Riviera del Brenta History
The story of how the villas along the Brenta River came to be built dates back to the 8th Century. At that time, Venice was known as “Serenissima Repubblica di Venezia”, or the Most Serene Republic of Venice. It consisted of groupings of communities along the Lagoon. While they were able to cohabitate peacefully, the inevitable invasion of the Lombards, Huns and the Western Roman Empire, created the need to band together and elect a leader.
So separatist was the Venetian population that by the 14th Century, the Great Council of Venice deemed it illegal for its citizens to own property on the Mainland. It was then that there began a migration of Venetian Noblemen up the Brenta River and daily commerce took hold.
Many country villas were built, peaking in the 17th and 18th Centuries. Although they were considered to be country homes, the villas took on many facets of society. Some were country gentlemen farms, some served as retreats for artists, and some were quite grand to accommodate great banquets. Residences were showcases for the great architects of the times, including Palladio, Scamozzi, and Frigimelica, embellished with frescoes by great painters.