Villa Manin
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HISTORY OF VILLA MANIN
 
The majestic ensemble of Villa Manin, located in Passariano under the municipality of Codroipo in the province of Udine, is one of the most important artistic monuments in Friuli Venezia Giulia and one of the most popular symbols of the tourism and culture of the area.
Commissioned in the 17th century by Ludovico I Manin to celebrate the wealth and power of the Manin family, it was the family’s country house.
The ensemble consists of a central block which was the family residence, and several service quarters built at a right angle to the main building, where agricultural activities were performed. The eastern wing originally housed the cellars and granaries, while the stables were in the western wing which now houses the Coach Museum. Following the rules of environmental harmonization, the Villa blends in perfectly with the surrounding landscape.
Villa Manin
 
Villa Manin Sala interna

The life of this majestic complex in Passariano has always been closely linked to  the local historical and political events: at the end of the 18th century, under the reign of the last doge of Venice Ludovico Manin (1789-1898), Napoleon Bonaparte chose this regal residence as the General Headquarters of the French troops  stationed here in 1797 during the Italian campaign.   The new order he was later to impose on the whole of Europe was planned here.

It was in the rooms of the Doge’s residence that the important negotiations which were to culminate in the “Treaty of Campoformido” (October 17, 1797) were held, thus marking the end of the Republic of Venice to the benefit of the Hapsburg Empire.
This change inevitably brought about the decline and end of the Manin dynasty, which eventually resulted in the deterioration of the villa, due to the dwindling family fortune.  In the second half of the 20th century the villa was purchased by the Board of Venetian Villas, which then sold it in 1969 to its current owner, the Autonomous  Region of Friuli Venezia Giulia.

 
Villa Manin con le esedre
 
Villa Manin

Visitors access the villa through a pleasant entrance-hall which opens onto the most richly-frescoed room; the Triumph of Spring in the central round panel and the mythological scenes on a monochrome background on the walls were painted by Louis Dorigny (1654-1742), one of the most widely sought-after painters of the time.

The central salon was the splendid venue for many historic meetings and events. The stuccos date back to the 18th century, while the exquisite grand chandeliers that light up the entire ground floor are made of Murano glass.

Visiting Villa Manin also gives you a chance to admire its permanent museum collections : the Coach Museum and the Armory. The Armory (which belongs to the Civic Museums of Udine) houses a splendid collection of weapons and armors from different parts of the world.

 

The interior of the splendid chapel dedicated to the apostle Saint Andrew was designed by Domenico Rossi (1657-1737), whose masterly-blended stuccos and sculptures give birth to a scenario of splendor and wealth.

The chapel is decorated in the Baroque style; inside are sculptures by Giuseppe Torretti dating from between 1719 and 1723, while the majestic sacristy boasts two tempera paintings on wood panel of great artistic value, painted by Francesco Fontebasso in the first half of the 18th century.

Villa Manin la cappella
 
Villa Manin il parco

Villa Manin is immersed in an 18-hectar century-old walled-in park which is an integral part of the monumental complex.

A set of engravings show that the landscape in Passariano was designed in the style of the Baroque gardens, as it includes elements that were typical of the French repertoire and quite common all over Europe.

Take a stroll in the garden - highly recommended - to enjoy some very interesting views along the avenue of Mimosas or the avenue of Magnolias, and to admire the many sculptures strewn along a path throughout the park.

There are mounds with statues depicting the allegories of the virtues, among which stands a remarkable Pegasus.

 
The famous Italian dramatist Carlo Goldoni defined the villa and its grand park as “a dwelling fit for a king” and the awe it inspires is still the same today.