TENUTA CA' ZEN
B&B & Wedding
Ca’ Zen is a 17th-century Country House located right next to the main branch of the River Po, in the heart of the Po Delta Nature Reserve. The Villa was built as a shooting lodge by the Zen, a Venetian Patrician Family, who owned land in Polesine. Ca’ Zen is a lovely charming Country House: the central part of the Villa with its two saloni, and the various different rooms located symmetrically on either sides recall the typical Venetian Architecture. The large and welcoming “wings” were added in the beginning of the 18th-century. The chapel is dedicated to St. Margaret and is also simple and lovely, with its two statues representing the Archangel Gabriel announcing the “Great Mystery” to the Holy Virgin whose modest and beautiful expression give a true grace to the 18th-century altar. At the back a 14th-century tabernacle tells us about the more ancient origins of this sacred spot, which can be located on maps long before the 1700. The barn houses and cottages are more recent and are still used for farming purposes. The Tenuta passed from the last of the Zens, Chiara Moro, to the Marchesi Guiccioli, a powerful family from Ravenna. Alessandro Guiccioli’s last of three wives was the young and beautiful Teresa Gamba, who, on one memorable evening in 1819 in Palazzo Benzon, met Lord Byron, with whom she fell passionately in love. Tradition tells us that the angry husband sent Teresa to Ca’ Zen, then a “sad malaria ridden place”. Byron used to secretly visit Teresa , and from the very balcony of the salone on the first floor was inspired to write the moving “Stanzas to the Po River that floweth by the antient walls where dwells the lady of my love”. The property then passed to the Casalicchio-Avanzo, and it was Elaine Avanzo Westropp Bennett, married to the late Cavalier Pericle Avanzo, who had the idea of using part of the Villa as a welcoming B&B. Today this charming Country House has both Italian and foreign guests coming to stay.Their purpose is to enjoy the peace of this unspoiled and still unknown part of Italy: excursions can be made in the Nature Reserve, by bike, boat, canoe or on horseback. Ca’ Zen is also strategically located: Venice, Ferrara, Ravenna, Padova, Rovigo and Chioggia are all within one hour’s drive. Our guests can enjoy the lovely 5 acre park, and the huge red brick aia, once used for drying out crops. The place is also an ideal setting for wedding receptions that now can be held under the wide, newly restored portico.