The Villa di Maser was conceived around 1550 by architect Andrea Palladio as a prestigeous venue for the agricultural estate of the noble Venetian brothers Daniele and Marcantonio Barbaro, who called painter Paolo Veronese and sculptor Alessandro Vittoria to decorate the building.
Its fortunate location on the hill, the elegance of its proportions, its harmony with the surrounding natural setting, the beauty of the decoration make of the Villa di Maser one of the most admired works of the architect.
The central block of the villa stands further forward than the open arcade fronts of the symmetrical wings.
Palladio gained inspiration from the ancient Roman temples to design the façade, thus giving great religious grandeur and importance to the living quarters of Barbaro.
To either the side the porticos link to the central part with the lateral wings destined for agricultural use, which have two dovecots above them.
Four statues depicting Olympian gods stand guard in front of the façade, giving a sense of a grand welcome.
Above the gable stands the Barbaro heraldic symbols at the center of an allegory which represents peace and harmony and which were the inspiriration behind the construction of the villa.
On the keystones there are masks, in the alcoves of the wings stand other Olympian gods, on the dovecots stand two sundials showing the time.
Climbing roses and flowers
Roses, wisteria, and bignonia welcome visitors to the villa.
Open to the public all the year, it maintains the fascinating character of a home where the owners still live and work, and during the many events staged, its beauty and magic atmosphere can be enjoyed throughout the changing seasons.
The surrounding territory of Villa di Maser: the Historic Winery, the Temple of Palladio and the Carriages Collection.
The Historic Winery (not open for visit)
Since the time of Palladio wine has had an important role in the life and economy of the villa. In planning the building, the architect designed “the spaces to make the wines” under the porches of the villa where they remained for three centuries, until in 1850 the Giacomellis, considering the high vocation of the Asolo Hills for wonderful wines, decided to increase the production and built the winery that is used to this day.
The Villa is located in the heart of the Montello and Colli Asolani D.O.C. in northern Veneto that includes the hills south of the Dolomites to the west of the Piave river in the Treviso province.
Grapes for the ancient winery are grown according to the strict regulations of eco-compatible agriculture in the 33 hectares of carefully selected vineyards at the heart of the 230 hectares estate that surrounds the villa. The vineyards are cultivated with high density techniques in order to obtain a very low yield per plant. Particular care is taken in ensuring the ideal proportion of 1.2 square meters of green surface per kilogram of grape produced.
The traditional varieties Merlot, Cabernet, Chardonnay, Prosecco and Verduzzo are hand picked and then processed with the utmost attention under the direction of Dr. Donato Lanati, researcher and teacher at the University of Turin, to provide elegant wines that express the personality of the highly vocated terroir of northern Veneto.
Il Tempietto (non visitabile. Per info scrivere a email@example.com)
Il Tempietto della Villa di Maser costituisce una delle opere più care all’architetto vicentino.
Venne realizzato alla conclusione della sua carriera, attorno al 1580, grazie a Marcantonio Barbaro che volle regalare alla comunità di Maser una nuova chiesa parrocchiale. Questo edificio coronò il sogno che il Palladio aveva a lungo inseguito, quello di costruire una chiesa a pianta circolare. Il cerchio infatti, essendo infinito, è secondo l’architetto la forma che più si avvicina alla rappresentazione di Dio.
The Carriages Collection
The use of animals for transportation was the norm quite recently, and numerous vehicles were used at Villa di Maser for daily life.
With the arrival of the car, such modes of transport quickly fell into disuse. Was Conte Enrico Luling Buschetti, through his great passion for horses, that decide to preserve and collect them, restoring and collecting new ones. Is an important collection of Italian carriages, about 30 vehicles of the 19th and 20th centuries. Most notable elements in the collection are the postal carriages (we have all seen used in westerns!) and the Brougham, nicknamed the brùm, which was a common mode of transport used in Milan in the 1900’s.
About 5 minutes by walk through the hills.
For information about the opening times from April to October please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Collection is closed from November to March.
Andrea Palladio (1508-1580)
Palladio was born in Padua, and started work at a very young age as a stonemason in Vicenza, where Giangiorgio Trissino immediately saw his potential and guided his intellectual development.
Together, they made numerous trips to Rome, where Palladio was able to build on his studies in classical architecture.
He was able to create an architectural style where the language of beauty and proportion based on ancient forms was rendered rational and functional. Thus his villas, designed to be efficient working farms, were at the same time the prestigious homes to the noble families of the time.
He started by designing and building villas in the Vicenza area, which culminated in his brilliant project winning the tender to restructure the Basilica di Vicenza.
In Venice he built his most important religious works and in 1570 he published the famed “Quattro libri dell’Architettura” (The Four Books of Architecture), which spread his principles and models all over the world and laid many foundations for western architecture.
Paolo Veronese (1528-1588)
One of the great masters of the Venetian Renaissance, Paolo Caliari became known as Veronese and won over the Venetians with his use of colour, his ability to integrate architectural elements with human forms and his creative genius when creating new subjects.
This creativity nearly proved his undoing when he was hauled before the Inquisition, accused of including extraneous and indecorous details in his sacred depiction of the Last Supper.
Veronese explained that “we painters take the same liberties as poets and madmen” and rather than repaint the picture, he simply and pragmatically retitled it to the less sacramental the Feast in the House of Levi, by which it is known today.
He was summoned by the Republic of Venice to paint the Sala del Maggior Consiglio in Palazzo Ducale and his canvasses today are found in the world’s most important museums.
In Maser, his genius was given full rein and he brilliantly interpreted the rhythms of the architectural spaces designed by Palladio, enriching them with fake architectural features and a myriad of real and allegorical characters.
Alessandro Vittoria (1525-1608)
The sculptor Alessandro Vittoria was born in Trento but moved to Venice when he was still young to work as an apprentice in the atelier of architect-sculptor Jacopo Sansovino . He was privileged to be able to participate in the decorating of the Scala d’Oro in the Palazzo Ducale and produced the Cariatidi at the entrance to the Libreria Marciana.
He had close associations with the most important people of his day in Venice thanks to his ability as a portraitist, and was one of the main protagonists of the artistic life in the city with his stuccoes and his virtuoso works in marble and bronze.
He decorated the Cappella Grimani in San Sebastiano and sculpted the statue for the altar in the San Francesco della Vigna church.
He worked with Palladio to decorate Palazzo Thiene in Vicenza and Villa Pisani in Montagnana.
In Maser the original ideas for the stucco decoration and the realization of a large part of it are attributed to Vittoria.