While strolling around the Venetian countryside prepare yourself to be in awe of the sumptuos constructions you will come across: the famous Venetian villas. These magnificent buildings are located in the hinterland of what once was the Republic of Venice. Let's discover this Venetian heritage together.
It is impossible to think about the history of the Venetian Villas withouth taking into account the history of the territory, art and architecture. They are deeply intertwined and even today these historical buildings are an invaluable artistic and cultural heritage, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As soon as you immerse into them you will find works by the most famous artists and architects of the glorious period, for example Andrea Palladio. They will open their doors to you so you can appreciate the splendor and refinement of Veneto's centuries of glory.
The history of the Palladian Villas
When gazing around the captivating beauty of Venice, you will discover the Venetian villas. They are amazing places that stand out from the surroundings allowing you to experience a world rich in history as you explore the daily lives of the lords of past centuries. There is a particular architectural style in every Venetian villa, with a history tracing back to the Republic of Venice: there are around 5,000 villas and they were built between 1400 and 1800 as inland residences for the Venetian aristocracy. These villas are surrounded by storehouses, necessary for managing the work that had to be done in the surrounding areas. (This system has completely disappeared today.) The villa served both as a setting where different performances would take place and as a management center for agricultural work. Rich merchants who invested their wealth in the hinterland, adding their own villas to those of past owners, shaped the landscape in a unique way.
Venetian Villas as they are today
There are a lot of villas in the Veneto region. Back then, all the wealth accumulated during the Republic of Venice was not used on the city itself or on the maritime navigation companies. On the contrary, much of this wealth was invested in the hinterland, where the aristocracy and the rich bourgeoisie changed completely the history of this part of the region. Lands that were once perfect for small farms became filled with a succession of majestic villas. Artists designed and decorated these Venetian Villas successfully, creating wonderful examples of luxury and elegance that still enchant us today with their magnificence: finely decorated lounges, frescoed ceilings and huge windows, gardens with the most careful details, parks decorated with statues, fountains and trees.There are numerous places in Veneto where you can find Venetian villas to visit, and they are often off the mass tourism routes, as in the case of Villa Emo Capodilista and Villa dei Vescovi in the hills of Padua. Other famous villas are La Malcontenta in Mira, near Venice, and the majestic Villa Contarini in Piazzola sul Brenta, whose semi-circular colonnade embraces the square. Another place with an exceptional concentration of Venetian Villas is the Riviera del Brenta region, which links Padua to Venice and testifies the wealth of past centuries. Villa Pisani in Strà is a great example of this magnificience. Famous not only for its beauty and the majesty of its park with fountains, the villa also has a funny labyrinth of hedges, which visitors take great pleasure in following.
Vicenza, the city of Palladio, and its Unesco Heritage Villas
Palladio's most famous masterpieces can be found in the city of Vicenza, home of many Venetian villas. These buildings create a continuous dialectic between ancient and modern, and are recognizable by their elegance, balance, and symmetry. With his works, Palladio modified the urban planning of the city and part of the surrounding landscape, creating an original living interpretation of classical antiquity that would deeply influence the urban planning and landscape of European countries and the whole world. Just a few steps away from the city center, the iconic Villa La Rotonda is an extraordinary example of Palladian architecture.
Live the dream of a special journey to visit the Palladian Villas! Discover the Palladian Routes and live a memorable experience!