Hidden treasures

Ovid's Metamorphoses in the frescoes of the Villa Foscari 'La Malcontenta'

Unknown places & works

Ovid's Metamorphoses in the frescoes of the Villa Foscari 'La Malcontenta'

Along the River Brenta, a few kilometres from Venice, there are beautiful villas once belonging to Venetian nobles. One of the most famous is Villa Foscari, known as 'La Malcontenta', because a noblewoman of the Foscari family was imprisoned there, due to her constant betrayals.

The entire Main room of the villa is decorated with a fresco cycle mostly inspired by Ovid's 'Metamorphoses', the famous poem in which the Latin poet, who lived at the court of Emperor Augustus, tells of several myths in which one of the protagonists turns into something. The work was rediscovered in the second half of the 1500s and became a bestseller, probably for the subtly erotic stories.

The frescoes of Villa Foscari were made by the painter Battista Franco known as Semolei and, following his death in 1561, they were continued by Giambattista Zelotti. Unfortunately, during the 1800s these splendid frescoes suffered severe damage due to the white coats of paint that were applied to escape the taxes that the Kingdom of Italy imposed on valuable properties. Most of them were removed with the detachment technique and only in 1920s they were rediscovered and partly recovered.

This beautiful villa is included in our charming private itinerary of the Villas of Brenta. It is a day trip with a guide to discover the most beautiful mansions of the River Brenta: Villa Foscari, Villa Widmann and Villa Pisani. The convenient start of the tour from Venice makes it an ideal solution for those who wish to enrich their holiday in Venice with other famous attractions located near the historic centre!

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

Latest posts

Venice: The reredos of the Chapter Hall of the Scuola Grande di San Rocco in Venice

Unknown places & works

When visiting the Scuola Grande di San Rocco in Venice - perhaps one of the most significant monuments of the lagoon city - one is alwa...

View

Vicenza: The Odeon cinema in Vicenza, one of the oldest in the world

Historical Curiosities

Perhaps not everyone knows that in Vicenza there is one of the oldest cinemas in the world, still open today! Originally the hall was a...

View

Venice: The bells of St. Mark’s Bell Tower in Venice

Historical Curiosities

St Mark’s Bell Tower in St. Mark's Square is one of the symbols of Venice, but not everyone knows that the original building collapse...

View

Treviso: Carlo Scarpa’s Brion Tomb in Altivole

Big Names

Near Asolo, the reign of the queen Catherine Corner, there is a small village called Altivole... Its cemetery is renowned for containin...

View

Top posts

Venice: The Rialto Bridge in Venice and the Doge's daughter

Mysteries & Legends

There are many stories and legends related to the famous Rialto bridge on the Grand Canal in Venice, but few people know the one that h...

View

Venice: Campo delle Gatte in Venice

Unknown places & works

The names of the streets in Venice can be very unusual… For example, when you walk around the Castello district, you will come across...

View

Venice: The Doge Enrico Dandolo and the conquest of Constantinople

Big Names

The history of the Venetian Republic was inextricably linked to the Doge's charismatic personality, but also adventurers and traitors, ...

View

Venice: The three wellheads of the San Trovaso Church

Historical Curiosities

In the charming Dorsoduro district in Venice, there is the ancient church of Saints Gervasio and Protasio, called San Trovaso in Veneti...

View