GRAND VILLAS BY RIVER BRENTA
Treat yourself to the “Grand Villas by river Brenta“, a navigable canal flanked by Villas dating from the 16th through the 18th century.
Since the Roman age, this canal connects Venice Lagoon with the fertile Veneto Region, dotted with monasteries, convents, woods, agricultural areas, and workshops.
Today the small towns along the river are also known for the lovely gardens and superb family-run restaurants, known for delicious seasonal menus and tasty wines.
Our tour “Grand Villas by river Brenta” begins at Piazzale Roma or another Veneto location.
Get in a luxury private car with your guide and reach the suburb of Malcontenta, once located on the river delta, today in a large industrial area facing the Lagoon.
A Benedictine community in the old days reclaimed this vast area for agricultural and residential purposes.
Later, a distinguished aristocrat family, the Foscari, purchased part of the church property, not too far from their luxury mansion on the Grand Canal owned by Nicolò Foscari.
In the mid-16th century, he decided to build a suburban house as a grand summer resort.
The architect Andrea Palladio was operating in Venice after a successful early career in the Vicenza province, but most donors were clergymen. Foscari helped him debuting in the Venetian noble circle and increased his popularity among wealthy nobles.
Nicolò commissioned Palladio the project, started around 1555 and completed in 1560. The painters Giambattista Zelotti and Battista Franco were in charge with the frescos finished in 1561.
Villa Foscari is a massive block on flat land, with a high base supporting a portico jutting out from the central façade. It ended up being a fantastic lookout spot!
How delightful is the fresh breeze on the Greek-style porch, surrounded by swaying weeping willows and tall poplars along the river.
Over time ornate rowing boats carrying high-ranking guests arrived from Venice or Padua, and still today Villa Foscari is a coveted destination for passionate visitors.
- Villa Foscari by Andrea Palladio
- Villa Pisani with Giambattista Tiepolo’s spectacular paintings
- The Brenta River
In the Roman age the Brenta river was called Medoacus and consisted of two branches, Medoacus Maior (Great Medoacus) and Medoacus Minor (Small Medoacus), totaling 108 miles in length.
In the Middle Ages it was diverted and partly reclaimed due to the frequent floods affecting the Venetian Lagoon, although it was exploited as a source of fresh water in case of draught.
In the 16th century the river was channeled in a new straight canal that reached the Adriatic Sea, bypassing the Venetian Lagoon. 100 years later the Government had a new canal dug, which was called “Seriola” and connected the Brenta to the nearest point on the mainland.
The fresh water was pumped into barrels and taken by boat to Venice in order to fill the 7,000 wells there, providing a daily supply of 3 gallons a day per person.
- This tour lasts four hours and costs 720 euros, only private parties with tour guide (up to six people), and luxury van included.
- Fees per person:
- Villa Foscari 12 euros
- Villa Pisani 7,50 euros