Villa Nani Mocenigo, Canda (RO)


Canda (Rovigo) 10 m/33 feet above sea level.  Train station at Badia about 5km/3 miles to the northwest.  The villa is situated along the embankment of the Canalbianco immediately to the east of the village (see the Rovigo-Polesine-Ferrara route).

The villa was constructed between 1580 and 1584 on the site of an earlier, pre-existing structure probably already the property of the Venetian Nani Mocenigo family, in a location crucial to the land reclamation process.  The design is attributed to Vincenzo Scamozzi.

The facade facing the Canalbianco was redesigned during the eighteenth century by an unknown architect; it has at the center a large loggia [porch] with four columns and two pilasters in the Corinthian style, at the sides, surmounted by an attic level and by six urns that correspond to the columns and pilasters below.  On the wings of the facade, between the windows of the mezzanine level, are the Nani family coat-of-arms.

The villa is surrounded by a large park and by a garden facing the Canalbianco; the embankment of the canal has been raised successively to prevent flooding and this situation has distorted the perspective of the villa, which at one time faced directly  onto the canal, a situation similar to that at Villa Morosini at Polesella.

The interior of the villa, and some of the frescoes, were damaged by a fire of January 17, 1946 (or 1944 according to other sources).

At the time of my visit, the villa appeared closed and not visitable, the main entrance boarded up and everything in a state of semi-abandonment, although it is occasionally used for outdoor performances.  A sign on the outside invites you to dial a toll-free number to hear a description of the villa.

All photos by Paolo Bonavoglia.

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