The grandest villa of the Riviera del Brenta: Villa Pisani, Stra’
The noble Pisani family’s villa, Villa Pisani Nazionale, is probably the most grandious Venetian villas along the Riviera del Brenta, tucked away in the small city of Stra’, nearby Padua.
Built in the 18th century, this building is a magnificient symbol of the aristocratic family’s grandeur. Straight from the outside, the Villa welcomes the visitors with an imposign facade but it’s when you wander around its salons or lose your way in the enchanting, huge park that Villa Pisani captivates you.
The villa, a favourite retreat for the Doge of Venice, nobles but afterwards also for kings and emperors like Napoleon, the Hapsburg and later the House of Savoy, nowadays has been converted to a national museums hosting eighteenth and nineteenth century works, conserving some of its original piece of furnitures and the splendour of its frescoes like the renown “Glory of the Pisani Family” work of art by Gianbattista Tiepolo, on the ballroom’s ceiling.
Outside, the 10 hectares of the park are filled with statues and buildings such as the stables, the exedra, the archeological hill, the ice-house, the orangery and the Coffee House, a tempietto-like building, but my favourite bit of the garden is defintetly the maze. It might be small but I can swear you I twisted around, ending it up countless on dead ends, in this devilishy designed labirith, it was great fun! Noises said that Napoleon himself was flummoxed by the maze and it was also the background of amorous aristocratic intrigues…
Tips ‘n curiosity:
- Opening time is 9am-7pm during the summer moths otherwise closing at 4pm.
- Tickets are €7,50 for the maze or €10 villa ‘n maze.
- Don’t despear if you get hopelessy lost in the maze. At the centre of the labiryth there is a little stone tower (topped by a statue of Minerva) where normally stands a member of the staff shouting out to the lost one guiding them through it.
- You could explore Villa Pisani as part of boat trip with “i Battelli del Brenta” along with many others Palladian Villas and Venetian Palazzi. The Brenta Canal was built to connect Venice with Padua and the Veneto inland.
- During the summers week-ends there are thematic free tours held around the villa but you would have to book it in advance and they are run in italian only..for now.