The Villa Bassi Rathgeb Museum was inaugurated in December 2018, as the new civic museum of Abano Terme.
It is housed in the sixteenth-century villa built between 1566 and 1576 for the doctor Giovanni Antonio Secco, originally from Crema.
Like in the typical “villa veneta”, the main hall, also known as “piano nobile”, is decorated with frescoes illustrating mythological and religious scenes which celebrate the triumph of conjugal love and the superiority of art, music and knowledge. This is clearly visibile also in the beautiful loggia, where the main entrance to the villa was originally situated.
After several changes of ownership, the villa was purchased by the City Council of Abano Terme in 1979, in order to house the valuable art collection which had recently been donated by the illustrious collector Roberto Bassi Rathgeb, originally from Bergamo. Thus the villa was named after him and in 1995 the restoration of its building and interior decorations started.
The rich collection of Bassi Rathgeb was assembled accordingly to the encyclopedic taste of the XIX century; it includes 450 objects, among paintings, drawings, etchings and engravings, illuminations, sculptures, furniture, arms and armours, and antiquities.
The Villa Bassi Rathgeb Museum is a site for cultural exchange and civic dialogue; it is open to local citizens and tourists, who can benefit from its many activities: temporary exhibitions, workshops, guided tours, public lectures, and concerts.