photograph and copyright manfredi bellati
Carbonera; Private Sunday lunch at Villa Tiepolo Passi. Near Treviso, just north of Venice is the VillaTiepolo Passi whose nucleus dates from the beginning of the 16th century. In the 19th century the villa became property of the Conti Passi de Preposulo who continue to live in this historic residence. The villa remains a place of rare beauty and today functions as the headquarters of an agricultural estate, an important destination for cultural tourism, as well as the setting for exclusive events. With its architecture and art, it allows the visitor to experience the hospitality of another era, the authentic flavors of a cuisine based on age-old family recipes, and the magical atmosphere of its buildings and gardens. Guided tours are held each Sunday at 11 am at the end of which there is a tasting of jams and preserves produced on the agricultural estate of Villa Passi. “Our goal is to explain the historical situation in Venice from the 16th century onwards and how it led to the construction of thousands of Venetian Villas. Additionally, here at the villa, we demonstrate how the “Civiltà di Villa”, the unique way of life in Venetian villas, still exists in our customs, work, food, and pastimes…” Count Alberto Passi di Preposulo, who is also the president of the Ville Venete association, explains.
Conte Alberto and Contessa Barbara Passi di Preposulo
Sunday lunch at Villa Tiepolo Passi. Products for sale produced on the estate include preserves and jams made with quince which are the specialty of Villa Tiepolo Passi. The quinces used in the various products come from the brolo (ancient vegetable garden of Ville Venete) where they are grown using completely natural methods.
Sunday lunch at Villa Tiepolo Passi. Besides the quince cotognata, preserves, candied fruits; piquant, sweets and Mostarda Veneta are prepared using an ancient Venetian process which dates back to 1300s.
Sunday lunch at Villa Tiepolo Passi – aperititvo # 1. Before lunch the Villa Tiepolo Passi Prosecco was served in the carriage house. The Prosecco grapes are grown on the vineyard of the estate, which stretches beyond the wrought iron gates, which separate the informal rear courtyard and the countryside.
Sunday lunch at Villa Tiepolo Passi – aperititvo # 2. Elegant starched white uniforms are handed down through the decades. The epaulettes boast the family colors.
Sunday lunch at Villa Tiepolo Passi – aperititvo # 3. As if on the set of a period movie, the maid is also, comme il faut, smart in her frilly starched white apron and gloves.
Sunday lunch at Villa Tiepolo Passi – aperititvo # 4. Simple bites of bread and salami are garnished with sliced gerkins, also served, Bacala mantecato, a savory spread of whipped salt cod.
Sunday lunch at Villa Tiepolo Passi. The table was set for twenty-five, with an ivy printed green and white tablecloth, in the magnificently restored stables with a vaulted ceiling adjacent to the coach house. Built in 1600, the buildings continue to reflect the refined efficiency of an era in which beauty and function went hand in hand.
Sunday lunch at Villa Tiepolo Passi. An autumn composition of Hydrangeas from the garden adorn the stables.
Sunday lunch at Villa Tiepolo Passi – first course. Contessa Barbara always favors local recipes, some of which have been handed down through the centuries. The first course included: Split Pea Soup with croutons, a pumpkin and rice pie and a broccoli tart.
Sunday lunch at Villa Tiepolo Passi – second course. Radicchio di Treviso, which is a typical lettuce from the region and resembles Belgian endive sits next to Baccala alla Vincentina a native dish from Vicenza made from dried unsalted cod and served with white, soft steaming polenta. On another table, spare ribs, mushrooms, cabbage and polenta were offered.
Sunday lunch at Villa Tiepolo Passi – puddings. Budino al Cioccolato or chocolate pudding, Budino Dipolmatico, homemade Langue du Chat biscuits and Chestnut Mousse.
Sunday lunch at Villa Tiepolo Passi – cheeses and jams. The Villa Tiepolo Passi also produces jams, preserves, mustards, and candied fruit grown in the brolo, the villa's vegetable garden, which are delicious eaten with cheese. The centuries-old ortus conclusus, the walled in orchard has been enriched with the introduction of over six hundred organic varieties, including apricot, cherry, prune, plum, pear, apple, and quince trees. The variety of trees ensures a constant supply of fruit from May to October for the villa’s kitchens.