History of the Villa

Sharing the story is an honor

The Villa

Sharing the history of Villa Cornér della Regina is an honour for us. Breathing in the cosy splendour of history made us fall in love with this place, but what amazed us most was studying and discovering how this structure has adapted to the epochs crossed by the territory it belongs to, evolving its function and conformation.

From 1500 to 1700

It all began with the Cornér family, a noble Venetian family who, in the 16th century, in view of the recent discovery of the New World and the consequent shift of trade to the Atlantic, abandoned commerce in favour of a life of tranquillity in which to enjoy the fruits harvested up to that time. Studies have shown the presence of documents leading back to the Villa as early as 1576, when the Bishop of Treviso Giorgio Cornér, during pastoral visits, spent about a month in a ‘country house’ in Cavasagra.

In an inventory drawn up in 1638, Villa Cornér della Regina was described as a ‘tripartite Venetian-style house’, consisting of a ground floor and a main floor with a central hall flanked by four rooms. Of the 16th-century structure, only the rear façade of the villa remains partly visible today, while the floor plan has remained unchanged over the years.

From 1700 to 1900

In the first decade of the 18th century, Jerome III commissioned sculptor Orazio Marinali to embellish the Villa’s garden with a remarkable statuary complex that was to reflect the idea of glorification of the family.

In the same century, the bishop of Castelfranco Veneto Giovanni Cornér entrusted the architects Giovanni Miazzi, Francesco Muttoni and Francesco Maria Preti with the transformation of Villa Cornér della Regina into a Palazzo di Campagna: the Palladian imprint given by the Villa’s imposing pronaos is due to the renovation work desired by the bishop. The barchesse and lemon houses that gave the Villa the appearance that still characterises it today date from this period.

Around 1810, the Villa was inherited by the Persico family, who contributed to the embellishment of the structure with fresco paintings by Angelo Sala. On this occasion, the entire hall and the leaded glass windows were redesigned in a 19th-century style.

Caterina Cornaro

One of the most famous figures of the Cornér family was Caterina Cornaro: born on 25 November 1454 in Venice to Marco Cornaro and Fiorenza Crispo, she belonged to one of the most important families of the Serenissima and in July 1468 married James II Lusignan, King of Cyprus and Armenia, by proxy at the age of 14; the king died in 1473, leaving her in control of the eastern Mediterranean.

After yet another conspiracy hatched by Catalan nobles against the queen, in 1488 Caterina Cornaro was forced to abdicate in favour of the Venetian Republic, which welcomed her with a triumphal feast on 6 June 1489 by having her enter the city on board the famous Bucintoro, the doge’s representative galley. On that occasion, it was Doge Agostino Barbarigo who appointed Caterina Cornaro as mistress of Asolo and Castelfranco, keeping the title of queen for her.

During her ‘reign’, the queen surrounded herself with various artists, including Giorgione and Pietro Bembo, dying on 10 July 1510 in Venice.

From 1900 to 2000

Over the last two centuries, Villa Cornér della Regina has seen a succession of owners: from the Persico to the Frova to the Donà delle Rose. During the First World War it became the headquarters of General Enrico Caviglia, commander of the 8th and 10th Armies: the trees on the avenues south and north of the Villa were cut down on General Caviglia’s orders to erect fortifications and trenches on the Piave and Monte Grappa fronts.

In 1968, Sir Stafford Sands, former Governor of the Bahamas, bought the Queen’s Villa Cornér, restored it and had the swimming pool with Jacuzzi and tennis courts built. Towards the end of the 1900s, the Villa was converted into a Country Hotel by the Counts Donà delle Rose.

Today

From 1994 to 2002, Villa Cornér della Regina remained closed, causing the entire structure to slowly deteriorate.

In February 2002, the Villa was purchased by a Treviso-based company and restoration work immediately began, with the intention of restoring it to its former glory: in the early decades of the 20th century all the interior decorations were covered with overpainting, but thanks to the restoration, the ancient marmorini were brought back to light and the brightness of the 19th-century colours was restored.

The same renovation has restored the pool area and the entire park. Today, Villa Cornér della Regina offers its setting for weddings, cultural and private events; with the completion of the restoration work also of the various suites, in May 2012, the Villa reopens as a hotel.