Venetian Villas of the Rich and Famous

Anne & Kirk Woodyard – Music and Markets Tours

Villa Venier Contarini holds a special place in the lineup of majestic villas west of11171201 hq of veneto villas Venice. Since 2011 it has served as the headquarters of the Regional Institute of Villas of the Veneto. The villa is one of 4000 villas built in the region during Venetian domination of the mainland, from the 15th to the 18th centuries. Built mainly as summer homes to escape the heat and humidity of the lagoon, the imposing residences were first called villas here, as opposed to palazzos in town. The highest concentration of these thousands of villas are found along the Brenta Canal, the main “road” from Venice to the mainland. Traveling by water was safer and faster than by land.The Barchesse, or “arms”of Villa Venier, which were originally added for agricultural purposes,  were later used to welcome guests and  are richly frescoed with tales (as in many of the villas) from Greek mythology.11171202 threatened plague begins Here, a mythological figure is warned of the plague (a common reason for getting out of town in crowded Venice in the summer), and we can see his left hand blackened by the disease before he agrees to the requirements of his opposition.Next stop, the lavish Villa Widmann Foscari-Rezzonico. Widmann was an Austrian who became rich and bought a Venetian title – in Venice11171203 lavish widmann it was often not birth, but wealth, that established your place in society. The Brenta Canal was nicknamed an “extension of the Grand Canal” since so many of the villas belonged to the same families as the palazzos on the Grand Canal, such as Ca’ Rezzonico, now a museum of 18th century Venetian life. With its richly fresoed walls and massive Murano chandeliers, the Widmann is a popular venue for exhibitions and events, and has hosted luminaries from popes to authors and musicians such as Stravinsky.
And now 11171204 x outshines others villa pisani hugethe villa to end all villas – the huge and glorious Villa Pisani, now a national museum. Head upstairs to the piano nobile, with a ballroom surrounded with a gilded musicians gallery, ceiling frescoed by none other than Gianbattista Tiepolo!  11171205 tiepolo ceiling heralding glory of pisaniTitled “The Glory of the Pisani Family”, this masterpiece trumpets the powerful Venetian ruler, who ordained that his villa would have 114 rooms since he was the 114th Doge of Venice.

11171206 garden

The amazing gardens of the villa are complete with a fabulous maze, with a tower in the middle where a guide can help if you get lost. In 2008 the garden won the prize “Italy’s Most Beautiful Garden”  – no wonder!
A rewarding day trip from Venice or Padova, these gardens and villas can be visited by car or boat, and give an intriguing look into Venetian life centuries ago.
The best way to describe us (Kirk and Anne Woodyard) is that we’re interested in the stories that make the places we visit come alive.2009 Anne and Kirk Vias
We’ve visited Europe more times than we can count, learned some entertaining stories there, and met some warm and helpful people who also enjoy the wonders of music and life in Europe.
Between our music-related travels, we split our time between our homes near Washington DC and the south of France. We look forward to sharing these stories and friends and experiences with our Music and Markets guests.
While both of us have experience in organizing travel and music groups Kirk’s background is in project management and competitive writing, and Anne is an accomplished pianist with over thirty years of teaching experience, and a travel and food writer specializing in France and Italy.

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One Response to Venetian Villas of the Rich and Famous

  1. Thanks for sharing this information

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