A... maze yourself

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A model of a maze in a villa I visited recently, the magnificent Villa Pisani, in Stra, one of the several Ville venete, on the river Brenta, between Padua and Venice, Northern Italy.
Construction of the villa started in the early 18th century in a late baroque style, commissioned by the noble, and then still very wealthy, Pisani family. In its 114 rooms doges, kings and emperors were welcomed and today it has become a national museum with 18th and 19th century works of art and furniture and one of Gianbattista Tiepolo masterpieces.

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The real  maze in the park, where I was happily lost until someone from a small tower in the center gave us directions on how to exit.

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A guest bedroom, with original furniture, decoration and wallpaper.
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The chandelier attracted my attention for quite awhile, I don't particularly like modern sparkling crystal chandeliers but I love antique glass ones.
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The decline of the Pisani family toward the end of the century brought them huge debts so they were forced to sell the villa to Napoleon Bonaparte, who had become King of Italy in 1805.

The Napoleonic apartment is particularly interesting, with remarkable art treasures like this imposing canopy bed with the Emperor's initial on it.

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and his several mattresses...

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I like to think of the following works of art as family album when photography was not invented yet.

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In 1814 the battle of Waterloo decided the history of Europe and brought the Hapsburg imperial family, lords of Veneto, to Villa Pisani.  When Veneto was annexed by the Kingdom of Italy the villa did not become part of the Savoy family possessions but became property of the State.  I know, Italian history is quite complicated, so back to the villa interior decoration.

I suppose it was great to play cards in this room sitting on these elegant 19th century chairs, cheered by the colorful paintings on the walls.

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Another gorgeous chandelier and a rich display of antique textiles underneath.
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Did I say I love glass chandeliers? Even if I obviously would not use  this window treatment in a modern house I appreciate its beauty and the sinuous lines of the light fixture and of the silk draperies are really enchanting when seen together.
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A ceiling painted in 1760 by Giovan Battista Tiepolo in the ballroom at the center of the villa displays the greatest magnificence. It represents The Glory of the Pisani Family by a luminous affresco in his sublime and peculiar style. Luckily this masterpiece is safe, since it risked to be destroyed due to the the great project of modernization of the villa requested by Napoleon when he purchased the villa.

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A view from a gate

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And a view of the superb garden.

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An "amazing" day in an Italian smaller version of Versailles.

Photography by Albarosa Simonetti


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