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Villa Pisani - Italy

Villa Pisani

Villa Pisani is the grandest of the 50 or more palaces and villas built as summer houses for Venice's elite. These are stretched out along the Riviera del Brenta, an extension of Venice's Grand Canal on land and the drive along here makes a pleasant diversion from the busy city.

The Villa has large sulpted gardens with a central pond, offering long vistas of the palace and other buildings in the grounds. The maze, dating from 1720, is one of the pest preserved in Europe and was said to be the hardest in the world at the time.

The Villa isteslf has an illustrious history, built by the Venetian Pisani family who went on to rule the city-state. It's also been home to Napolean, the Habsburg Royal Family's holiday home and finally played host to the first meeting between Mussolini and Hitler in 1934.

The grand ballroom is the most stunning part of the villa, with 3 dimensional paintings on the ceiling seeming to look in on you through the clouds above. The cushions on the floor are a nice touch to save an aching neck!

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