“There is a rhythm to life along the Brenta Canal that is distinctly Venetian,” says Julietta Jameson at Traveller. Maybe that’s because when the Venetian aristocracy built their summer villas along the River Brenta, it was considered a natural extension of the Grand Canal. In time, there were some 200 villas lining its banks, each of them notable in architecture and fine interior artworks and it soon became known as the Brenta Riviera. “Part of a system of waterways known poetically as the Riviera del Brenta, it is still very much of and for the people of the northern Italian province of Veneto, despite it being almost surreally picturesque in places and historically important indeed,” writes Jameson. The river’s famous residents included Galileo, Napoleon, Casanova and various royalty -- and it was “written about by Byron, Goethe and Goldoni, all residents at one point or another, and painted by masters such as Tiepolo and Canaletto.”
Although most of the villas along the Brenta River are not open to visitors, ”they can be seen as you drive, bike, or boat along the river and some of the gardens are now public parks,” explains Martha Bakerjian at Tripsavvy. A few villas can be visited -- the best, says Bakerjian, is Villa Pisani, built in the early 18th century and “now home to an art museum, with its beautiful gardens and famous maze.” Another worth a visit is Villa Foscari, designed by the outstanding Italian Renaissance architect. Adrian Woodford at The Telegraph cruises the length of the river to view the grand villas -- including Villa Foscarini where Lord Byron lived with his mistress, the Contessa Giuccoli – with the Il Burchiello and describes the tour.
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