Discover the amazing Palladian Villas of Veneto
Would you like to spend a night in a real castle?
Our friend Bona Zanuso, from Vicenza, always says:
The Chateaux of the French Loire Valley? Nothing compares to the Venetian Villas! But French sell themselves very well…
Actually, in the North-Eastern Italy there are priceless historical and architectural treasures, not only factories and farms. And those treasures are at everyone’s disposal today! Some years ago people used to think “Lucky you, that live in a castle!”, while today this rich generation of people had to reinvent itself and become touristic entrepreneurs to face their “dynastic responsibilities”. That’s why we can go on a tour of museums full of precious masterpieces, daydreaming in these old castles. Spending some days here is cheaper than what we could ever think.
What about human relationships? When people enter a Villa, they often misplace the owner for a very kind and helpful concierge, who has just came back from the fields or has just finished to clean. It happens that this alleged concierge is actually a full noble, whose great-grandfather fought the historical Lepanto battle! These new generations are often interested in working the fields, while the previous generation made of their parents almost overlooked their properties. They still have a keen interest in their own family histories and they talk about their descendents and noble houses with pleasure.
The tour through Palladian Villas is a perfect slow tour, because this special area of the region Veneto offers a lot of tasty typical products (such as wine, grappa, brown and red chicory) and there are some great art cities easy to reach in the surroundings (such as Padua, Vicenza, Treviso).
From the sea to the land
What is the history of the Venetian Villas? Why were they all built within the same two centuries, from 15th to 17th? It depends on two main events: the conquest of Constantinople in 1453 and the discovery of America in 1492.
By that time, the Silk Route was interrupted. It was the only direct road to the Far East, which made Venice popular with Marco Polo’s travel. The new commercial routes, mostly Spanish and Portuguese, crossed the Atlantic sea. The Pope had politically defined the whole World and Venice, according to him, was intended to an inescapable decay.
Venetian nobles had to look toward their landscape to maintain their power: they turned their summer residences in the countryside into royal buildings and farms, where they could manage the proceeds from the farming activity. Because of their competition each against the others, the nobles from Vicenza asked the architect Palladio to develop a unique neoclassical architectural style just for their residences. Thanks to this behind-the-scenes-activity, nowadays we can enjoy an enormous cultural heritage!
Enjoy your travel through Palladian Villas and visit Villa Trissino Marzotto, Villa Valmarana ai Nani, Ca’ Marcello, Villa Barbaro Maser, Villa Zonca, Ca’ Zen, Villa Emo, Dominio di Bagnoli, The Castle of Monselice.