Leaders from the U.S. Army Garrison Italy and the Italian Veneto region take part in a ceremonial groundbreaking for Vicenza's Army Family Housing construction program in Vicenza, Italy, Dec. 6, 2021. Vicenza's construction program is the Army’s current largest housing investment program valued at $373 million. (U.S. Army photo by Maria Cavins)
1 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Leaders from the U.S. Army Garrison Italy and the Italian Veneto region take part in a ceremonial groundbreaking for Vicenza's Army Family Housing construction program in Vicenza, Italy, Dec. 6, 2021. Vicenza's construction program is the Army’s current largest housing investment program valued at $373 million. (U.S. Army photo by Maria Cavins) (Photo Credit: Maria Cavins) VIEW ORIGINAL
A digital rendering of the Villaggio Army Family Housing in Vicenza, Italy, Dec. 4, 2021. Vicenza's construction program is the Army’s current largest housing investment program valued at $373 million. (U.S. Army photo courtesy of USAG Italy Department of Public Works)
2 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – A digital rendering of the Villaggio Army Family Housing in Vicenza, Italy, Dec. 4, 2021. Vicenza's construction program is the Army’s current largest housing investment program valued at $373 million. (U.S. Army photo courtesy of USAG Italy Department of Public Works) (Photo Credit: Maria Cavins) VIEW ORIGINAL
U.S. Army Garrison Italy hosts a ceremonial groundbreaking for Vicenza's Army Family Housing construction program in Vicenza, Italy, Dec. 6, 2021. Vicenza's construction program is the Army’s current largest housing investment program valued at $373 million. (U.S. Army photo by Maria Cavins)
3 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Army Garrison Italy hosts a ceremonial groundbreaking for Vicenza's Army Family Housing construction program in Vicenza, Italy, Dec. 6, 2021. Vicenza's construction program is the Army’s current largest housing investment program valued at $373 million. (U.S. Army photo by Maria Cavins) (Photo Credit: Maria Cavins) VIEW ORIGINAL

VICENZA, Italy - U.S. Army Garrison Italy celebrated its Army family housing groundbreaking on Dec. 6, 2021; a moment that signifies both the previous years of planning leading up to this day, as well as the forthcoming years of construction.

To inaugurate the Army's current largest housing investment program, five leaders - representing the American and Italian militaries and the Italian government - broke ground in front of homes that will soon be demolished.

Roberto Ciambetti, president of Italy's Veneto regional council for the European Committee of the Regions, expressed hope that the new housing will represent a "home away from home".

"I hope that your village is a new Philadelphia - the city of brotherly love - a dwelling of life, freedom, and the pursuit of happiness," Ciambetti said.

Col. Matthew Gomlak, commander of USAG Italy, recently escorted Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth through Villaggio della Pace, where she saw firsthand a 1950s-era, 937 square foot townhome. New homes, to be built in the coming years will have nearly double the size at 1,600 to 1,700 square feet.

Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth visits the Army's current largest housing investment with USAREUR-AF Commander Gen. Christopher Cavoli, SETAF-AF Commander Maj. Gen. Andrew Rohling, and USAG Italy Commander Col. Matthew Gomlak in Vicenza, Italy Oct. 29, 2021. The $373 million Army Family Housing Construction venture will provide a total of 478 homes across two installations, almost doubling the current 249 homes. (U.S. Army photo by Maria Cavins)
Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth visits the Army's current largest housing investment with USAREUR-AF Commander Gen. Christopher Cavoli, SETAF-AF Commander Maj. Gen. Andrew Rohling, and USAG Italy Commander Col. Matthew Gomlak in Vicenza, Italy Oct. 29, 2021. The $373 million Army Family Housing Construction venture will provide a total of 478 homes across two installations, almost doubling the current 249 homes. (U.S. Army photo by Maria Cavins) (Photo Credit: Maria Cavins) VIEW ORIGINAL
"Quality housing for our Soldiers and their families is a priority for me. The Army designed this community to provide families larger, modern housing with new schools and community centers within walking distance for children," Wormuth said.

The $373 million Army Family Housing Construction venture will provide a total of 478 homes across Villaggio and Caserma Ederle, almost doubling the current 249 homes.

"We are very excited about the work on Villaggio and Caserma Ederle to replace outdated housing units with modern and energy efficient dwellings," Gomlak said.

It's the first time the Army will create homes for families on Caserma Ederle, the main service area for the Army community. Fifty apartment-style living spaces are being built behind the Ederle Inn, offering three-bedroom apartments available for occupancy starting January 2023.

"We're doing a lot to keep the needs of the military family in mind," said Michele Millers, USAG Italy department of public works general engineer.
A digital rendering of Vicenza's Army Family Housing program for Caserma Ederle in Vicenza, Italy, Dec. 4, 2021. Vicenza's construction program is the Army’s current largest housing investment program valued at $373 million. (U.S. Army photo courtesy of USAG Italy Department of Public Works)
1 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – A digital rendering of Vicenza's Army Family Housing program for Caserma Ederle in Vicenza, Italy, Dec. 4, 2021. Vicenza's construction program is the Army’s current largest housing investment program valued at $373 million. (U.S. Army photo courtesy of USAG Italy Department of Public Works) (Photo Credit: Maria Cavins) VIEW ORIGINAL
A digital rendering of Villaggio Army Family Housing's phase one and phase two its construction program in Vicenza, Italy, Dec. 4, 2021. Vicenza's construction program is the Army’s current largest housing investment program valued at $373 million. (U.S. Army photo courtesy of USAG Italy Department of Public Works)
2 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – A digital rendering of Villaggio Army Family Housing's phase one and phase two its construction program in Vicenza, Italy, Dec. 4, 2021. Vicenza's construction program is the Army’s current largest housing investment program valued at $373 million. (U.S. Army photo courtesy of USAG Italy Department of Public Works) (Photo Credit: Maria Cavins) VIEW ORIGINAL

Villaggio's new neighborhoods will be Italian-themed and named after prominent Italian cities like "Venezia", "Milano", "Pisa", "Roma", and "Verona". The "Verona" neighborhood will incorporate a playground and theater theme.

The courtyard-based neighborhoods will include covered parking spaces and allow community members to gather in greenspaces. As pets are part of the Army family, there will be a new dog park.

Sports and fitness areas in Villaggio's "green spine" will run between the back sides of units which will be closed to vehicular traffic. A fitness trail will hug Villaggio's perimeter, incorporating Army physical fitness test requirement stations.

Villaggio's new high school is currently under construction and valued at $31.5 million. The completion of the high school construction will consolidate all Department of Defense Education Activity schools in Vicenza on one installation.

"Investment in Soldiers and families, with both housing and support infrastructure - like the new high school - is essential to the future of our families stationed here in Italy," Gomlak said. "That focus will enable readiness for years to come as our Soldiers prepare for unforeseen contingencies in support of our Allies overseas."
Construction hats are in place for the ceremonial groundbreaking for Vicenza's Army Family Housing construction program in Vicenza, Italy, Dec. 6, 2021. Vicenza's construction program is the Army’s current largest housing investment program valued at $373 million. (U.S. Army photo by Maria Cavins)
1 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Construction hats are in place for the ceremonial groundbreaking for Vicenza's Army Family Housing construction program in Vicenza, Italy, Dec. 6, 2021. Vicenza's construction program is the Army’s current largest housing investment program valued at $373 million. (U.S. Army photo by Maria Cavins) (Photo Credit: Maria Cavins) VIEW ORIGINAL
Soldiers from U.S., Italian units and civilians render a salute while the Italian and American National Anthems were played during groundbreaking ceremony under Covid-19 prevention condition at in Villaggio Army Family Housing, Vicenza, Italy Dec. 6, 2021. (U.S. Army Photos by Antonio Bedin)
2 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Soldiers from U.S., Italian units and civilians render a salute while the Italian and American National Anthems were played during groundbreaking ceremony under Covid-19 prevention condition at in Villaggio Army Family Housing, Vicenza, Italy Dec. 6, 2021. (U.S. Army Photos by Antonio Bedin) (Photo Credit: Antonio Bedin) VIEW ORIGINAL

The housing portion of Vicenza's AFH-C program begins construction in 2021 and is projected to conclude in 2025. The fifth and final phase of construction, including the community center, is projected to conclude in 2026.

"These new houses will be energy efficient. Solar panels will produce between 30 to 40 percent of the total energy consumption, storm water collection basins will assist with water infiltration, and each unit will have superior exterior insulations, dual pane windows, and smart thermostats," explained Wormuth. "This community will be the standard-bearer for our green construction initiatives."