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Villa Morosini-Gatterburg at Mogliano Veneto (TV)
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Map of the villa and surroundings

Locality Marocco, Via Terraglio 78, altitude 5 m/16 feet above sea level; train station at Mogliano Veneto. The main structure of the villa is in the town of Mogliano, outbuildings and the part of the grounds south of the river Dese are in the city of Venice. It can be reached on bicycle from Venice by using the bike path along the Terraglio [nickname for Via Terraglio].

The villa is one of the most impressive and visible of the villas that face onto the Terraglio; the current building is the result of incorporating previous structures; in the 18th century the villa was already the property of the Venetian family Morosini, and in 1799 Elisabetta Morosini married Paul Gatterburg who then became its co-owner, thus the name Villa Morosini-Gatterburg. The facade acquired its current appearance during the 19th century; during the 20th century the villa was acquired by Giuseppe Volpi di Misurata and therefore the villa is known also as Villa Volpi.

The appearance of the villa is monumental; the center of the facade has a motif vaguely like Palladio’s design with four pilasters that contain the three windows of the piano nobile [main floor] and the second floor, surmounted by a pediment with three statues; in the middle of the pilasters is the Morosini family coat-of-arms.

The villa today is the private property of the Furlanis family and is not open to the public.

Various authors (Venturini 1977, Scarpari 1980) associate this villa with Villa Mocenigo at Marocco described in the Second Book of Architecture by Andrea Palladio; in fact, the Palladio design, which at first glance is not that dissimilar from the current villa, was never completed. During the middle of the 18th century Ottavio Bertotti Scamozzi visited and accurately measured the villa, then the property of Cavalier Lorenzo Morosini, and found only the left wing to be completed (“Of this particular invention only a third has already been constructed”) but still in good condition (“The part of the fabric that was executed radiates a superb grandeur accompanied by ample and comfortable decorations.”) The villa was divided into four stories, and Bertotti wondered if this unusual division harkened back to the Palladio design or whether it was from a later modification.

Regardless, the villa was demolished in 1795. The connection with the current villa is not clear: was the newer construction on the same site or at a different location? Neither Palladio nor Bertotti mentioned the presence of the river Dese next to the villa, yet the left wing of the complex would have to have been just above [north of] the river; therefore it seems likely that the Palladio villa was located more or less distant from the site of the current villa, but still in Marocco and on land owned by the Morosini. And perhaps those who designed the 19th century facade had in mind the original Palladio design.

Latest visit: 2016-09-25

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