del Cardinale


Villa del Colle del Cardinale is the most well known of the Umbrian Villas. Named after its first owner, a Cardinal, it stands imposingly on the hill dominating the narrow valley of the Caina riverbank, at the foot of the western side of Mount Tezio, near Perugia. The complex dominates the countryside from the heights of a terracing and occupies the entire Hill of the Cardinal, which is quite probably of archaeological importance. Rich in water and secret aqueducts, it towers over the valley that led towards the roads to the sea and the land ruled by the Vitelli and the Montefeltro. The Cardinal Fulvio Della Corgna, commissioned the work of construction of this edifice that was probably designed around 1557, as a magnificent Summer Residence responding to the Renaissance concept of a “place of delight”. Probably, the Cardinal personally requested the architect Galeazzo Alessi, who was the favorite designer of the powerful family. The nephew of the Cardinal, Diomede Della Penna, adopted by him, inherited the residence before the extinction of the family, and before the villa was sold in 1644 to the Oddi, at the time already Oddi-Baglioni, who transformed it—in the second half of the 19th century—into an important literary saloon that would remain as such with the successive families of the Cesaroni and the Parodi. The palace appears as a compact block with a rectangular floor plan set on a terracing. It also has a basement with large rooms that are crossed by the gallery for the access of coaches. The importance of the main façade is underlined by the arched and rusticated Entrance Portal, with a flight of steps leading to it, and the balcony of the Salon d’Honneur that opens above it, where there is a large window that is higher and more inwardly set than the others. Inside, the Villa has a magnificent Grand Staircase, a central Salon d’Honneur with a richly adorned coffered wooden ceiling and richly decorated walls. The frescoes of the Villa were executed by Salvio Savini, in 1581, the favorite painter of the Della Corgna. Further decorations are of Leopardi and Labruzzi. The complex has several annexes, such as the Warden and the Gardener House, the Lemon-house, the Greenhouse for Orchids and four Hunting Lodges. The burgh, once a service area for the Villa, stands at the far southern end of the complex. The green area is organized around the access drive going up the hill. The 16th century setting underwent significant transformations in the 17th and the 18th century and so the visual impact is Baroque. On the left of the Villa there is the Winter Garden, which is set on three levels and connected by a flight of stairs, while on the right there is the English Garden, modified in the second half of the 19th century—main entrance, the large square with the Erin fountain and the lake with its islands—and enriched with new plants.

The Villa has been the property of the Ministero dei Beni Culturali since 1996, and together with the Lemon-house is used as the venue for Congresses and Events.



strada per S. Antonio, 1
06133 Perugia


Saturday, Sunday and holidays 11.00 and 15.00 guided tour on request reservation at +39 331 6533634

Situazione Emergenziale Aperture :

Aperture Attive

Ph: +39 075 5759645
Closure: Monday-Friday
Full: Villa and Park: 4.00 €; Park: 2.00 €
Reduced: 2,00 €