Riviera del Brenta, Italy

The Riviera del Brenta which is an area between Padua and Venice along the Brenta channel passing the towns of Stra,  Fiesso d'Artico, Dolo, Mira, Oriago and finally to the Venice Lagoon.

The Brent is navigable by river boats and in the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries wealthy Venetian merchants built palaces along the channel which we can see today.  These villas were often next to farms, for the merchants it was a way of reinvesting funds from their trading activities.  

As you can see in the accompanying film and photographs, some of these villas are absolutely magnificent - and to a large extent despite the fame of Venice and Padua are not well known outside Italy.

These palaces include the enormous Villa Pisani in Stra, Villa Ferretti-Angeli in Dolo, Villa Widmann-Foscariin Mira, and Villa Foscari a.k.a. La Malcontenta in Malcontenta.  Some have museums attached showing life at the time the villas were built.  Some smaller ones are still in use today as residences  Some of them have also beautiful gardens, with small woods, fountains, mazes and small lakes. Many of the villas are in the Palladian style, and a few were designed by Andrea Palladio himself or by his pupil Vincenzo Scamozzi.

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