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The labyrinth of Villa Pisani September 16, 2007

Posted by dorigo in Art, personal, travel.

Villa Pisani (above, in a google earth image, and right, as seen from the river) is one of the best examples of eighteenth century baroque architecture. It is located in in the pictoresque riviera del Brenta, 15 kilometers from Venice. The more than hundred rooms of the villa host frescoes from many masters of the period, including Gian Battista Tiepolo. The villa was owned by Napoleon, and then hosted other famous historical events such as a meeting of Mussolini and Hitler in 1934.

The villa itself is majestic and quite spectacular, but no less so is its huge park, which hosts among many other attractions a fancy labyrinth. We visited it at long last today – Filippo had been eager to try solving the maze for a year, but regrettably the labyrinth is often closed and the opening hours change unpredictably, and our past attempts had been unsuccessful.

The labyrinth has a trapezoidal shape of about 60 meters on each side. You enter from a side and have to work your way to the center, where a tower allows you a view of the entire maze. Despite its relatively small dimensions, it is not entirely trivial to find your way, especially if you do not take it too seriously. But we did solve it rather quickly, and getting back out was easier after having checked the correct path from above.

I attach below a few pictures taken today. First, the entrance to the labyrinth:

Then a part of the paths in the labyrinth: 


Below, Filippo is contemplating the lily pads on the pond.


One of the many statues embellishing the gardens:

Finally, a view of the central pond in front of the villa:



1. Amara - September 16, 2007

That’s neat! A “puzzle villa”.

I lived in my town 3 years before I took a walk around its most recognizable landmark: Villa Aldobrandini (still lived in by the Aldobrandini family). And that was only because I was attending a Paolo Conte concert in the courtyard of the Villa, located on Villa Aldobrandini’s backside. And what a surprise! The frontside of Villa Aldobrandini is nothing like like the backside. The frontside is flat and plain and I think, uninteresting. The backside is glorious with fountains, sculpture and gardens.

Aldobrandini pictures I found at Flickr

Aldobrandini Front
Frascati Middle Man

Aldobrandini from the side

View from Aldobrandini towards Rome (on a rainy day)

Back side of Aldobrandini

And why the difference? The Aldobrandini family didn’t wish to show an extravagant display of wealth towards the Vatican, located within their view. (As if that would matter to the proportionally richest city-state in the world…)

2. Derek Slater - September 17, 2007

What an amazing place – as you might imagine, in the US we have very little access to actual castles 🙂

3. dorigo - September 17, 2007

Hi Amara,

very nice pictures! I did not know the villa, although I think I have indeed seen it from a distance once. And it is indeed amusing that the family should take pains to avoid hurting the vatican’s feelings, given the general lack of a franciscan spirit in the wealth of italian churches and other religious places…

Derek, thanks for visiting… Yes, regrettably for some reason the baroque was not en vogue in north America in the eighteenth century…


4. Chris - September 9, 2008

Hi dorigo- I’m glad you found a use for some of my photos !
You have a very interesting site.
Kind regards,

5. dorigo - September 9, 2008

Hello Jazzer,

I wonder which pictures you are talking about. Anyway,
thanks and see you around soon,


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