After telling my family that I wanted to photograph the villas of the area, Zio Gino brought me to Villa Varda. We walked the grounds and visited together.
Villa Varda and its grounds is now a public park for the community of Brugnera. It runs along the Livenza River and is lush and forested with a few miniature buildings.
The name Varda is a Venetian dialectical contraction of the term Villa di Guarda (observational villa) that guarded the navigable Livenza River. The patrons of this villa and the duties of guarding the Livenza were assumed by the Mazzoleni family. The guarding of the Livenza River was both strategic as well as economic since invading armies and products from this fertile region could easily be shipped to Venice.
The Mazzoleni family, like many patrons of these types of estates, built chapels on the property. This one is in the Venetian style but miniaturized. The front door is barely 6 feet tall.
In its day, the owner of Villa Varda was the guardian of the Livenza. My Uncle, Zio Gino is the guardian of our home in Maniago, taking care of it’s needs. These photographs will always make me think of him.
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