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The Emo family between the XVIII and XIX century

The intricate story of the Emo family, which is forever bound together with the land in Fanzolo and the Palladian villa, seems over the centuries to have become increasingly more rarefied and is to date still the object of study and research. It is worth mentioning Captain Angelo Emo (1731-1792), who was the last navy captain of the Serenissima Repubblica and is considered to be one of the greatest admirals in the history of the Italian navy. The political involvement of the family follows the history of the Serenissima till its end in 1797, brought about by the French. Following the Napoleonic upheaval, in 1819, the House was awarded the title of counts of the Empire by the Emperor of Austria Francesco I. The presence of the Emos in Venice, however, had finished a few years earlier. In 1783 Leonardo Emo, son of Giorgio, married Beatrice Capodilista, the last descendant of the noble Paduan family and when his father-in-law Giordano Capodilista died in 1810, he inherited his wealth. The Emos moved then to Padua, to the Capodilista’s palace, and a few years later, after the death of Beatrice in 1871, they added her House surname to their own. At the same time they also inherited Villa Capodilista at Selvazzano Dentro, which was built in the 1500s like Villa Emo and it too was a little gem in the Venetian villa culture. The move to Padua of the family is further marked at the end of the 1800s, in particular starting from 1891, when a new branch of the family was founded: the Emo-Capodilista-Maldura. Count Angelo Emo, son of Giovanni Emo and Maria De Orestis, added the surname Maldura to his own because he was the great-nephew of the canon Andrea Maldura from Padua, brother of his grandmother, Lucia Maldura, who was Giordano Emo’s wife. Andrea Maldura, to avoid the extinction of the family name, due to the absence of male heirs, in 1887 had appointed Angelo as sole heir on condition that he would add the surname Maldura to his own. From the XIX century, therefore, the Emos also started to inhabit the palace that had belonged to this House, that was built between 1760 and 1788 and was situated in Padua, in the Parish of San Daniele near San Giacomo. This branch of the family also inherited the villa in Selvazzano Dentro which is today the site of a renowned agricultural company.

Worth mentioning are also discendants like Giorgio Emo Capodilista, who at the head of the Cavalry Brigade Genova and Novara led the charge against the Austro-Hungarians in the glorious defence of Pozzuolo del Friuli which represented the beginning of the comeback during the First World War. His son Alvise, a navy officer in the Second World War, was sent to Portugal on a secret mission by the Princess of Pedimont, to ask the allies for conditional surrender. His son Umberto Giovanni, godson of King Umberto of Savoy, was senator of the Republic and President of the Veneto and European farmers.

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