Villa Manin

Villa Manin at Passariano is a Venetian villa located in Passariano of Codroipo, province of Udine, northern Italy.

It was the summer residence of the last Doge of Venice, Ludovico Manin (14 May 1725 – 24 October 1802).  Ludovico Giovanni Manin was a Venetian politician, that governed Venice from 9 March 1789 until 1797, when he was forced to abdicate by Napoleon Bonaparte.

Ludovico Manin died in Venice on 24 October 1802. His will ordered that his funeral should take place “with the least possible pomp”. He left 110,000 ducats to the Manin Foundation for the benefit of the city’s lunatics, orphans, and girls from poor families needing a dowry. His remains were interred in the chapel of the Church of the Scalzi in Venice near the present railway station of Venice Saint Lucia in the family tomb of Manin where his late wife already lay. The tomb slab survives and bears the simple inscription Manini Cineres (“ashes of Manin”).

Napoleon Bonaparte and Josephine de Beauharnais lived at the main villa for about two months in 1797, were Napoleon conducted many interviews for the signing of the treaty between France and Austria known as the Treaty of Campoformio (17 October 1797).

The original appearance of the seventeenth-century villa was different from the current one, due to the transformations and enlargements in eighteenth century. In 1707 the Venetian architect Domenico Rossi designed the square plaza and, after 1718, perhaps realized the two current monumental exedra (semicircular wings). Giovanni Ziborghi, between 1730 and 1740 raise the barchesse (barn wings). The raising of the noble central core was realized after 1745.

Villa Manin also contains a museum area of considerable interest for the tourist. The permanent exhibitions are a collection of antique carriages in the stables and an extensive armory. Many of its 350 rooms have been furnished with antique furniture and paintings from the Museum of Udine, including the “Chamber of Napoleon”, where the famous emperor slept, and where he signed the famous Treaty in 1797 (see the picture of his bed; he certainly was a very short fellow, and did not sleep with Josephine apparently!)

Villa Manin was restored in the 1960s. It hosts a museum and since 2004 hosted major international exhibitions, with prestigious names such  as Tiepolo, Sebastiano Ricci, and others, to the abstract art of Kandinsky in 2003. Most recently the Villa hosted an exhibitscreen-shot-2017-02-21-at-16-47-12ion of Robert Cappa and Man Ray most known for this photograph of the “lady Cello.”

Concerts and conventions are also noteworthy, such as Mozart’s “Cosi Fan Tutte” last summer.

The villa is decorated with frescoes by Ludovico Dorigny, Jacopo Amigoni and Pietro Oretti, paintings by Francesco Fontebasso and sculptures by Torretti.

Chapel of Sant’Andrea

Like all important Villas in Italy, the chapel of Sant’Andrea (St. Andrew), belongs to the villa complex, built in the early eighteenth century (1708) by Domenico Rossi and located outside the square plaza adjoining the barchessa off the east gate.

A large garden (over 17 acres) is in the back of the Villa.


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I lived the most part of my life in Washington DC, now in Italy getting to know again my country. Plenty of surprises, for good and bad, and lots of nostalgia for DC.

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