Villa Tiepolo Passi has been owned by the Counts Passi de Preposulo since the 1800s. But who is this family and who are the Tiepolo who gave their name to the house?
The Tiepolo were originally from Rome but sought shelter in the Venetian Lagoon following the great Barbarian invasions. They became part of the “Dodese”, the twelve families also known as the “Apostles” who elected the first Doge of Venice in AD 697.
It was Ermolao Tiepolo, the Procurator of St Mark and senator of the Republic, who completed the construction of the Villa in the first half of the 17th century in the style of Vincenzo Scamozzi, a student of Andrea Palladio, in a place where the Tiepolo family had been doing business since the early 1500s. His son, Giandomenico, then decorated the palace with his trompe-l’œil frescoes.
The de Preposulo family is originally from Bergamo and can be traced back from AD 973. The “Passi” nickname dates from 1307 when Ottopasso de Prepsoulo brokered the peace between the Guelphs and Ghibellines in the Bergamo area.
Since then, members of the family have been known as “quelli de la pas” in old Italian, or “the peaceful ones”, with “pas” becoming “passi” over time. The family inherited the property from the Tiepolo in the early 1800s and, at the end of the century, Count Enrico Matteo moved in permanently. The ancestors of the Passi include saints, notable bishops, generals, scientists and politicians who were directly involved in great events in the country’s history.
For the last 20 years, the family has been working on a fascinating project to protect and promote the wealth of art, architecture, landscape and civilization-related heritage which the Villa holds.