Extensive grounds with rare trees, ornamental fountains, and garden follies surround this extraordinary palace in Stra, 13 km (8 miles) southeast of Padua. Built in 1721 for the Venetian doge Alvise Pisani, it recalls Versailles more than a Veneto villa. This was one of the last and grandest of many stately residences constructed along the Brenta River from the 16th to 18th century by wealthy Venetians for their villeggiatura—vacation and escape from the midsummer
humidity. Gianbattista Tiepolo's (1696–1770) spectacular frescoes on the ballroom ceiling alone are worth the visit. For a relaxing afternoon, explore the gorgeous park and maze. To get here from Venice, take Bus 53 from Piazzale Roma. The villa is a five-minute walk from the bus stop in Stra. This is the place where Mussolini invited Hitler for their first meeting, but they only stayed one night because of the mosquitos. The mosquitoes remain: if you're visiting the park in the late afternoon in the summer, be sure to bring some bug repellant.
Via Doge Pisani 7, Stra, 30039, Italy