Villa Contarini, Piazzola sul Brenta (PD)


Piazzola sul Brenta, province of Padua, altitude 30 m/100 feet above sea level; train station at Padua, 15 km/9 miles to the south.

One of the grandest of the Venetian villas, construction was begun in the middle of the 16th century, perhaps from a design by Andrea Palladio, on behalf of the Venetian patricians Francesco and Paolo Contarini; in 1676 the procurator of San Marco, Marco Contarini, enlarged the house by adding two wings, and then in 1680 the huge piazza surrounded by a semicircular colonnade, but which was never completed. With its huge park the villa has the feel of a small Venetian Versailles.

All photos by Paolo Bonavoglia

For an overall interactive map of the Veneto, showing all these villas and many more, please see this custom Google map