The original structure of Villa Maria is perhaps identifiable even in a building shown on a drawing of the mid-16th century. The access to the courtyard is made up of a large gate bordered by pillars topped by statues. The courtyard consists of a set of buildings of various ages.
In 1900 it was purchased by the family Marchiori of Verona, and they used to stay here on holiday. The family Marchiori built also the porter’s lodge, located on the left of the gate, on which you can still see the intertwined initials “GM” standing for Guglielmo Marchiori.
The courtyard was renamed Villa Maria at that time, from the name of the only daughter of Guglielmo Marchiori. After her wedding with the bailiff Albino Innocenti, she went and lived permanently in Lugagnano.
In front of the villa, in the mid-30s, was placed one of the three fountains that, along with the two public wells, provided to the water needs of the family and of the livestock of the whole village.
The small church in the courtyard was built in August 1920 and was a parish church. In 1921, when the parish church of St. Anne became unusable by a thunderbolt that damaged the bell tower, funds were collected for the restoration thanks to music and theatre performances set in the park of the villa.
1929 was a year of intense activity in the fields behind the villa, in preparation for irrigation. The brothers Innocenti, the owners of the villa and the surrounding fields, brought from Pistoia some selected plants of pear and peach, which was the first fruit tree samples planted in Lugagnano.
At the entrance of the villa, there are two large tufa pillars that delimit the gate on which you can still read the initials of the original owner. The pillars are engraved with the name of the villa itself and are topped by two statues of female figures.
During the First World War, the officers of the Italian army found an accommodation at the Courtyard Innocenti. The front line was only a few dozen miles to the north, and many homes in the village were converted to housing for soldiers.
An anecdote relates that Mr Marchiori, once he saw that his poor neighbors had built a house higher than his one, decided to build the final part of the villa.
From Verona and Peschiera del Garda, along the regional road nr. 11, at the hamlet Ferlina, go towards Lugagnano.
A4 motorway “Venice-Milan”: exit “Sommacampagna”, at the roundabout turn left towards Sona/Bussolengo. After the railway underpass, at the first roundabout go towards Lugagnano.
A22 motorway “Brennero-Modena”: exit “Verona Nord”, direction “Peschiera del Garda” – regional road nr. 11. At the hamlet Ferlina, go towards Lugagnano.