Riviera del Brenta
The Riviera del Brenta (Brenta River) is made up of districts and green spots along the ancient course of a river linking Padua to Venice. This was the ideal extension of Venice onto the mainland, almost a continuation of the lagoon city: between the 16th and the 18th century the Brenta Riviera experienced a golden age which turned it into a privileged holiday resort for rich Venetian nobles. They built dozen of villas along its riverbanks, designed and decorated by masters of Italian art, visited by artists, popes, kings and men of culture, envied for their beauty, inhabited as country seats where they celebrated ritual floating processions, sumptuous dinners and festivities lasting until dawn. Along the River one can admire more than fifty villas, once summer residences of the Venetian nobility. Quite interesting are the villages and the ancient bridges along the river. Villa Foscari, designed by Palladio. The image of the villa's pronaos reflected on the water is still fresh in our minds as we catch sight of the next villages and their villas. The best known are: the seventeenth century "foresterie" (guest houses) of Villa Valmarana overlooking Villa Widmann Foscari located on the opposite river bank in Mira Porte; Villa Angeli in Dolo designed by Scamozzi; Villa Soranzo in Fiesso with the whole frescoed façade; Villa Pisani in Strà. Rich as a jewel casket, the villa is of outstanding interest to visitors, with frescoes by Tiepolo and Guarana, spectacular stables and the celebrated maze, epitomizing eighteenth century Venetian society which, in the game of the history, performed vanishing acts, only to appear once again. The Brenta has had many famous guests such as Henry IV King of France, D'Annunzio, Byron, Galileo Galilei, etc.. many others praised its beauties as Goethe and Goldoni. Also Dante Alighieri mentiones Oriago town in the Divine Comedy.