Padova – Villa 1

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Originally a hunting lodge built in 1568, this was the brainchild of Dario Varotari, a painter and architect, pupil of Veronese.The rooms are covered in mannerist frescoes: scenes from mythology and family history, putti, grotesques and vignettes. In keeping with the open, hilly situation, Varotari designed a severely square building with identical facades, each with extended double-storey loggias. The formal severity produces a delightful contrast with the playfully theatrical loggias, their frescos and their elaborately decorated pediments. The internal layout of the rooms follows the symmetrical principle. The four rooms on the ground floor and the four rooms on the first floor are connected by a splendid staircase with four ramps. The basically square structure of the hedge-lined Italian garden is broken up by semicircular extensions, so-called exedra.