The Venetian Villas of the Brenta Riviera

A territory that tells centuries of history. On April 17, 1345, the High Council of the Republic of Venice repealed an act that until then had prohibited the citizens of the Serene Republic from purchasing land on the mainland; thus some interests of the noble families of the Veneto moved from trade to the mainland and along the banks of the Brenta. The possibility of more extensively exploiting the lands owned on the mainland raised the issue about closer control of production. This is why the country residences were built: they met the new requirements and united the Lord’s dwelling and the service buildings in a single complex. This originated various types of villa: - the farm-villa for those who had found a new source of wealth in agriculture; - the temple-villa, a meeting place for artists and intellectuals; - the palace-villa, a representative building and the location of huge parties and banquets; always and everywhere, sumptuous dwellings designed by famous architects, decorated and frescoed by sublime painters, to bear witness to a season of glory. The “Venetian Villa” generated the trend of “villeggiatura” (literally, spending vacations in a villa), which developed in the Veneto between the 15th and the 16th centuries and continued in the next two centuries, until the fall of the glorious Republic of Venice in 1797. It was for this aim that nearly 2000 villas were built in the Veneto that still bear witness to a century-old culture in architecture. From the sixteenth century, the waterways and the rivers that could be easily reached from Venice were dotted with sumptuous summer residences. The Brenta Canal branch connected Venice to Padua together with other waterways; it was the trendy canal, a place of delights and the ideal continuation of the Grand Canal in Venice. Here over seventy luxury villas flourished. “The banks of one and the other side of this river are full of palaces and the delightful houses of the noble families, and of the richest citizens, with orchards, gardens, and well-populated villages, to such an extent that those who sail it have the impression of navigating inside a town all along its 16 mile-long course that forms an almost uninterrupted village, which links the metropolis of that State with the City of Padua.” (Vincenzo Coronelli, 1697)

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Villa Badoer Fattoretto

Villa Badoer Fattoretto is a Venetian villa comprising a sixteenth-century main building and two side wings – the Barchessa – dating to the second half of the Eighteenth century and rearranged in the Nineteenth century. The complex is located in a century-old park extending over 20,000 square meters and decorated with period statues and marbles. […]

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Villa Ducale

In 1884 Earl Giulio Rocca, a nobleman from Venice, had a beautiful villa rebuilt in Dolo along the Brenta river. The villa was rebuilt on the remains of an older building of the 18th century, which also included the beautiful park with statues and hedges and the little church that are still part of the […]


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Villa Allegri von Ghega

Villa Allegri in Oriago di Mira was built as a Game Club-House and a Shooting Lodge by the Allegri Earls in the 18th century on sixteenth-century foundations. In the summer months it used to host several Venetian aristocrats, who spent society evenings with games and amusements. The villa is still inhabited by the Allegri family. [...]

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Villa Barchessa Valmarana

As the visitor walks from the village of Valmarana, leaving the famous "Casini Valmarana" to his left and continuing along the canal, two imposing barchessa – or wings of the main building – strike the eye. The barchessa to the right, also called the guesthouse of Villa Valmarana, was used by the family to host [...]

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Villa Foscari known as La Malcontenta

The Villa was built on behalf of Nicolò and Alvise Foscari in 1560. it used to host illustrious historical figures such as Henry III of Valois, about to become king of France in 1574; then in 1629 Ferdinand II Grand Duke of Tuscany, and in 1692 and in 1717 Augustus II and Augustus IV, king [...]

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Villa Valier Bembo Corò

Villa Valier is a 16th-century building that overlooks the Brenta, with allegorical frescoes and landscapes painted between 1500 and 1700. It includes the fully furnished oratory, built in the 1500s as well, the charming, completely frescoed oval staircase, and a large 18th-century barchessa with a cellar and granaries. The villa rises in a lush park […]

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Villa Widmann in Mira

The whole complex of the villa, including the wing (Barchessa) and the small Chapel, was built in a location still called “la Riscossa” at the end of the eighteenth century by the Sherimanns, a noble family of Persian origin busy in trade. The Sherimann family had purchased the land from the Donà family towards the [...]


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Villa Foscarini Rossi

The villa was one of two summer residences that the noble family Foscarini owned along the Brenta river together with a Lodge in Mira. It was built between 1599 and 1602 by Giacomo Foscarini, a major politician in the second half of the 16th century, twice appointed Capitano da Mar and one of the celebrated [...]

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Villa Pisani Reale in Stra

The most impressive villa on the Riviera, Villa Pisani Nazionale in Stra, was built in the 18th century on commission of the prestigious and rich Pisani family from Venice, who owned many properties in the area. The works began in 1735; they had been commissioned by doge Almorò Pisani to architect Girolamo Frigimelica from Padua. [...]

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