Hidden treasures

The 'Barco' of Caterina Corner, Queen of Cyprus, in Altivole

Big Names
barco-altivole

The 'Barco' of Caterina Corner, Queen of Cyprus, in Altivole

One of the most charming figures of the history of Venice is certainly Catherine Corner, queen of Cyprus (1454-1510).

At the age of 18, she married Jacob of Lusignano, the king of Cyprus, to become a widow the following year. In 1489 she was forced to hand over the Island of Cyprus to the Republic of Venice, due to both private and political pressure.

As a consolation prize, the Venetian Republic gave her the feud of Asolo and allowed her to keep her title of Queen.

In 1491, in the village of Altivole, Catherine commissioned the construction of a palace that had numerous purposes: a place of amusement and recreation, an administrative and defensive centre. The Queen turned it into her court and the palace soon became a centre of humanistic studies visited by the highest representatives of the Renaissance in the Veneto region, among which Ruzante and Pietro Bembo, who wrote the renowned dialogues ‘Asolani' (1505) precisely in this location.

When Catherine died in 1510, the building was left to its testamentary heirs, to whom the finalisation and the custody of the palace had been delegated… Catherine's wishes were never fulfilled: no longer inhabited by the Corner family, the building and its gardens were left to waste. Already in the 18th century, the only remaining building was a barco, a longitudinal structure that still retains traces of the ancient splendour of this historical complex.

Today, it is still possible to admire the small gentilitial chapel, the central lodge decorated with paintings depicting Nereids, delphins and fetes, and a marble fountain wherefrom water once gushed.

The entire surface of the facade is decorated with paintings dating back to the sixteenth century, of which large parts still remain intact, depicting geometrical motifs and mythological episodes.

Altivole is located at approx. 40 minutes from Treviso... If you happen to find yourself nearby, we strongly recommend stopping at this evocative location, sign of the splendour of the Serenissima (i.e. the Republic of Venice) on the mainland. You can book a private transfer online at venetoinside.com and easily reach this locality!

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

Latest posts

Venice: 10 songs that will make you think of Venice

canzoni-ve
Did you know that...

Sometimes we hear the first few lines of a song and our minds are suddenly transported back to a place, a memory or a dream. We put tog...

View

Padua: Vò Euganeo: a place to be discovered

vò
Unknown places & works

In the last few months there has been much talking around the small town of Vò, in the province of Padua. It was at the center of ever...

View

Venice: 10 must-see movies filmed in Venice

10_film_venezia
Film Locations

Venice is unique amongst world cities and every year it turns into a dream-like experience for scores of tourists thanks to its timeles...

View

Venice: April 25, 2020: Five fun ideas to celebrate the Patron Saint of Venice at home! #stayhome

Untitled
Local Traditions

April 25 is a day of great celebrations in Venice: not only is it Liberation Day, but it is also the Feast of St. Mark, patron of the c...

View

Top posts

Chioggia: The Valley of the Seven Dead Men

casone-millecampi-detto-casone-dei-sette-morti
Mysteries & Legends

Halloween is just around the corner: have you already got into the fascinating terrifying aura of the scariest party of the year? No ye...

View

Venice: The stone heart of St Mark’s Basilica

cuore-erizzo
Unknown places & works

If you are visiting St Mark’s Basilica and have just abandoned the wonderful vision of the Pala d'Oro (which is a must-see), just a f...

View

Venice: Map of Venice, what to know before you leave

mappa-venezia
Did you know that...

Did you know that Venice is not a single large island but rather a collection of 117 small islands linked together by over 400 bridges?...

View

Verona: The roman walls of Verona

porta-borsari
Historical Curiosities

Verona has always been considered a city of considerable importance from a military point of view: being at the mouth of the Adige Vall...

View