The 10 Palladian Villas in Veneto that can be visited

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Lluis Enric Mayans

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Have you ever visited one Venetian villa? Think these mansions constitute a heritage of over 4.000 buildings, scattered throughout the Veneto, each with its own history and characteristics.
When we talk about Venetian villas, however, we do not only indicate the buildings themselves, but a much broader political-sociological and economic context that goes from the territory, to the personal history of families up to the artistic heritage by a large number of important architects , painters and sculptors. This priceless legacy, absolutely unique because it is present with such peculiarities only in Veneto, is difficult to manage and maintain but, in spite of everything and everyone, it still lives on today in families, foundations, public and private museums, which open the their doors to the public.
Many of the main Venetian villas open to the public are called "Palladian", because built by Andrea Palladio, one of the most important architects in Italian history. In this article we want to introduce you the 10 most beautiful Venetian villas (both "Palladiane" and not).


  1. Villa of the Bishops
  2. Villa Emo
  3. Villa Pisani in Stra
  4. Villa Vigna Contarena
  5. Catajo Castle
  6. Garden of Villa Valsanzibio
  7. Villa Ca'Marcello
  8. Villa Barbaro
  9. Villa Rotonda
  10. Villa Valmarana ai Nani
  11. User questions and comments

1 - Villa of the Bishops

Villa of the Bishops it is located in Luvigliano di Torreglia in the province of Padua. Built between 1535 and 1542 as a holiday home for the Bishop of Padua, it boasts frescoes by the Flemish painter Lambert Sustris. In 2005 the villa was donated to the FAI (Fondo Ambiente Italiano) and today it is home to a large calendar of events and initiatives for grades and children. This villa is worth a visit for many reasons ... not least for the chance to relax while sipping a drink, comfortably seated in one of the two beautifully painted loggias. Looking at the landscape surrounding the villa and the floral and landscape decorations, it will seem that painting and nature come together in a single picture.

2 - Villa Emo

Villa Emo, located in Fanzolo di Vedelago (TV), was built by the architect Andrea Palladio for the noble Venetian family of the Emo. The perfect example of a villa-farm, stands out that the very long barns, the cottages of the farm, and the geometric rigor of the forms.
If the architecture of the villa is so sober, the interior decoration by Giovanni Battista Zelotti is equally rich: a cycle of frescoes that will amaze you with the magnificent colors and mythological stories it tells.

3 - Villa Pisani in Stra

Villa Pisani, located in Sta, along the Riviera del Brenta, is a historic residence transformed into a national museum where you can admire works from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Known as "the queen of Venetian villas" or "la Nazionale", it boasts 114 richly furnished rooms, a beautiful garden, one of the most important box hedge mazes in Europe and even a fresco by Tiepolo.

4 - Villa Vigna Contarena

Contarena vineyard, residence located in the heart of the Paduan town of Este, takes its name from the vineyards that once surrounded it, making the place a small garden of Eden, spectacular to visit especially in the autumn harvest period. The house, now partly Bed & Breakfast, really has many stories behind it, which the very young owner will be able to tell you with great love and passion. The highlight, however, is the secret garden: with arabesque pinnacles and trellis openings in the red brick masonry, it will catapult you into the Persian East.

5 - Catajo Castle

Il Catajo Castle (Battaglia terme, Padua) may deceive you for its name and appearance ... but it falls to all intents and purposes in the category of Venetian villas !! Here you can see the Garden of Wonders, the Cortile dei Giganti, beautiful frescoes that enhance the events of the Obizi family and perhaps participate in an evening of wine and local food tastings on the magnificent panoramic terrace. Be careful though ... it seems that a ghost called "the blue lady" turns in the halls of the castle!

6 - Garden of Villa Valsanzibio

Villa Barbarigo, is a seventeenth-century Venetian villa and is located in Valsanzibio di Galzignano Terme (PD).
The beauty of this residence lies mainly in the baroque style garden which in its 15 hectares gives way to numerous fountains, over 70 statues in Istrian stone, as many minor sculptures, waterfalls, streams, ponds, water games, ... and even a beautiful boxwood maze.

7 - Villa Ca'Marcello

Ca 'Marcello, in Levada di Piombino Dese (PD), is a splendid example of a Venetian villa in the Palladian style, built in the first half of 1500 by the noble Venetian family of the Marcello, to which it still belongs.
Visiting this residence means not only admiring beautiful frescoes, stucco paintings, the precious furnishings that decorate it; but also getting to know a family who opened their home to the public and passionately transmits to visitors a history spanning more than 500 years.

8 - Villa Barbaro

If you go and see Villa Barbaro in Maser you will understand why it was included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Villa, commissioned by the brothers Daniele and Marco Barbaro, is one of Andrea Palladio's architectural masterpieces to which the superb frescoes by Paolo Veronese join in a game of pictorial architectural breakthroughs that will leave you speechless.

9 - Villa Rotonda

Villa Rotonda it is the most famous, well-known and known of the structures built by Andrea Palladio… perhaps the reference icon of the entire work of the great architect. The only villa, in fact, built with a domed vault and the same plant, with a central circular room, inscribed in a square.
From the four temple loggias it is possible to admire four different corners of the Vicenza countryside, and to think of what Goethe had written during the visit to the house: "Perhaps architectural art has never reached such a degree of magnificence".

10 - Villa Valmarana ai Nani

The reputation of a villa Valmarana ai Nani, located in Vicenza, a stone's throw from the rotunda, is linked to two peculiarities of the residence: first of all to the beautiful frescoes by Gianbattista Tiepolo (father) in the building; and Giandomenico Tiepolo (son) in the guesthouse… which make the house a treasure trove of colors, lights and charm. Secondly to the legend of the dwarf princess who lived in solitude surrounded by dwarf servants.
One day he saw a beautiful prince wandering in the garden and, realizing his deformity, he threw himself from the tower. The dwarves, from the pain, turned into stone statues .... which can still be admired on the stone wall that surrounds the villa.

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