The first stop involves one of the Italy’s most beautiful villages. We are at the Villa (or Castello) of Cordovado. Everything one could want is here: the ancient Castle, the medieval burg with its perfectly-preserved walls, the Marian sanctuary a jewel of Baroque art, a parish church dating back to the 15th century, the Venetian Palazzos and the historic gardens with magnificent rose arbors and secret paths. An enjoyable and enchanting visit enhanced by elements of art and history that reveals curiosities and anecdotes on the personages who lived here.
From this intriguing medieval atmosphere, we move on to the grandiosity of an 18th-century Villa Veneta that Carlo Goldoni described as a place for “A sojourn fit for a king”, Villa Manin
. The visual impact is striking: a centuries-old 18-hectare park spreads as far as the eye can see from the two large bow-shaped barchesse, or annexes, where lunch will be served. The Villa, residence of the last Doge and witness to the fall of the Republic of Venice, has become an important Contemporary Art Center and the site of major exhibitions.
Continuing north, we reach the hilltop Castello di Villalta, a medieval manor house, today a National Monument, with a documented history dating back to 1158. Its drawbridge, towers, watchmen’s walkways, flower-filled gardens, sumptuous interiors, regal rooms and family mementos speak of various epochs: a time when the Castle served as an Imperial military outpost, and the time of the Republic of Venice and the Pax Venetiana.