Hidden treasures

The air museum in the castle of San Pelagio

Unknown places & works

The air museum in the castle of San Pelagio

In the province of Padua stands the picturesque castle of San Pelagio, built in the fourteenth century as a military outpost of the Earls of Padua, the da Carrara family, and subsequently converted into a villa by the Zaborra family.

The central unit consists of a fourteenth-century tower and a main body with two flanking wings surrounded by a vast labyrinth garden. Its current structure is the result of renovation work carried out during the eighteenth century by the Zaborra family, who transformed it into a villa.

In 1918 it was used as the headquarters of the Air Squadron 'La Serenissima' which set off from here under the command of Gabriele D’Annunzio and flew over the capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Vienna, launching thousands of leaflets with the colours of the Italian flag and containing a provocative exhortation to surrender.

As of the 1970s the villa has been carefully renovated and redesigned to fulfil its present function as a Museum of Flight. Inaugurated in 1980 and the result of the commitment of the property and of Maria Fede Caproni, the museum traces the entire history of human flight, concentrating on D'Annunzio’s enterprise; the main part of the museum with the rooms where the poet lived between 1917-1919 are dedicated to his flight. Space is also dedicated to Leonardo, the Montgolfier and Wright brothers, Ferrarin, Lindbergh, Nobile, Balbo, Forlanini, Gagarin and Armstrong... Over 30 rooms to retrace the most extraordinary human undertaking: the flight!

If you are interested in residences of the past, in addition to Castello del Pelagio the province of Padua treasures another beautiful castle, the Castle of Catajo, which can be visited with our new interactive guided tour The mystery of the amulet.

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

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