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At the end of the XVII century takes off the strategy of the Manin household to concentrate the land purchase in a countryside area of Friuli; trading hub between the North Adriatic trade route and the one going from the valley of Tagliamento towards Central Europe, during this period the Serenissima Republic lost the main role in the trades with Europe, Aegean Sea and the Middle East.

They choose Passariano, where already existed an important agricultural and residential structure as a point of encounter between moving goods by sea, by river (Stella in this case) and by land, using the Stradone Manin.

Therefore sets off the Fabrica di Persereano one of the former names of Passariano, the site that will lead in the following decades to the actual shape of the villa. During the first half of the 1700 the Manin family clearly outlined the intent of making the countryside villa an active centre of agricultural production and transformation of the local products, due to the creations of mills, furnaces, paper mills and spinning mills.

 

The main body of the villa becomes a symbol of the greatness and powerfulness of the family capable of competing with the residences of European royalty, and overcoming in magnificence the various villas that the Venetian patricians builded up on the solid ground.

 

The Manin family uses Versailles as an example, the most luxurious residence of the continent: demonstrated by the fact that the design of the northward big garden is assigned to a french apprentice of André Le Nôtre, the creator of the wonders requested by Louis XIV.

It is instead the architect Domenico Rossi, born and raised in Lugano, already in the Baldassare Loghena workshop, active in Venice, Lubiana, Udine, Pordenone and in other Venetian and Friulian centres, that in the early decades of the eighteenth century designs the current appearance of the residence and the more scenically important interventions as the Square plaza, delimited by the barchesse, and the Piazza Tonda, closed by exedres, with a plastic effect that recalls the seventeenth-century colonnade of Bernini in S. Peter Square in Rome.

Shortly after, in the first half of the eighteenth century, Giovanni Ziborghi, will lift up the Barchesse, while Giorgio Massari, one of the most important exponents of the Venetian architecture of the eighteenth century, will realize the upper crown of the noble body, while the garden takes the form of the "place of delights" typical of the Baroque age.

In 1738 one of the most important events in the history of the villa: Maria Amalia, daughter of the king of Saxony, marries the king of Naples, and during the journey stops in Passariano and in her honor is prepared a sumptuous ceremony.

 

In 1789 Lodovico IV Manin became the first prosecutor of San Marco and afterwards Doge, but it is the years of the twilight for the Serenissima that he invasion of Italy sees the triumph of the young French general Napoleone Bonaparte who ended this centuries-old page of history and settled in the villa for some months, to conclude negotiations with the Austrians, and then sign the Treaty of Campoformio (17 October 1797).

 

The building inevitably suffers, with its spectacular monumentality in the midst of the vast Friulian countryside, historical events, and above all war, lived by the surrounding territory, always on the border of the tensions between the German, Slavic and Mediterranean parts.

The whole compendium is often the scene of important military movements: during the First World War Villa Manin sees the presence of the Major States of Emperor Charles I, of the Habsburgs, and Kaiser William II, of the dynastic House of Prussia, after the disastrous retreat of Caporetto, which leaves a trail of military and civilian victims along the roads of the flight to the Veneto and on the bridges that cross the cut, a few kilometers to pass. To remember the "battle of Codroipo", which on October 30, 1917 saw more than 300,000 Italian soldiers defend themselves against four German divisions. Franz Kafka and Riccardo Bacchelli wrote about it.

In the Second World War the large spaces of the villa are used as a shelter for the artworks of the Friulian territory, almost anticipating the future destiny of the compendium, while in the surrounding territory the partisan struggle is masterfully described in the novel "The ghebo" by Elio Bartolini, whose protagonists lay the basis of their military actions right in the paper mill of Passariano, a few hundred meters from the villa.

The subsequent decline of the building, the park and the various annexes of agricultural use is interrupted by the expropriation by the Ministry of Education (1961) in favor of the Venetian Villas Board.

In 1969 the Autonomous Region of Friuli Venezia Giulia buys and restores the 8500 sqm of the building and the 18 hectares of the park: the villa becomes an active cultural center both in the organization of art exhibitions and musical events, as well as in the activities of cataloguing and restoration of the cultural heritage.