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Visiting the Veneto's villas & villages: Your views????

Visiting the Veneto's villas & villages: Your views????

Feb 23rd, 2009, 03:38 PM
  #1  
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Visiting the Veneto's villas & villages: Your views????

We have three nights between Venice and our weekend near Bergamo. I am interested in historic towns and have always been curious about the Palladian villas of the Brenta area. I've visited & admired Padua. But I am just starting my research and we leave in just over 2 weeks.

Places I have seen mentioned include: Asolo, Castelfranco Veneto, Treviso and a lot of little places -- Citadella, Susegana, Montegnana.

Apart from the Villa Rotonda, the other "big" name in houses seem to be the Villa Pisani at Stra....But there are so many smaller places, all quite distinguished looking from photos.

We could just wait til we get there and then ask advice at a B&B or hotel. (We've not booked accommodation yet and will choose based on our itinerary). But I'm hoping Fodorites can suggest what towns, villages and villas really merit our attention.

Any other advice -- eg what will be closed and what open, in late March; what accommodation we might try -- is also eagerly sought. Thanks for your assistance -- our time is short!
tedgale is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2009, 04:30 PM
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The Villa Pisani is huge and bombastic, but it is not by Palladio and, in my opinion, not worth spending time on.

In addition to the Villa Rotonda, I'd suggest Villa Barbaro and Villa Emo for Palladio; both are reasonably close to Asolo. I've never stayed in Asolo, but by all accounts, it's lovely.

I've found this Web site is reliable on opening and closing times:
http://www.cisapalladio.org/veneto/index.php?lingua=e&


Zerlina is offline  
Feb 24th, 2009, 03:57 AM
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An excellent website -- and now I am feeling even more overwhelmed with choice. Who knew Palladio was so prolific?
tedgale is offline  
Feb 24th, 2009, 05:41 AM
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Hey Ted,
The Villa Barbaro and Rotunda have always been the first mentioned in things I've read. Both would require a special trip. The site Zerlina provides is great, eh? Hope the days work with yours. And who knew how many Palladios were in Venice itself? Our Venice hotel had info about a boat trip to several villas. Sorry no details in my notes but I think they were on days we had other plans.

DH and I took train from Verona to Vicenza to see the Rotunda and it is incredible. If you take a bus once you arrive in Vicenza, be sure to get enough tickets to return. Rotunda is in the countryside. Will you have a car?
TDudette is offline  
Feb 24th, 2009, 05:53 AM
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Checking out Palladian villas is what I want to do on my next trip to the Veneto. I had bookmarked a cruise from Venice along the Brenta Canal that stopped at Palladian villas. That's the way the original owners arrived. But that link is no longer extant.

I recently read The Perfect House: A Journey with Renaissance Master Andrea Palladio by Witold Rybczynski. It's a short book that might add to your enjoyment.
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Feb 24th, 2009, 07:18 AM
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If it's the Palladian villas that interest you, the Brenta boat tours are not the best way to go. They take you to La Malcontenta (by Palladio) and the Villa Pisani (definitely *not* by Palladio).

If you go to Villa Rotonda, it's worth walking a few yards to the Villa Valmarana ai Nani. It's not by Palladio, but it has some wonderful frescoes by the Tiepolos, father and son:
http://www.villavalmarana.com/eng/vi...scrizione.html
Zerlina is offline  
Feb 24th, 2009, 07:39 AM
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PS: Don't fret too much if you have to go to the Villa Rotonda on a day when the interior is not open. The decoration of the grand central space is from a much later period, and it distorts Palladio's vision.

PPS: The interior of the Villa Barbaro, on the other hand, is well worth seeing for the Veronese frescoes.

PPPS: The interior decoration of the Villa Emo is thought to best complement Palladio's architecture.
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Feb 24th, 2009, 09:22 AM
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I think I have the Palladian villas covered now, esp with that helpful website.

Has anyone suggestions for attractive towns to visit? I don't have a general guide to the region, only guides for individual cities such as Padua.

We'll have a car and we have 3 full days.

tedgale is offline  
Feb 24th, 2009, 09:36 AM
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I found Bassano del Grappa attractive and a good central base.

It was years ago, but the restaurant Tiziano al Sole was very good. It probably still is; restaurants do not change hands or vary in quality from year to year as much as they do in North America.
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Feb 24th, 2009, 10:03 AM
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We have spent time in the Veneto twice. Last year we stayed outside of Vicenza and used it as a base to explore and see some more Palladian villas. Our favorites were Villa Barbaro and Villa Malcontenta.
Several years ago we took the Brenta Canal boat trip from Venice and bought a half-way ticket so that we only toured Villa Malcontenta; we returne dto Venice by bus from where the boat stops for lunch.
While staying in VIncenza area last year,we passed Villa Rotunda every day driving to Vicenza and the towns beyond. It is visible from the very busy main local,road which really surprised us. We also loved the bridge he designed in Bassano del Grappa.
We stayed at Le Vescovane, a working vineyard/farm in the hills above Vicenza. It is on Karen Brown's website. It is a beautifully restored farm house, has a/c, a nice pool, good food.
The new Conde Nast Traveler has an excellent article on Palladio's history, villas, and the region. Its a wonderful trip with a beautiful focus!
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Feb 24th, 2009, 11:22 AM
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I too like Bassano del Grappa, but Asolo also makes a good base location. You will like Veneto.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Feb 24th, 2009, 02:15 PM
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We spent an afternoon in Asolo and really liked it. Also liked Vicenza a lot.
HappyTrvlr-we stayed at LeVescovane last April - the swimming pool was under construction at the time. Agreed that it made a good base to explore the area.
yestravel is offline  
Feb 24th, 2009, 02:32 PM
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It's been awhile, but I loved Asolo and Bassano del Grappa. Somewhere in that area was a delightful spa town, too, where I spent a lovely day.
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Feb 25th, 2009, 03:23 PM
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Several of the reviews of Le Vescovane on Tripadvisor are quite mixed (misplaced reservations, inexplicable room charges). I'm quite risk averse. Can anyone suggest another agriturismo/ B&B or small hotel in the vicinity of Vicenza (or Treviso)?
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Feb 25th, 2009, 03:38 PM
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Ted, Here is a place that I found for a client that looks very good---I love the location.
http://www.italyby.com/col-delle-rane/
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Mar 5th, 2009, 06:10 AM
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Bob: In the end our decision -- after an AWFUL lot of seemingly fruitless research -- was driven by location. I wanted somewhere halfway between the sea and the mountains, close enough to the motorway, etc etc.

Here is the place just south of Cittadella where we reserved for 2 nights (and we may extend that to 3 nights):

www.lerisare.it

The ancient villa appears to be closed up but the outbldgs have been splendidly restored to provide 6 rooms. We have reserved the Camera del Grano -- with fireplace, beamed ceilings, modern bath etc, for 80 E/ nt.

If we decide to move on, it wd be to allow us to visit Verona and then stay just west of that city, before we head off to the Bergamo area. We need to be in Bergamo by noon to connect with an old friend.

One place in the hills that I found -- it is 10 km from Verona -- is:

http://www.bblabella.com/la_bella/index.html

I am tending though to think we shd stay 3 nights at Le Risare.

Most of the Palladian villas appear to be closed most days other than Saturday and Sunday (when we are in Bergamo with my friend). However, we hope to visit: Treviso, Asolo, Castelfranco Veneto, perhaps Bassano del Grappa, as well as Vicenza and Verona.

That is a lot to do in 3 days and maybe sthg will fall off the list...To be continued, culminating in a trip report on our return.
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Mar 5th, 2009, 06:20 AM
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By the way, here is the place we reserved for our final night, before we fly from Florence's Peretola airport. It looks very chic -- former pharmaceutical factory in the hills of Sesto Fiorentino.

An antiques dealer has converted 3 rooms to B&B. We chose the Camera delle rondini -- room of the swallows, because it has a fplce and the bath looked interesting:

http://www.casavaliversi.it/
tedgale is offline  
Mar 5th, 2009, 06:49 AM
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We visited some of the palladium villas last year and found their opening days and times were not always what was advertised. Some said they were open on weekends but we took a chance and showed up mid week and they were open. Have a great trip!
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Mar 5th, 2009, 07:08 AM
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Villa Cornaro in Piombino Dese is also an interesting place. It is about 12 km south of Castelfranco and is I believe open on Saturdays for tours.

http://www.boglewood.com/cornaro/xpiombino.html

Vicenza is good for a visit for all the public Palladian architecture. A number of buildings within a samll area in the historical center. Make sure to see the Teatro Olympico.
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Mar 6th, 2009, 02:29 PM
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Interesting that the villa opening hours are not always what is advertised. We won't make any detours merely in hopes of finding sthg open but if we are near sthg, it wd not hurt to check it out.
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