Villa Foscari

Mira, Italy

Villa Foscari is designed by the Italian architect Andrea Palladio. It is also known as La Malcontenta, a nickname which it received when the spouse of one of the Foscaris was locked up in the house because she allegedly didn't live up to her conjugal duty.

The villa was commissioned by the brothers Nicolo and Luigi Foscari, members of a patrician Venetian family that produced Francesco Foscari, one of Venice's most noted doges. It was built between 1558 and 1560. It is located beside the Brenta canal and is raised on a pedestal, which is characteristic of Palladio's villas; this pedestal is more massive than most of Palladio's villas because it was not possible to construct a subterranean basement on the site.

The villa lacks the agricultural buildings which were an integral part of some of the other Palladian villas. It was used for official receptions, such as that given for Henry III of France in 1574.

The interior of the villa is richly decorated with frescoes by Battista Franco and Giambattista Zelotti. Mythological scenes from Ovid alternate with allegories of the Arts and Virtues. As at other Palladian villas, the paintings reflect villa life in, for example, Astraea showing Jove the pleasures of the Earth. The frescoes have dulled over time, signs of the increasing threat that air pollution poses to works of art.

In 1973, Antonio Foscari (a descendant of the Foscari lineage) and his wife, Barbara del Vicario, recovered the villa, and have undertaken a painstaking process of restoring the villa to its original grandeur.

Since 1996 the building has been conserved as part of the World Heritage Site 'City of Vicenza and the Palladian Villas of the Veneto'. Today, the villa is open to the public for visits on a limited basis.



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Via dei Turisti 9, Mira, Italy
See all sites in Mira


Founded: 1558-1560
Category: Palaces, manors and town halls in Italy

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4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Margaux Barbier (2 years ago)
Beautiful villa. It’s a pity that the staff was so cold & that we couldn’t visit the kitchens (lower part of the villa).
Andrea Rade (5 years ago)
One of the best villa of palladio, the vacation house of ca Foscari
Anime Discuside (6 years ago)
La Malcontenta villa Palladina, prima villa del tragitto del Burchiello.
Valeria Zacchei (6 years ago)
Per visitare questa splendida villa di Palladio si attraversa un giardino ben tenuto che permette di lasciarsi alle spalle il centro nuovo di Malcontenta e disporre l'animo all'atmosfera di raffinata eleganza degli ozi rinascimentali. La villa è molto ben tenuta se si considerano le traversie che ha attraversato. La concezione spaziale stupisce ancora oggi per la chiarezza di impostazione e il sapiente uso dei volumi e della luce naturale. Una piccola meraviglia, da visitare.
Roberto Malacarne (6 years ago)
La Villa merita una visita ma il prezzo di 10 euro senza una guida e per un solo piano é troppo. Per avere info dovete servirvi di un App sul cellulare. Inoltre divieti sparsi ovunque tra cui il divieto di fare foto. Ci sono molte altre Ville sul Brenta che meritano una visita dove troverete personale gentile e disponibile e con una card da 9.90 si possono visitare 3 Ville e avere sconti su altre...Villa Foscari esclusa naturalmente...
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