Villa Foscari (a.k.a. La Malcontenta)
Trippy: a short visual trip to a place of architectural or design importance
Trippy to: Villa Foscari or La Malcontenta, built by Andrea Palladio (arguably the world's most influential architect) between 1550 and 1560; House & Garden called this "the most beautiful house in the world"
Location: Mira, Italy
Villa Foscari Sampler:
Ed from Philadelphia wrote to us: "I loved the pictures of La Malcontenta but some might say that the Villa Barbaro is even more beautiful with its Veronese frescoes and Nymphaeum. Still I would take either!" Ed, let's take a quick "side Trippy" to Villa Barbaro, and many thanks for writing in.
Decorating Note: It's fun to look back at these magnificent villas and realize that the amazing frescoes were actually cheap substitutes for tapestries. Since these summer residences didn't need the insulating properties of the thick, expensive fabric hangings, painting on the walls was a very economical solution. Veronese could come down for a few months, and you've saved a fortune!
Another cost-saving measure: these villas are brick covered with stucco. Not the more expensive granite covered in marble. The capitals were mostly made from inexpensive terra cotta, the architraves supporting the beautiful pediments were wood covered by straw lathing and then stucco -- and there are plenty other cost-saving measures in these amazing villas. These are excellent examples of how you can make construction shortcuts to save project costs if your basic design is magnificent.
Villa Barbaro Sampler: