Villa Contarini

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Coordinates: 45°32′38″N 11°47′07″E / 45.543858°N 11.785262°E / 45.543858; 11.785262 (Villa Contarini)

Villa Contarini in Piazzola sul Brenta

Villa Contarini is a patrician villa veneta in Piazzola sul Brenta, province of Padova, northern Italy. The villa is in Baroque style and is backed by a 40 ha park with lakes and alleys.

The central building was begun in 1546 under commission by the Venetian patricians Paolo and Francesco Contarini. Controversial is the attribution of the design to the famous architect Andrea Palladio. This first edifice was later enlarged in the late 17th century by Marco Contarini.


The main building
Floor plan of the villa complex (drawing by Francesco Muttoni, 1760)

The magniloquent baroque appearance that the Villa Contarini displays today is, in all probability, the result of the seventeenth-century transformation of a villa designed by Andrea Palladio in the 1540s for Paolo Contarini and his brothers. The attribution is not certain and there were made also the names of Vincenzo Scamozzi and of Baldassare Longhena.

Traces of palladian work linger on in maps and archival documents, although little is now visible of a building which was transformed in several campaigns from 1662 on. In 1676 the right wing was enlarged and remodelled, with a two-storey order of rustic columns and telamons, and a program of ostentatious sculptural decoration which invades the principal villa block too.

The chapel is one of the most important works designed by Tommaso Temanza.

A map of 1788 shows that by that date the porticoed hemicycle defining the great piazza already existed.


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