The place where Lord Byron met his secret Italian love
Venetian Villas: Ca’ Marcello
The noble owner of this Villa is waiting for your arrival
The young boy Jacopo Marcello has been travelling for ten years to study and work, then he decided to come back to his parents home, in the village Levada di Piombino Dese. His forefathers arrived in Venice during the 7th century… Pay attention, the 7th, not the 17th! The nobility of their family is confirmed by some legal papers since 900 a.C. (and not 1900!).
Jacopo often talks about the other Jacopo Marcello, his forefather who lived during the 15th century. He had the great idea to carry 44 ships by land from Venice to the Lake Garda, where his family defeated the Visconti family and conquered Brescia through a naval battle. There was another Jacopo Marcello, a venetian admiral who conquered the Puglia region, but he died during a battle in Gallipoli: his sailors were so devoted to him that they nailed his dead body to the bow, so he could continue to lead the fleet. The famous musician Benedetto Marcello (the one of Adagio mentioned in Anonimo Veneziano) was one of his relative.
Jacopo tells me about all this in his Villa, Ca’ Marcello. We spent some time in a room frescoed with the the story of Alexander the Great, in honour of the marriage of a Jacopo’s great-great-grandmother named Alessandra. Then he shows me another historical artistic attraction in the villa: the bedroom adorned with stucco printed before it became harder by a group of sculptors. The villa is from the 16th century, then it has been restored in the 18th century.
Nowadays Jacopo Marcello wants to cultivate the “Villa culture”: he takes care of preserving this cradle of history and art. Jacopo also organizes in person the welcome to his villa. He promotes different events and didactic works and most of all he asked to include his house in the organization of the Venetian Villas: different itineraries start from Ca’ Marcello and go through many other Palladian Villas or exhibits and tours near Vicenza and Treviso.
Video Full Text: Cà Marcello
Can’t be bad being the lady of the Villa.
But not the villainess!
I have an appointment to view the villa: I’m getting married!
I spoke with the Count by telephone, just checking the final details.
What do you suggest for the centrepieces?
Ever thought of cactus plants? It’s original!
We are the heirs of this nobility, of this knowledge.
He, for example, was a Bishop.
Ours is a very old family.
There we have Marcel, who resembles Mozart!
Here are our paintings, our furnishings.
This room really conveys a sense of beauty, elegance and sobriety.
Here’s Jacopo, my son.
He doesn’t look like you very much.
I’m Jacopo, pleased to meet you.
Your mother is really very sweet!
I’m here about the wedding, let’s talk about centrepieces.
We thought about white roses.
Would it be possible to stay here tonight?
Have we already met?
Yes, I allowed myself to be swept away by the setting.
Welcome, let’s take a tour of the house.
A hall, a small dining room, a small parlour for parties.
The room was totally frescoed in the 18th century.
In honour of a young woman, for a marriage, of course.
Her name was Alexandra; that’s why these frescoes depict moments from the life of Alexander the Great.
The subject of the first is the marriage of Alexander the Great to Roxana, the Asian woman.
The second concerns Campaspe, the most beautiful woman in Asia.
Alexander met her whilst he was conquering the Middle East.
He asked the painter, Apelle, to paint her portrait so that he could always keep his beauty with him.
Apelle? The one in the Italian tongue twister?
The moment he sees her Apelle falls hopelessly in love with her.
That’s why Cupid is there, next to him.
So what could they do to stay close to each other?
All Apelle could do was to paint her very slowly.
After a very long period of time Alexander goes to collect the portrait.
He enters the atelier and instantly understands that the pair is in love.
He allows them to live together for the rest of their lives.
The beauty of Campaspe and Apelle’s art go beyond his own weakness.
Alexander the Great goes beyond himself.
He is taken up to heaven to live among the Gods of Olympus.