Altivole – Queen Cornaro’s Bark

Built in the Altivole municipality in 1491, to the design of Pietro Lugato, the Barco della Regina (the Queen’s Bark), summer residence of Queen Conaro, was supposed to replicate the pomp of the Cyprus Court on firm land. Here the queen created her magnificent court, consisting of a considerable number of people including noble ladies, dignitaries, poets and illustrious personalities who were invited to dinners, carousels, jousts and hunting parties. The villa stood in the midst of extensive grounds while all the rest was given over to vineyards, orchards, woods and gardens with water streams and fountains fed with underground piping several kilometres long, connected to the Sorgente della Regina (Queen’s spring) in the Ru valley. Today, only a tiny part of the complex remains: one wing, the Barco, that, despite the state of abandonment and the rundown appearance, is an elegant and very well proportioned structure.