Arrive at Villa Godi Malinverni: it’s 1542 and we are standing before Andrea Palladio’s first work, now a UNESCO world heritage site. Surrounding the building is a magnificent historic garden embellished with statues, ponds and fountains that make it one of the most charming romantic parks of the 19th century.
The guided visit, offering artistic beauty and engaging anecdotes, takes us to another time. The Villa has often been used a film set; in fact, Luchino Visconti shot “Senso” here.
On the property is a Restaurant where you’ll enjoy lunch. After the meal, those who wish to can have a walk in the Villa’s park and see its interesting an extensive fossil collection.
A few kilometers away is Castello di Thiene , an extraordinary 15th-century Gothic edifice that encompasses precursors of all of the elements that would later contribute to the Palladian lexicon (the magnificent main villa and all of the architectural elements that served the estate’s agricultural functions), as well as castle walls and crenellated towers.
The result is a Venetian palace on the mainland, used in M. Radford’s film version of The Merchant of Venice with Al Pacino and Jeremy Irons. The Conti Thiene family or a member of their staff will accompany guests through the rooms, which still have many original furnishings, frescoes and an extensive collection of portraits.
Of special note are the oversized equestrian-themed canvases and the sumptuous stables.