Villa Smeraldi is located 15 kilometers from the city of Bologna along the Navile canal which connects the towns of Castel Maggiore and Bentivoglio. Since 1973 it has been home to the collection and exhibits of the Museo della civiltà contadina (Museum of peasant farming culture). In 1999 Villa Smeraldi lent its name to a new institution established by the Province of Bologna to manage the museum and surrounding complex  with financial support from the city of Bologna and towns of Castel Maggiore and Bentivoglio.