Mission and history

The Alberto Peruzzo Foundation is a non-profit institution established in 2015 on the initiative of entrepreneur Alberto Peruzzo. While its primary objective is to promote contemporary art, it also places special emphasis on preserving and enriching the region’s rich artistic and historical heritage. The Foundation pursues these objectives through numerous initiatives, including temporary exhibitions, publishing projects, collaborations and connections with the local community, as well as cultural and social projects.

In 2011, the Peruzzo Group, in collaboration with Louis Vuitton, funded the architectural restoration of the Venice Pavilion at the Giardini della Biennale. The restoration of such a significant venue was a tangible manifestation of President Alberto Peruzzo’s dedication and interest in the world of culture, laying the groundwork for the establishment of the Alberto Peruzzo Foundation.

The Foundation’s operational headquarters are located in Padua, specifically in the Nuova Sant’Agnese. Since its establishment, the Foundation has also extended its activities outside the local area, engaging with international contexts. 

The projects supported by the Foundation cover a wide range of areas, from the preservation of historical heritage, as exemplified by the restoration of the former church of Sant’Agnese in Padua, to the promotion of artistic heritage, such as the exhibition Guernica. Icona di Pace at Palazzo Camerini in Padua in autumn 2018. Additionally, the Foundation is committed to promoting contemporary artists, including Alberto Biasi, with the exhibition Alberto Biasi. Tra realtà e immaginazione in Venice for the Biennale Arte 2019, and Quayola, with Seconda Natura at the Botanical Garden of Padua in winter 2019.


Alberto Peruzzo, driven by a passion for modern and contemporary art, began collecting art in the late 1980s. 

To date, the collection comprises over one hundred and fifty works of art spanning from the early 20th century to the present day. The collection includes works by Balla, Sironi, De Pisis, Picasso, Dubuffet, Chagall, Léger, Casorati, Riopelle, Albers, Ernst, Mirò, Manzoni, Fontana, Vedova, De Chirico, Crippa, Carrà, Sutherland, Turcato, Christo, Wesselmann, Tàpies, Jenkins, Afro, Schifano, Schnabel, Plessi, Dine, Francis, Appel, Jenkins, Biasi, Music, Arman, Murakami, Valdes, Mitoraj, Paladino, Mastrovito, Hassan, and Pegoraro.

These works are displayed in rotation in the exhibition spaces of the Nuova Sant’Agnese.

1/7 Emilio Vedova, Senza titolo, 1960, painting and collage on paper
2/7 Giulio Turcato, Superficie lunare, late 1960s, mixed technique
3/7 Jean-Paul Riopelle, Avent, 1958, oil on canvas
4/7 Tom Wesselmann, Study for Barbara and baby, 1979, oil on canvas
5/7 Roberto Crippa, Senza titolo, dettaglio, 1962, mixed technique
6/7 Alberto Biasi, Va dove ti porta l’occhio, detail, 1991, pvc on board
7/7 Antoni Tàpies, Manta Roya, dettaglio, 1974, oil on canvas

Nuova Sant'Agnese

The cultural space of the Fondazione Alberto Peruzzo is based in the Church of Sant’Agnese, an ancient 13th-century building in Padua. The restoration of the former church, completed in 2023, aims to create a unique space, one that can serve as a reference point for the city of Padua and the community. 

Through events and activities, Sant’Agnese positions itself as a cultural hub, fostering synergies and interconnections for the appreciation and dissemination of art and cultural heritage.

The Nave is now a space dedicated to temporary exhibitions, while the Sacristy houses a selection of the Foundation’s permanent collection. In the Hypogeum on the lower floor, there is a permanent historical area featuring artifacts discovered during restoration, including significant fragments of 14th-century frescoes and two tomb slabs. 

The Foundation Terrace, located above the Sacristy, offers an exclusive panoramic view of the historic centre, along with a unique perspective on the 15th-century bell tower and Kounellis’ work. The Terrace is an ideal venue for exhibiting sculptures and hosting events.


The Foundation’s future Bookshop will be located in Palazzetto Dante, a restored building adjacent to Sant’Agnese, constructed between the 14th and 18th centuries. This project was born from Alberto Peruzzo’s dual passion for art and printing. 

Once open to the public, the Bookshop will offer a wide selection of publications related to the art world, alongside volumes published by the Foundation itself.


The Church of Sant’Agnese is located in the historical centre of Padua, in the Ponte Molino area. It is a medieval building, with the earliest documented evidence dating back to 1202. For centuries, Ponte Molino was one of the city’s central quarters, particularly during medieval times when it was a vital trade hub associated with milling activities. The presence of millers, who had a less than favourable social reputation, and the area’s identification as a former place of prostitution led to the church being dedicated to Saint Agnes, a symbol of purity. 

The mediaeval structure underwent various modifications over four centuries, with the most significant decorative enhancements occurring around the turn of the 17th and 18th centuries. 

During World War II, a bombing partially destroyed the rectory, leading to its reconstruction from scratch. In 1949, Sant’Agnese was deconsecrated and sold to private individuals who converted it into a garage, a state it remained in until the 1980s. With the closure of the business, the church fell into a state of disrepair until restoration work by the Foundation commenced in 2015.


The restoration, which took place from 2015 to 2023, aimed to bring the former church back to life while preserving the signs of time it displayed, especially the portal on the main facade. The portal represents an important work of craftsmanship, featuring a statue of Saint Agnes and carved jambs dating back to the late 15th century, attributed to Giovanni Maria Mosca. During the restoration excavations, important discoveries were made in the Church’s subsoil, including tombs from the 13th and 15th centuries, in two different stratifications, as well as fragments of frescoes presumably from the 14th century, showing influence from Giotto. These fragments are still being studied by the local heritage protection authority. Additionally, traces of a road dating back to Roman times were found during excavation work, which is now part of the archaeological exhibition. Last but not least, the restoration encompassed the 15th-century bell tower, characterised by its distinctive conical spire made of bricks.

Inside Sant’Agnese, 1950

Palazzo Rusconi, Sacerdoti – Lanza

Palazzo Rusconi stands as one of the most significant examples of the 19th-century transformation of Padua’s historic centre. The palace is the result of a rebuilding project carried out between 1811 and 1838, attributed to the design of architect Giuseppe Jappelli. This project followed the demolition of an earlier medieval core, which partially included the former Church of Sant’Agnese.

The palace is comprised of three main sections: the first, with a monumental facade, facing Via Dante; the second, situated orthogonally along the east-west axis of the inner courtyard, featuring two western appendages; and the third, added to serve the palace at a later stage.

A product of the bourgeois spirit of its time, the building showcases a spacious central hall and a series of oval frescoed rooms. Among the most notable frescoes are The Wedding of Bacchus and The Triumph of Bacchus, painted by Giovanni De Min between 1821 and 1824.

Paolo Monti, Palazzo Rusconi, Sacerdoti – Lanza, ca. 1970 – ca. 1982