Venetian Villas: Villa Valmarana ai Nani
A legend about a sad little princess, a special place that impressed Goethe
Slow Tour through Palladian Villas of Veneto: we are at Villa Valmarana ai Nani. As the story goes, the daughter of the noble owner of this villa suffered from dwarfism and her parents decided to surround her only with gnomes, to not make her feel different. One fine day, a beautiful prince arrived at the Villa: she fell in love with him, but he mocked her. Overcome by despair, she came up to the highest tower and committed suicide. All her gnomes, in pain, remained petrified. That’s why in the garden and on the surrounding wall there are a lot of gnomes statues that are still watching the girl sleeping.
Actually, Villa Valmarana (near Vicenza) dates back to the end of the 17th century and since 1720 up to the present day has always been in possession of the Valmarana family. Giustino Valmarana indeed in 1736 wanted the villa to be restored by Muttoni, the same famous architect who restored Villa Trissino.
Today I have visited Villa Valmarana that Tiepolo has decorated, giving free course to all his virtues and defects. He didn’t succeed in realizing the sublime style like the natural one, but in this aspect there are splendid things: as a decorator, broadly eaking, he is full of happiness and cleverness.
This is how Goethe described the villa in its “Italian Journey” in 1786. What most impressed me about the frescoes by Tiepolo is the magnificent representation of the sacrifice of Iphigenia and all the other paintings about mythological theme (the Iliad’s Room, the Eneid’s Room…). The homeowners who welcome people to the Villa come from a three centuries old noble family. On the other hand, they are modern and practical touristic entrepreneurs who work to preserve such an invaluable artistic heritage. The tour of this Villa is really a fascinating experience.