La Malcontenta

The villa was constructed between 1550 and 1560 for the Foscari family in a suggestive position easily reached from Venice. Functioning primarily as a location to receive guests, in its time, the villa received illustrious visitors among which was Enrico II di Valois, King of Poland and France. During the last century, a legend was born which refers to a noblewoman, a member of the Foscarini family, who was relegated to the abandoned villa to make amends in solitude for a dissolute lifestyle. From this came the name “La Malcontenta” (the unhappy) which applies not only to the Palladian villa, but also to the entire town. Another possible derivative regarding the Malcontenta refers the destructive floods of the past. The villa is in fact situated on the bend of a navigable canal at the ancient mouth of the Brenta. It is, in fact, the first villa encountered traveling along the river upward from Venice where many Venetian noblemen constructed their villas. As a consequence of this trend, the Brenta Riviera is the only area in the world with a concentration of architectural marvels and historical testimony. Since it was planned to sit on a solid bank of sand, Palladio raised the villa on to a base, giving it solidity and increasing the grandeur of the complex. From the Brenta, one sees the facade with the two flights of lateral stairs and the ionic pronaos that support the plinth from above rendering the villa visible from a distance. The building is smooth ashlar divided into three orders of light relief, a typical example of Palladian sobriety. The careful and sparse distribution of the windows and of the frames exalts the gradual plinth to an even greater extent, a contribution in making the Malcontenta one of the most fascinating of Palladio's buildings. In the interior, the large crossed salon is illuminated on the southern side by a large thermal window. The villa is richly decorated with frescoes begun by Battista Franco in the style of Giulio Romano, and upon his death, were completed by Zelotti. Abandoned for centuries, the villa suffered the insult of weather and during the Austrian dominion, a part of the frescoes, the adjoining rustic buildings and the walled were demolished. The villa was gradually restored beginning in 1926 and today, it can be visited in all its beauty as one of Palladio's most beautiful villas. The building is included in the World Heritage List of Unesco and is noted by the Italian Government as being a work of architecture with relevant historic and cultural interest.


VILLA FOSCARI detta LA MALCONTENTA via Turisti, n°.11 – 30030 Malcontenta di Mira (VE) tel.+39 0415470012 fax +39 0415479427 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Mobile: (da aprile a ottobre) +39 348 8999082


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Ville Venete & Castelli

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