The Veneto by bicycleVenetian Villas
Villa Franceschi at Mira (VE)
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Map of the villa and surroundings

Mira Porte, a hamlet of Mira, altitude 5 m/16 feet above sea level, Via Don Minzoni 28; train station at Mira, 5 km/3 miles to the north, and at Mira Buse, 1 km/.6 mile to the south. The villa is located along the Riviera del Brenta bike route.

The origins of the villa are uncertain. The Regional Institute of Venetian Villas, gives an earliest-known date at the beginning of the eighteenth century, when the villa had first appeared on the map. But other sources and the plaque in front of the villa, date the villa to the sixteenth century—the late 1500s, judging by the style and appearance of the villa, which is dominated by a tripartite window with a balcony and surmounted by a triangular pediment. The villa is separated from the street by a wall with an entrance gate to the north.

The original name of the villa, Franceschi, is almost certainly the same Venetian family with a similar last name, although expanded to “di Franceschi,” which had been admitted to the Great Council in 1716, and for many centuries had a tradition of senior officials of the Venetian Republic, in particular, secretaries of the Senate. In 1529, one Andrea di Franceschi became the Great Chancellor, the highest title to which a non-patrician could aspire; In 1552, Vettore di Franceschi was Bishop of Famagusta, in Cyprus, and at the end of the century, Hieronimo di Franceschi was secretary of the Senate, and since 1575 he was in charge of ciphers, one of the most brilliant cryptologists in the history of cryptography in Venice. It is likely that he was one of the members of this family who had the villa built at the end of the sixteenth century, but it remains only as a plausible conjecture.

After having passed through many ownerships, the villa for several years, now, has housed a five-star luxury hotel with an adjacent restaurant; its state of preservation is excellent. For information about the hotel and how to visit, please see the official website.

Latest visit: 2020-08-09

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