The Villas of the Veneto

Patrician resorts: the villas of the Venetian mainland

Villa Malcontenta

Venetian merchants started spending their summers on the mainland in the 16th century. Over time, this ‘holiday’ was called the ‘civilization of the villas festival’, and it became a real fashion until the fall of the Republic. As a result, many villas were constructed in different Venetian settings to show off the wealth and luxury of their noble owners.

Today, it is possible to see some of those opulent homes by travelling along the Riviera del Brenta, known as the ‘Grand Canal’ of the mainland. Villa Foscari, also known as ‘La Malcontenta’, is named after a noblewoman, who was forced to live there alone. The hall of Villa Widmann, which is nearby, was embellished with stories of heroines who praised the family’s qualities. The most impressive one is the magnificent Villa Pisani which still maintains a lovely garden with a maze in the middle.

Villa Barbaro Maser

You can head towards the hills around Treviso to admire the Palladian masterpieces of Villa Emo and Villa Barbaro Maser. Villa Emo preserves two long ‘barchesse’ which were originally used for agricultural activities; while Villa Barbaro represents the perfect fusion between architecture and painting created by the brilliant minds of Barbaro, Palladio and Veronese.


  • The excursion takes a minimum of 4 hours and requires a means of transport not included in the tour price.
  • The visit to the villas situated beyond the Province of Venice takes at least 7 hours and a lunch break is advisable.

TOUR PRICE: upon request

Venice with a Guide