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: The Sacristy of the Church of St. Stephen's

sacrestia-santo-stefano
Unknown places & works

In one of the most beautiful and sunniest squares in Venice there stands the imposing Church of St. Stephen, erected at the behest of t...

View

Vicenza: The Bridge of the Alpini in Bassano del Grappa

Ponte-degli-Alpini-Bassano
Historical Curiosities

If you are passionate about bridges, you cannot miss out on a visit to the Bridge of the Alpini in Bassano del Grappa, in the Province ...

View

Venice: The boats of Venice’s Lagoon

barche-veneziane
Local Traditions

Those arriving in Venice for the first time often think that the famous gondolas are the only boats plying the city’s canals... In re...

View

Venice: The tomb of Doge Andrea Gritti in the church of San Francesco della Vigna

Andrea_Gritti-tomba
Big Names

For the few daring visitors who decide to head to the Castello district, away from the crowds swarming around Piazza San Marco and the ...

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