Hidden treasures

Carlo Scarpa’s Brion Tomb in Altivole

Big Names
tomba-brion

Carlo Scarpa’s Brion Tomb in Altivole

Near Asolo, the reign of the queen Catherine Corner, there is a small village called Altivole... Its cemetery is renowned for containing a funeral monument built by one of the most important architects of the 20th century, Carlo Scarpa.

The monument was commissioned in 1969 by Onorina Brion Tomasin for her husband Giuseppe Brion, founder and owner of 'Brionvega', and was constructed between 1970 and 1978, the same year in which Scarpa died falling from a shop staircase in Sendai, in Japan. The project was therefore completed following the architect's original project, who was later buried inside it - a wish he had expressed in his testament.

The funerary monument's structure resembles a 'tilted L' and its parts consist of propylaea, an arcosolium (burial method typically used in catacombs), a chapel and a 'meditation hall' erected above a mirror of water.

The propylaea comprise of an asymmetrical façade, limited on the right side by a heavily modelled sept (symbol of strength), and a type of pillar on the left side (symbol of beauty).

The arcosolium consists of a rich carpet with two rows of black and white chess tiles, its middle line connecting the two graves; the sarcophagi are panelled with ebony slats.

The chapel is located in the middle of a water basin in which step-shaped cement elements are arranged.

The 'meditation hall' resembles a box in which the lower section has been removed, hence appearing to be suspended above water... it is actually supported by thin pillars with a jagged profile. The pavilion is purposely separated from the rest of the building by a door, which can be lowered underground and disappear into the water operated by a complex network of cables and pulleys, concealed from the visitor's eye.

If you happen to be in Altivole, which can be reached from Venice by a convenient private taxi service, include a stop in your trip at the 'Barco' of Catherine Corner, the only remaining portion of the splendid palace which the Queen of Cyprus commissioned for herself and her court, after the Republic of Venice donated the feud of Asolo to her.

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

Latest posts

Venice: The theft of the body of Saint Lucia from the church of San Geremia

venezia_santa_lucia
Historical Curiosities

13th December, throughout the Christian world, is devoted to the celebration of Saint Lucia, a martyr from Syracuse, Italy, who lived a...

View

Venice: The Tolomazi, the first tour guides of Venice

tolomazi
Historical Curiosities

In the Middle Ages, as in present day, Venice was a cosmopolitan city bustling with travellers from all over the Mediterranean. Many of...

View

Treviso: Castelbrando in Cison di Valmarino

castelbrando
Unknown places & works

The province of Treviso offers its visitors many places steeped in history and imbued with charm ... One of these is definitely Castelb...

View

Verona: Villa Mosconi Bertani in Valpolicella

villa-mosconi-bertani
Historical Curiosities

If you are passionate about wine and history, you cannot miss out on a visit to Villa Mosconi Bertani in Valpolicella (province of Vero...

View

Top posts

Verona: The Sigurtà Park in Valeggio sul Mincio

sigurtà
Unknown places & works

Sigurtà Garden Park is a 60 hectare-large natural park located in Valeggio sul Mincio, in the province of Verona, about 8 km from Pesc...

View

Venice: The graffiti of the ancient merchants on Fondaco dei Tedeschi in Venice

Fondaco_dei_Tedeschi
Historical Curiosities

Each building located along the Grand Canal has an amusing story or a mystery to tell... After having been the Post Office building for...

View

Padua: Padua, the Iliad, the Aeneid and Dante's Inferno

padova-antenore
Mysteries & Legends

What do the Italian city of Padua and Dante's Inferno have in common? Apparently nothing, but if you dig in the medieval legends you wi...

View

Venice: The Scuola Grande di San Rocco in Venice as the film set of 'Casanova'

Sala_Capitolo
Film Locations

In 2005 the film ‘Casanova' was shot in Venice, directed by Lasse Hallström and which starred the late Heath Ledger. Among the many ...

View