Villa Sartorio, an elegant bourgeois villa located a short distance from the sea and surrounded by a large garden, was built in the 1700s and modified and enlarged in the neoclassical era.the owner Pietro Sartorio, who arrived in Trieste from his native Sanremo in 1775, as a merchant of grains, became part of the Triestine aristocracy, starting a thriving commercial activity, which was then successfully taken over by his sons Giovanni Guglielmo and Pietro.
The latter marries the rich and cultured Giuseppina Fontana and with her becomes the owner of this villa, which he furnishes with valuable furniture and paintings, still on display. He passed on his taste for art to his children, in particular to Giuseppe who became an attentive and competent collector, to whom we owe the rare collection of 254 drawings by Giambattista Tiepolo, one of the most important in the world.
The library, divided into three rooms, exhibits the nineteenth-century bookcases that preserve about six thousand volumes of American literature of the eighteenth-nineteenth century and classical literature, among them a rare section of eighteenth-century Masonic works. At the center of the second library you can admire the two terrestrial and celestial globes by Wilhelm Janszoon Blaeu, dated around 1600, the official cosmographer of the Dutch States General. The exhibition room preserves the Venetian terrazzo floor intact, a couple of small bookcases and a valuable inlaid 18th century chest of drawers.
The rooms are full of paintings, paintings and drawings that have as their subject views of Italian and European cities, markets and architecture of nineteenth-century Venice.
At the ancient stables of Villa Sartorio there is the plaster cast-glyptotheque of the Civic Museums of History and Art, set up in a dedicated space of 130 square meters. A rich sculptural collection: more than 500 pieces, from the late nineteenth century to today, and the oldest examples in the collection are four casts of works by Antonio Canova, made by the artist himself.
In the basement you can visit a beautiful section dedicated to ceramics, about two hundred and fifty pieces, which covers a very long period of time, from the Middle Ages to the nineteenth century. The tableware on display comes from the most important Italian manufacturers and ends with examples of English production and seventy notable examples of Trieste ceramics from the last three decades of the eighteenth century.
Villa Sartorio became a “house museum” in 1947 thanks to the bequest of Anna Segrè Sartorio. Inside the furnishings, works of art and everyday objects coexist styles: Empire as the central hall dedicated to receptions and dances and adorned with consoles and mirrors or the music room with the piano and a series of Empire furniture including an elegant dormeuse or the Bedroom of the Duke (in 1919 it hosted Emanuele Filiberto Duca D’Aosta) with a gallery of valuable 17th-18th century paintings of sacred subjects; Neorococò the pink living room furnished with furniture inlaid with floral motifs;
Biedermeier, like the dining room with the table set and, on the sideboard-plate, the precious Meissen porcelain service, a gift from the King of Saxony Frederick Augustus II; Neo-Gothic like the Gothic Hall with its uniform decoration from floor to ceiling to furniture and reflects the adherence to the fashion of the recovery of historical styles that spread in the mid-19th century.
In a particular room there is the precious Triptych of Santa Chiara, an exceptional testimony of Venetian painting of the first half of the fourteenth century, a work of art executed in tempera on wood. Panels depict on a gold background episodes from the life of Christ, the death of Santa Chiara and the stigmata of San Francesco. With the triptych closed, St. Christopher is depicted on the left wing, and St. Sergius on the right, with the Trieste halberd in his hand.
The park was built in 1807 by Pietro Sartorio who made the area look like a Venetian garden with a portal, a monumental staircase, some statues and a gloriette that was used as a pavilion for music. The statues that adorn the garden today represent one of the very few examples of early eighteenth-century outdoor sculpture in Trieste.