Maser – Villa Barbaro

Built by brothers Daniele and Marcantonio Barbaro between 1550 and 1560, it must be considered one of the highest examples of Andrea Palladio’s genius. The Villa resulted from the unusual and extraordinary collaboration between designer and clients (refined enthusiasts and connoisseurs of classical architecture) that manages to blend villa, company and landscape in an exemplary equilibrium. Built in a slightly elevated position, at the top of a flight of steps cut into the slope of the hill, it makes the level of the gardens coincide with the level of both floors. The internal decoration by Paolo Veronese for the frescos and Alessandro Vittoria for the stucco-work , highlights the harmony that must reign between man and nature with allegories and symbolic scenes, in a quite exemplary way. The building opens up towards the plain, organised into the linear geometries of the garden, split by the public road, and then continues into the spectacular tree-lined drive that is extended indefinitely towards the horizon. On the axis of the public road, a few meters from the villa, Palladian’s last work was built in 1580: the small Temple that, according to Marcantonio Barbaro, had to function as private oratory as well as village church. Built along the classical lines of the Roman Pantheon, it was the only chance given to Palladio to build a church in that “round form” that he considered ideal for sacred buildings. It is possible to visit the curious “Carriage Museum” on the hill behind the villa.