It represents the heights of 18th century architecture when the splendour of the baroque blended with the harmony of
classicism on a par with great palaces like Versailles or Caserta. The construction of the main body began in 1720 on a project by Gerolamo Frigimelica, commissioned by noblemen Alvise and Almorò Pisani. After Frigimelica’s death, the work of building the grandiose complex was entrusted to Francesco Maria Preti, a young architect to whom the villa owes its present aspect. In the interior, most of the 114 rooms feature their original furnishings and are richly decorated with statues, stuccowork and frescoes commissioned from the great masters of the epoch, artists like Fabio Canal, Jacopo Guarana, Jacopo Amigoni, Andrea Urbani, Andrea Brustolon, Andrea Celesti, Gaspare Diziani, and many others. Reigning over them all is the name of Gian Battista Tiepolo who, in the ballroom, between 1760 and 1762 realised – together with the quadraturist Giovanni Mengozzi Colonna, his irreplaceable collaborator – one of the masterpieces of 18th century Venetian art, the Glory of the Pisani Family. The extensive park is a world apart, with groups of sculptures and features such as the coffeehouse, the exedra, the folly, the icehouse, the lemon-house and the stables that mirror the proportions of the main house. The villa has accommodated many famous guests in the course of its long history, from Napoleon, who became its proprietor in 1807, to Mussolini and Hitler who met here for the first time in 1934. Here too Gabriele D’Annunzio found the inspiration for the maize scene described in his novel The Fire. The garden of Villa Pisani has been awarded in the 2008 edition of the competition for ‘The most beautiful garden in Italy’.
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