The Venetian Villas encompass over three thousand buildings, thirty of these designed by Andrea Palladio. Divided into two main groups, vacation and country homes, villas were aristocratic houses built for business, leisure, entertainment and the company of scholars and famous guests. Venetian Villas represent the passage from the feudal, medieval castle to a new style of life, in which the relationship with nature was important. Once the Venetian area was settled, agriculture and commerce became more accessible and profitable and in this serene climate noble families began to hire artists, sculptors, painters to design and decorate their homes. All of these Villas represent more than three centuries of art, culture and history. Palladio’s concepts contributed to the development of architectural designs that are still considered one of the most adaptable and elegant styles still in use today. Considered one of the most influential architects who have ever lived, his concepts have influenced many English and American buildings.
Besides the Villas along the Brenta Canal between Padua and Venice, Villas can be found in Verona, Treviso and Vicenza areas as well. Some stand majestically on hills or next to rivers and lakes; some are perfectly balanced with nature and the countryside. Gardens and parks surround the homes, and are adorned with statues, fountains and ornate decorations. Among the most beautiful and still well preserved Villas, are Villa Godi Malinverni in Lugo; Villa Barbaro in Maser, perfectly adapted to the surroundings with the unusual pond and grotto in the rear garden, Villa Emo in Fanzolo; Villa Pisani in Strà; Villa Foscari Malcontenta; Villa Della Torre in Fumane; Villa Valmarana ai Nani; and the sophisticated Villa Capra Valmarana better known as Villa “La Rotonda” in Vicenza, a symbol of harmony and unforgettable perfection.