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Venetian Villas: Villa Barbaro Maser

A great treasure of architecture totally on hand just to be catched

Villa Barbaro Maser is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, projected by Palladio and described in his “The Four Books on Architecture”, the work that made him famous all over the world.

This Villa is different from the others because of its first owners, the Barbaro brothers. Daniele Barbaro was a very cultured architect, who studied the Vitruvian Man’s Proportions and the Golden Ratio together with Palladio in Rome. His brother Marcantonio Barbaro was a sculptor and an amateur architect.

Villa Barbaro Volpi at the village Maser near Treviso is from the 16th century and it has been projected as an artistic and intellectual site,  besides the propensity to agriculture. Not by chance master Paolo Veronese splendidly decorated the house. At the end, it seems that the famous painter, the architect and the customers clashed because of different points of view.

I think Palladio built this Villa following clear and precise structural ideas, based on regular mathematical rules, while Veronese decided to break those rules by widely using the perspective in his paintings (like the representation of vine that seems touching the sky). The Barbaro brothers are well represented in the regularity of the frescoes and the black and white statues, that suddenly on the ceiling explode with a lot of colours: gods loose their divine aspects and become paintings representing the house owners. Thanks to this mix of real and fantastic landscapes, the villa is very deceptive, an illusory place.

At Villa Barbaro Maser you can taste some precious wine. Another interesting attraction for slow-tour-lovers is the collection of carriages. You won’t be impressed to discover that the present owners still live here and they take care personaly of the welcome with passion. They feel the honour and the responsibility to preserve such a heritage.

Watch the full web serie Palladian Villas Tour in Veneto

Visit Villa Barbaro Maser official website

your slow tour looking for Palladian Villas continues


Video Full Text: Villa Maser

I’ve left the provincial highway to come to this marvellous example of a Palladian villa.
Everything here is green and packed with vines and other wonders.
Just like this villa!
I wonder if we can go in.
Who does it belong to, I wonder? A duke, a prince, a marquis.
Excuse me, hello, are you the caretaker?
Yes, sort of.
Is it possible to visit the villa?
Of course, it’s open to the public.
Slow Tour at the Venetian villas!
We’re going in.
Now we’re going upstairs to the main floor with its rooms frescoed by Paolo Veronese.
Can I go ahead on my own?

This musician is quite good.
Of course, he’s only the lead violinist for the Solisti Veneti.
I take it you’re not the caretaker then?
I happen to be the really fortunate individual who lives here.
We are inside, where the architecture is drawn and where the windows depict external landscapes.
There are divinities that are represented by statues.
And above there’s the Olympus.
The characters have very realistic faces.
They are portraits!
The owners, Palladio himself, and all those who were involved in the construction of this temple wanted to immortalise themselves in the faces of the Gods.
That one is Palladio’s face.
And here’s Paolo Veronese’s self-portrait, at the end of the string of ever narrowing doors.
The perspective gives the impression that he is returning with his dogs from hunting.
We have the pleasure of becoming acquainted with Paolo Veronese.
Thank you for the villa you painted for us!
There’s also a story behind this dog’s fresco:
it reappeared during the building’s restoration, having been covered up by later paintings.
Veronese had in fact depicted himself together with his dog.



Produced in cooperation with the Official Tourist Board

Regione Veneto

Syusy Blady

Accidental tourist. Her main passions while traveling: history, archaeology, spirituality, mysteries.

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