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

Mirano (Zianigo neighborhood), 12 m/40 feet above sea level, Via Scortegara; train station at Noale on the Venezia-Bassano Line, about 5 km/3 miles to the north. On bicycle the villa can be reached along the Mirano, Brenta as far as Padova route by way of a short detour (about 1,600 m/1 mile) from Villa Erizzo Belvedere, following the bike lane along Via Belvedere, which then becomes Via Scortegara; unfortunately, the final section lacks a bike lane, is narrow and therefore hazardous.

The name Tiepolo refers to one of the families, called apostolic, being one of the founders of Venice; during the Middle Ages it produced two doges: Jacopo and Niccolò, but the name is associated primarily with the famous eighteenth century painter Giambattista Tiepolo and his two sons Giandomenico and Lorenzo, also painters.

Giambattista Tiepolo acquired this villa, located near Mirano, in 1757, but built in 1687 by the Angeloni family, and expanded it with a barchessa [farm support building] at one side; a few years later he moved to Madrid where he died in 1770. It was therefore left to the son Giandomenico to decorate the rooms with a famous series of frescoes, some inspired by prankish tales of Pulcinella. [Pulcinella is the original source for the English character Punch. RB]

The villa changed ownership to the Duodo family and at the beginning of the twentieth century it was acquired by an antiques dealer who removed all the frescoes with the intent of selling them in France. The deal was blocked by the Ministero della Pubblica Istruzione [Ministry of Public Education] which along with the City of Venice purchased all the frescoes and moved them first to the Correr Museum, and then to the Museo del Settecento Veneziano [Museum of 18th century Venice] when it was established at Ca' Rezzonico in 1936; here in several rooms on the second floor an attempt was made to reconstruct faithfully the interior of the villa.

Stripped of its frescoes, the villa has lost its main attraction, and might go unnoticed altogether if not for a tourist marker on the other side of the road; currently the villa is privately owned and not open to visitors; the barchessa is separate from the villa and is used for dwellings; the main body of the villa seems to be uninhabited.

Latest visit: 2014-12-27

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