Built between between 1558 and 1560, Villa Foscari was commissioned by Nicolo and Luigi Foscari, the relatives of Francesco Foscari, the 65th Doge of the Republic of Venice and one of the most powerful one in the 15th century. The original function of the villa was to host official receptions. Standing on a pedestal gave the villa a monumental effect and made it suitable for receiving important guests such as Henry III of France. Attached to the villa is a tragic story of Elisabetta, married to one of the Foscaris in the 19th century. Elisabetta was locked up in the villa for her misconduct, hence the villa's nickname: La Malcontenta (meaning: unhappy).
The green scenery and well-kept garden reminded me of an English setting. In fact, Palladian architecture had a great influence around the world in the 18th century, and many English villas were built in Palladian style. No wonder why I felt like I was in England for a moment. Yet, the beautiful weather and fruitful citrus plants of the place made it unmistakably Italian. My friends and I even had an improvisational yoga session on the grass field, and it was refreshing to breath in the fresh air of the Veneto countryside.
Fun facts: Today, the owners of the villa occasionally use Villa Foscari as a venue for private parties. Many famous people have visited the villa - among them were Andy Warhol and Cytwombly. The villa is too cold to sleep in so no one really sleeps there overnight anymore.
The opening hours of Villa Foscari are quite limited. In 2018, the villa is open from March 24th to October 31st - Saturday and Tuesday from 9:00am to 12:00pm. Please check their website before visiting. Villa Foscari is part of the the World Heritage Site "City of Vicenza and the Palladian Villas of the Veneto." Plenty of other works by Palladio can be found in the region Veneto, especially in Vicenza. For instances, Villa Piovene and Villa Almerico Capra.
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