Villa Barbaro, masterpiece of 16th-century Italian architect Andrea Palladio, is one of the most striking of Veneto’s UNESCO-listed Palladian villas. This group of elegant patrician residences are scattered in the hills between Vicenza and Treviso, and make for a fascinating day trip from Venice.
The countryside surrounding Vicenza is dotted by dozens of stately villas with classical architecture and sweeping manicured gardens. Known as the Palladian Villas after their architect Andrea Palladio, these rural residences were constructed in the first half of the 16th century for a handful of wealthy families from the Venetian Republic. Villa Barbaro (also known as Villa di Maser), completed around 1558, is characterized by its Roman-inspired façade with four ionic columns, interior frescoes by Paolo Veronese, tempietto (chapel), and nymphaeum with elaborate stuccoes by Alessandro Vittoria.
Today, the villa estate includes a working farm and winery, and visitors can explore the sumptuous residence, view the carriage collection, and enjoy a wine tasting. Day trips from Venice to Villa Barbaro can also include stops in the picturesque medieval hill towns of Bassano del Grappa and Asolo, along with a prosecco tasting at an area winery.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Touring the villa and gardens requires a bit of walking, so wear comfortable shoes, a hat, and sunscreen.
- The villa is not accessible to wheelchairs and strollers.
- Visitors are required to wear shoe coverings (provided) to protect the historic floors.
- Photography without flash is permitted inside the villa.
- There are public restrooms, a snack bar, and gift shop outside the villa.
How to Get There
The villa is located on Via Barbaro near the village of Maser, just over an hour from Venice by car. Arriving by public transportation involves multiple bus connections, so the most convenient way to visit is by joining a small-group or private tour that includes transportation.
When to Get There
One of the main draws of Villa Barbaro are the lovely grounds, which are in full bloom in spring and fall.
The Palladian Villas
The Veneto region is home to numerous Palladian Villas. Among the most famous are Villa La Rotonda, officially known as Villa Almerico Capra, which is an example of Palladio’s skill in blending architecture with the surrounding landscape; and Villa Emo, home to a fresco cycle by Giambattista Zelotti.