The Veneto by bicycleVenetian Villas
Villa Corner at Lughignano (TV)
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Map of the villa and surroundings

Lughignano, a district of Casale sul Sile, Province of Treviso, 4 m/13 feet above sea level, Via della Chiesa; train station at Quarto d’Altino on the Venezia-Trieste line about 6 km/3.7 miles to the southeast, or at Treviso about 6 km/3.7 miles to the northwest. The villa is situated along the bike route of the Sile.

This villa along the river Sile is one of the oldest Venetian villas and represents an important example of the transition from the Gothic style to the Renaissance; it was constructed around 1490 on behalf of Caterina Corner, the famous queen of Cyprus(*) who, in turn, gave it to one of her bridesmaids, by the name of Fiammetta.

The villa has a cubic form with two facades, the front facade facing the Sile, the rear facing the street (Via della Chiesa di Lughignano); the two facades are almost identical except for the portico at the ground floor of the facade facing the river. The facades are slightly asymmetrical with the east side being wider than the west. The structure is one that is typical of a Venetian palazzo but with the Sile in place of the Grand Canal.

The villa went through several changes of ownership; the first documented owners were the Barbaro family in the seventeenth century; the villa then went to the Zampieri, the Dall’Aglio, the Sardi, the Pattaro and the Padoan families. By 1967, in poor condition and reduced to being used for farm storage, it was at risk of being demolished; it was saved from ruin by the Milano engineer Gabbianelli who purchased it and had it restored. Thus the source of the name Villa Corner Gabbianelli.

The villa remains the private residence of the Gabbianelli family and is not open for visits.

Caterina Corner belonged to one of the great Venetian families, whose last name often is Italianized into Cornaro. Married at a very early age to the King of Cyprus and Armenia, Giacomo II Lusignano, she soon became widowed, and after many changes of fortune, returned to Venice in June 1489, received triumphantly by the Doge, who transported her in the Bucintoro [the Doges private barge] to the Doges Palace. This triumphal return of the Queen of Cyprus has become embedded in the Venetian iconography and is reenacted in costume every year, the first Sunday of September, in the historic procession on the Grand Canal. X

Latest visit: 2015-01-04

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Panoramic photo: to see the entire photo, double-click on the image. X