Giuseppe Jappelli was an Italian engineer, architect and landscape architect. He was among the greatest exponents of the neoclassical style in the Veneto and was particularly known as a designer of romantic gardens. He was the last of nine children of Domenico Jappelli, a Bolognese named in Venice as the secretary of the Order of Malta priory.
His artistic training was perhaps the initiative of his cousin Luigi Jappelli, painter and decorator active in the Veneto region and later in Spain. In 1798, his father died and followed by his uncle Filippo, a powerful ecclesiastical, he enrolled at the Accademia Clementina (now Academy of Fine Arts) in Bologna where he attended courses in architecture and figure, demonstrating considerable skills in the field of scenography. Back in Venice, he frequented the cartographer Giovanni Valle and from 1803, who became a land surveyor, took care of the construction of some works to regulate the waters of the Piave together with the hydraulic and technical expert of the fortifications Paolo Artico.
In 1807 he entered the Corps of Engineers of the waters and roads of the French Department of the Brenta and the Upper Po. In 1809 he joined the Napoleonic army following Eugenio di Beauharnais, leaving four years later with the rank of captain.
After the defeat of Napoleon and the fall of the Italic Kingdom, Jappelli stopped in Lombardy where he dedicated himself to the English restructuring of the garden of Villa Sommi Picenardi near Cremona. His reputation as a landscape architect is based on the originality of this work.
In 1815 he returned to Padua, where he designed a sumptuous setting in Palazzo della Ragione on the occasion of the visit to the city of Emperor Francis I of Austria. Subsequently he designed and realized important transformations of parks and gardens around Padua.
In 1817 he was appointed provincial engineer and received important public offices, including that for the design of prisons, a new university building that was to be located between the basilicas of the Saint and Santa Giustina with a grandiose façade on Prato della Valle, of the Major Cemetery and of the public slaughterhouse that, according to the hygienic rules dictated by the new Napoleonic code, had to be located outside the inhabited area.
Jappelli's challenge, adhering to Freemasonry since 1806 and a staunch supporter of the Enlightenment ideals, was to design not isolated interventions, but rather to integrate them into a dimension tending to redesign the urban space as a single set of activities, housing and of services, but the inertia of the bureaucratic apparatus, in which the ruling class of the decayed Serenissima Republic was perched and the conservatism of the political world, hostile to any form of renewal, made sure that all the projects, except that of the municipal slaughterhouse, stay on the paper.
The slaughterhouse, until the beginning of the nineteenth century located in the city center, in the area known as the "Beccherie" (today via Cesare Battisti), was taken to via Morgagni where Jappelli designed and built a new building characterized by a neoclassical facade with eight columns in Doric style, which recalls the facade of the Parthenon. This site ceased to operate in 1909 and from the following year it housed the headquarters of the "Pietro Selvatico" Art Institute, its most important student.
The Caffè Pedrocchi of Padua, the best known work by Jappelli.
In 1826, Giuseppe Jappelli received from Antonio Pedrocchi the task for the realization of the Caffè Pedrocchi. The ground floor was completed in 1831 but the works continued until 1842, when the main floor of the building was inaugurated.
Meanwhile Jappelli had the opportunity to make some trips to England and France, a fundamental experience for the acquisition of ideas and ideas from Gothic architecture. In Padua, in addition to the projects already mentioned, he devoted himself to the design of the Pacchierotti garden (between the Botanical Garden and the Prato della Valle), the Giacomini garden (in Via del Santo) and the garden of Palazzo Treves de 'Bonfili, now owned of the Municipality and open to the public (entrance from via Bartolomeo d'Alviano). An example of an English garden, after the serious damage suffered, it was restored in the nineties and extends over 9600 m².
Outside Padua, the emerging bourgeois class used him for the design of prestigious residences, among which we mention Ca 'Minotto in Rosà, Villa Gera in Conegliano and Villa de Manzoni in the Patt di Sedico. In 1838 he also created the English garden of the Villa Soranzo Conestabile di Scorzè and extended the south wing of the villa. It was also called, around 1840, by Prince Alessandro Torlonia for the arrangement of the greenery in the southern area of Villa Torlonia in Rome.
Recent works by Jappelli include the restructuring of the Teatro Nuovo (now Teatro Verdi) in Padua and the ambitious design (not completed) of a commercial port in Venice, to be realized on the model of the London docks that the architect he had had the opportunity to visit a few years before.