In the middle of the Friuli’s lowland, where the rocky grassland encounters the clayey soil creating the widest European spring waters area, Villa Manin introduces itself to the visitors as a true gem of art and history.
With its 8500 metres of halls, hallways, frescoes, historical structures, Saint Andrew chapel and 18 hectares of an English-style landscape garden, it represents not only one of the largest Venetian villas in Italy, built in the Friuli’s lowland at the moment of the eclipse of the Venice trade route towards the East, and the consequential expansionist ambitions of the Serenissima Republic towards the mainland, but it embodies the European dream of one of the most influential and rich families of the San Marco Republic with enormous proprieties spread from Polesine to Istria; ambitious to the point of competing with the most sumptuous residences of the continent.
The Passariano villa had also a bigger plan: to connect the waterway trade from the Venice Laguna and the Northern Adriatic with the ones coming down the valley of Tagliamento, deriving from central Europe.
The Manin household committed for centuries to the achievement of this target: the realization of appropriate infrastructures; equipping the villa, surrounded by thousands of acres of landed property, of all the tools useful to transform the goods of the work in the fields.
Such an ambitious project; since the “country house” had to turn in an actual “wonderland”, able to impress the traveler and represent the prestige and the wealth of the founder family.
Various artists were invited, even from abroad, to realize works, frescoes, sculptures and stuccoes, between Baroque and Rococo art, that embellished the areas of the villa and the garden.