The journey begins at ‘Diane Pavilion’ or ‘Diane’s Doorway’, the monumental and main entrance by water to the estate of the Barbarigo in the 17th and 18th century. Here there was the landing place for boats coming across the so-called “Valle di Saint Eusebio”, from which the name “Val San Zibio”, in those days extended over several miles, but today limited to the small pond (called the Paludo) to mirror the elegant pavilion. The Diane’s Doorway is greatly decorated with fountains, low reliefs and statues on top of which dominate Diane-Moon, the Goddess of the hunting, voted to nature and to wild animals as well as to prodigies and mutations.
Thus, by entering the garden through the Diane’s Doorway and passing under the “Sileno’s Archway” we start the allegoric purification or salvation path wanted by then Cardinal Gregorio Barbarigo in consequence of a solemn ‘vow’ made by his Father to our God in 1631.
The allegorical journey begin by walking along the Decumano or Fish Ponds Boulevard and the first element that we encounter in our purification journey is the fish pond called the Diane’s Bath or the Fishery of the Rivers. Here, after leaving the impure and still water of the marsh land, we allegorically start the passive washing of our soul with the fresh and pure water of the rivers (the two statues laying down toward the end of the fish pond represents the two main rivers of the region, the Bacchiglione and the Brenta).
Then, after passing by the Rainbow Fountain, where the sun rays crossing the mix of water and air makes an everlasting rainbow, we encounter the Fishery of the Winds. Once again after the water, it is now the fresh and pure air of the winds that carries on our purification.
Left behind the Fishery of the Winds, we arrive at the center of the garden, near the Pila or Conca Fountain, where the Decumano intersects perpendicular the Main Boulevard, the Central Boulevard or Cardo (around the Pila Fountain there are four important statues: Mercury, Argo, the Fecundity & the Salubrity or Healthiness). Here we see on the right the Villa where there is the desired end of our allegoric path. However, we are not ready to turn right, because we are still impure, full of sins and confuse on our mortal role. At this important step of our allegoric path, we need to start an active purification by forcing ourselves to turn left on the Main Boulevard.
By turning left you walk close to the Labyrinth on the left side, essential stage in the road trip to salvation, and, on the right side, close to the ‘Romitorio’ or Hermit’s Grotto, allegorical place where you can meditate on the revelations realized in the journey through the labyrinth.
Once you have done the allegoric journey through the labyrinth and then you have meditated in the Heremit’s Grotto, you return to the center of the garden by the Pila’s Fountain. Now you are finally ready to move forward toward the Villa.
Moving along the Main Boulevard toward the Villa you walk next to the Rabbit Island on the left and the Monument to Time on the right. The rabbits’ island or rabbits’ warren, the only one still present in the few historic garden still existing, is a symbol of Immanence, that is, of the usual condition of all living being limited by the body jammed between the boundaries of space and time. On the opposite side of that same Boulevard, in contraposition with the Rabbit Island, the monumental statue of Time, blocked his flight across space, symbolizes the spiritual condition in which the human soul travel beyond the limits of space and time.
After you have visited the Rabbit Island and the Monument to Time, you are back on the Main Boulevard by the Fountain of the Tricks or Water Jokes (around this fountain there are another four important statues: Polifemo, Tifeo, Ope & Flora). Here there are some inviting stone benches where you would like to take a seat because, arrogantly, you believe that your allegoric path is finished. An abundant numbers of water tricks/jokes make you realize of the mistake and tell you that you need to keep moving forward; the purification journey is not finished yet.
Finally, you reach the Staircase of the Sonetto, inscribed with revealing verses and leading to the Square of the Revelations in front of the Villa. Here eight allegories of the Garden’s (the Statue of Adone or Beautiness, of the Abundance, of the Delight & of the Happiness) and its Owner’s qualities (the statue of the Rest, of the Virtue or Agriculture, of the Power or Genius & of the Wisdom or Solitude) surround the “Fountain of Revelations”, final goal of the allegoric purification path and of human perfectibility.
- Greenery hall & Marble table
- The 1500 meters long boxwood maze
- Hermit’s pond and cave/grotto
- Red fishes pond or Martinengo’s pond
- “Pila” Fountain
- Fish pond of the Winds
- Rainbow fountain
- Diana fish-pond and Rivers
- Diana doorway & ‘Paludo’
- Rabbits Island
- Fountain of water tricks/jokes
- Fountain of the western “Putto”
- Fountain of the eastern “Putto”
- Stairway of the sonnet with the fountains of the Leopards
- The Ecstasy’s fountain with the 8 statues on the Revelation’s square
- Boxwood ‘Parterre’
- Monumental Statue of Time
- Small wood
- The “Cardo”, the Main Boulevard – bordered by high wall of Buxus sempervirens;
- Il The “Decumano”, the Water Boulevard – perpendicular to the ‘Cardo’ and bordered by high wall of Buxus sempervirens;
- The Venetian Alley, “La Calle Veneziana” – this alley reproduce with the high wall of Buxus sempervirens a typical venetian alley within buildings;
- The Rainbow Boulevard – bordered on the North part by maple’s trees (Acer campestre, Acer platanoides and Acer negundo) and by high wall of Buxus sempervirens;
- The Shadow’s Alleys. – mainly made by Hornbean’s trees (Carpinus betulus), but also by Aesculus hippocastanum and/or Acer campestre.
– – – limit of the visiting part of the historic garden
In YELLOW the ALLEGORIC PATH
WC/SHOP = By the ancient Stable