Vicenza: "Villa Valmarana ai Nani" Mistery and Legends

Vicenza: "Villa Valmarana ai Nani" Mistery and Legends

The wonder of the most extraordinary 18th century Villa frescoed by Tiepolo!

The Legend of Dwarves!

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With more than 800 square metres of frescoes, Villa Valmarana ai Nani is a magnificent residence which has huge architectural, historical and artistic significance. The Villa is located close to the centre of Vicenza (one hour from Venice) and was purchased in the 1720’s by the Valmaranas, a noble family native from Vicenza.
The complex of the Villa is composed of the Owner's Residence (Palazzina), the Guesthouse (Foresteria) both frescoed by the famous artists Giambattista and Giandomenico Tiepolo the Stable, and an outstanding historical Park.
All of these elements directly face the enchanting and almost untouched “Valley of Silence”, many times the subject of the famous writers Piovene and Fogazzaro's works.
Villa Valmarana ai Nani is considered by scholars the expressive peak of European civil decoration of the 18th century, both from the ideational point of view and of artistic production.

Villa Valmarana ai Nani dates back to 1669. Its construction was commissioned by Giovanni Maria Bertolo, a lawyer. After that the mansion was inherited by Bertolo's daughter, Giulia, a nun living in the convent of Ognissanti (All Saints) in Padua. In 1715 Giustino Valmarana purchased the Villa from the convent.
In the 1730s, Giustino Valmarana commissioned some structural modifications to the famous architect Francesco Muttoni. He embellished the entrances and the Guesthouse (which formerly was a barchessa, a typical Italian rural building) and he designed the Stables.
The Villa also owes its name to the 17 statues of dwarfs located on top of the outer wall, which surrounds the property. Still to this day, the Villa is inhabited by members of the Valmarana family, who take care of the maintenance on a daily base.

The Frescoes

In 1757 the Tiepolos father and son were called to work on the decoration of the premises of the Villa.
The two artists had just completed their masterpiece in the Prince- Bishop's baroque Palace in Würzburg, Germany, when they arrived in Vicenza to frescoe the Villa.
Villa Valmarana is unique in its kind precisely because of the possibility to recognise the hands of the two artists, first observed by Goethe during his visit to the site in 1786 the sublime style of the father in the Palazzina, and the naturalismus of the son in the Foresteria.
When the work was completed, the rooms of Villa Valmarana came to life, and still to this day they are capable of enchanting visitors with their incredible narratives depicted in the 800 sqm of frescoes.

The Legend of Dwarves!

The Legend of the Dwarves.. a mystery that lasts for centuries!
The nickname "to the Dwarves" is due to the 17 stone sculptures representing the dwarves and its legend... It is said that the daughter of the lord was suffering from dwarfism and that all the servants and custodians of the Villa were chosen exclusively among the dwarves because they did not want to let the girl know about their physical defect. One day a beautiful prince entered the villa and the girl fell madly in love with him. In that moment the girl became aware of his impossible love.  Desperate, she decided to take her own life by throwing herself from the tower and the dwarves were petrified by pain ....
Come and discover Villa Valmarana ai Nani in the hills of Vicenza and live an unforgettable experience!

Opening Hours

Open 364 days a year March - October:
everyday from 10am to 6pm
November - March:
everyday from 10am to 4pm

More info:


The Villa offers all the necessary elements for an individual visiting experience.

Guests can choose between:

- QR codes or free paper guides for a brief but complete description of the rooms with the addition of curious anecdotes about the Valmarana family.
- SmartGuides (25 short videos, up to 1 hour of content available in Italian, English and German). A great alternative to guided tours, they accompany the visitor through the whole complex of the Villa and offer the possibility to customize the tour along the way by selecting the places of interest, pausing, stopping, and replaying the videos. It’s like a tour guide in your hands!


Held by experts or by members of the Valmarana family, guided tours are the perfect option for an even more in depth tour of the Villa. Tours are available every day, on request, by booking through our booking system. Tours are offered in various languages.
Guided tours 130 € every 30 people
Guided tours by members of the family 200 € every 30 people
(all prices are to be considered as a supplement over the entrance ticket)


An immersive experience through a selection of 3 videos about the history of the Villa, its famous visitors (from Goethe to Queen Elisabeth, Salvador Dalì, Frank Sinatra and more) and its inhabitants.
The videos are projected all around the room, with the use of the immersive technology, thus making the visitor feel like part of the narration. The perfect way to complete the visit at Villa Valmarana and get a glimpse of what it was like to live in the Villa.



Our bookshop specializes in books and guides about the city
of Vicenza, Venetian Villas and Andrea Palladio, available in different languages.
Here, alongside a personalized line of souvenirs of any kind dedicated to the Villa, you can find typical handcrafted products of Vicenza and the Venetian region, from the ceramics of Bassano to Vicenza jewelry, to exquisite jams and unique schnapps, and much more.


The Café of Villa Valmarana, located in the ancient kitchen of the Foresteria is the perfect spot for a delightful break.
The café offers seats both inside, in a beautiful decorated
room, and outside on the terrace. From the tables on
the terrace the beauty of the Valley of Silence and Monte Berico creates a magic atmosphere.


Villa Valmarana ai Nani with its unique beauty and elegance is the perfect location for events of any kind. You can have at your disposal the entire monumental complex of the Villa or just one of its parts Palazzina, Foresteria, gardens depending on your needs. The great versatility of the Villa allows us to accommodate any request. 

Thanks to its 18th century ambience and its wonderful spaces, every year Villa Valmarana is the host of many cultural events.

Our mansion is at your disposal for:

  • Vernissages, cultural moments, exhibitions, presentations, stage productions, concerts and fashion shows of any kind
  • Weddings and Civil Ceremonies
  • Business Meetings and events
  • Tastings, lucheons and gala dinners
  • Photoshoots and Commercials
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