Dante Alighieri

« Had I towards Mira fled,
When overta'en at Oriaco, still,
Might I have breath'd.
But to the marsh I sped,
And in the mire and rushes tangled there
Fell, and beheld my life-blood float the plain. »
( Dante Alighieri - Purgatorio 79- 84 )

Galileo Galilei

In the 1600s Galileo Galilei, the forefather of modern science, used to visit Vigonovo looking for some peace and inspiration. Between a stroll and a discussion about physics, the days will go by in the villa of his dear friend Giovan Francesco Sagredo, in what people started calling 'the scientists' sofa' in his honour.

Napoleone Bonaparte

As soon as he became King of Italy in 1807, Napoleon purchased for 1,901,000 venetian liras the Villa Pisani di Strà. He was fascinated by the Riviera and decided to gift this villa to the viceroy Eugène de Beauharnais. Famous characters such as the Russian Czar Alexander I and Victor Emmanuel II together with his lover stayed here, and in 1934 it was chosen for the first official meeting between Mussolini and Hitler.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Many historians have documented Mozart's presence on the Brenta Riviera.


Giambattista Tiepolo

The original furniture has been preserved within the 114 rooms of Villa Pisani. The interiors are richly decorated with statues, stuccoes and frescoes from the greatest masters of their time, including Gianbattista Tiepolo, who, in the Dancing Hall, painted one of the masterpieces of 18th century Venice, The Glory of the Pisani Family.


Canaletto visited Padua and the Brenta Riviera in 1740. This travel inspired a collection of 30 etchings that were produced for the collector Joseph Smith, who eventually became the painter's exclusive agent.

Carlo Goldoni

Carlo Goldoni, considered one of the forefathers of modern comedy, used to tell how, often, the most interesting part of the travels he would undertake was the one he spent on board the above mentioned Burchiello, where some colourful meetings would take place amongst nobles, comedians, upper class ladies and artists. Also Goethe and D'Annunzio dedicated some of their verses to the landscapes that could be seen along the Brenta river.

'Musa, we sing of that Burchiello from Padua
It is a delightful, comfortable vehicle
Through which we smoothly travel along the Brenta river,
Protected from the cold and from the summer heat.
I speak of the one that every morning shows up
For passengers on their way to Padua;
Not of the ugly evening boat,
Rife with cripples, blind people and barrators,
From which a horrible, screechy voice
Usually shouts from the pontoon towards Fusina (...)
I speak of that graceful Waterway
Decorated with mirrors, and engravings, and paintings,
Which moves forward by one mile every twenty minutes,
As a good tow pulled by horses;
Where with no fears nor danger,
One can comfortably seat or sleep.'
Padua's Burchiello by Carlo Goldoni

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"'I will only say a few words on my journey from Padua to here. The trip on the Brenta with the Burchiello, a public means of transport, and with a very respectable company (Italians stand on ceremony among themselves, too) is nice and pleasant. The shores are decorated with gardens and villas. Some towns can be seen very close to the river, which is in some parts skirted by the road, a very animated one". Italian Journey - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Ernest Hemingway

The renowned American writer Ernest Hemingway was very fond of the territory of the Riviera because of the quality of its food and wine. Some of the residents, who met him in the 1950s, report how, after visiting the Harry's Bar in Venice, the writer loved to reach, on board the Burchiello, the towns of the Riviera where many local taverns ('osterie') still nowadays claim having him as a customer. One of these is in fact called 'Il Burchiello'. In the past it was called 'Ostaria Inda dee tre cueatte', and was later renamed 'Osteria da Bepi Osto'.».

George Gordon Byron

Lord George Byron thought that the calm of waterway transports and gardens was ideal for his writing. The English writer stayed for a long time in the Villa Foscarini dei Carmini, in the centre of Mira, where he finished two of his most famous books, 'Child Harold Pilgrimage' and 'Don Juan'.

Giacomo Casanova

The famous lover and adventurer speaks about the Riviera in his memoirs, that collect the stories of his countless love affairs unfolding in places and settings typical of the society of that time.

Gabriele D'Annunzio

The Riviera del Brenta is a backdrop to the unrestrained eroticism of Gabriele D'Annunzio and his lover Eleonora Duse and to the 'rituals' they would perform along the lanes of Villa Pisani's labyrinth.