A romantic cruise among the venetian villas of the Brenta Riviera

The “Venetian Villa” is related to the phenomenon of “holiday” that appeared in the Veneto region between the XV century and the XVI century and lasted for the two following centuries, until the fall of the glorious Venetian Republic in 1797. From the XVI century, canals and rivers easily accessible from Venice, were lined with sumptuous summer residences. The Brenta Canal that connected, along with other canals, Venice and Padua was the fashion canal, a place of delight and ideal extension of Venice’s Grand Canal, where more than forty luxurious villas ourished. Here, not far from the city, the nobles spent their holidays, arriving from Venice with comfortable boats called Burchielli that sailed up the Brenta Canal; these boats were powered with oars from St. Mark, through the lagoon to Fusina, where they were drawn by horses until Padua, along the Brenta Riviera. The trip was charming and enjoyable; in the slow proceeding across the villas and the willow-trees, ladies and “cicisbei”, noblemen and adventurers, actors and artists livened the life on board making the river tour picturesque and pleasing. At the end of the XVIII century, with the fall of the Republic of Venice, due to the arrival of Napoleon, this service ceased. Relaunched again as a touristic itinerary by the Provincial Institution for Tourism in Padua in the 60’s, the service started again with a high increase in passengers. Nowadays Burchiello, a modern and comfortable boat, sails the Brenta Canal from Padua to Venice and viceversa, bringing thousands of tourists to the Venetian Villas, stopping at the beautiful and most famous Villas, linked to great names, such as Palladio and Tiepolo, for the guided tours of the interiors. An attracting trip that, passing nine swing bridges and six Locks, real water lifts, allows the tourist to ascend (or to descend) a level of 10 metres between Padua and Venice.

Piazzola sul brenta - 9 km

Villa Contarini. Camerini is one of the largest Venetian houses in the Baroque style. Situated in Piazzola del Brenta, it acts as background to the main semicircular square and its porch. It boasts a vast park of more than 40 hectares with fish-pools, lakes and avenues lined with trees located behind the villa.

Colli euganei - 30 km

The setting of the Colli Euganei in the homonymous natural park is rich in historical and artistic attractions. You can enjoy visiting villages of the Middle Ages and thermal stations located in a wonderful naturalistic environment offering you many possibilities for trekking and cycling. www.turismopadova.it

Venezia - 30 km

Clothed in mist, due to the magical wintry atmosphere and drawing tourists from every corner of the world, Venice seems almost not to exist but forms only part of our dreams. www.turismovenezia.it

Padova - 10 km

With its many artistic and cultural traditions, Padova boasts over 3.000 years of history, that have bestowed a wide variety of monuments of great historical and artistic importance on the city. www.turismopadova.it.

Arquà Petrarca - 9 km

The famous poet Petrarca chose the Colli Euganei setting and this enchanting village to spend the last period of his life. One can even still visit his home today. www.turismopadova.it

Vicenza - 45 km

The ancient tradition of the goldsmith´s art makes an international reference point of Vicenza in this field. Not only is Vicenza an attractive town, it is also bound to the aesthetical genius of Andrea Palladio who left a precious inheritance in his adoptive town of villas and palaces of extraordinary beauty that allowed Vicenza to earn the title of world UNESCO heritage. www.visitvicenza.org

Verona - 85 km

It´s hard to think of Verona without Romeo and Juliet´s love story coming to mind. Its famous arena and its Opera Festival are equally unforgettable too. www.tourism.verona.it