Villa Nani Mocenigo and the legend of the sad Countess
Villa Nani Mocenigo is one of the Renaissance villas that adorn the Polesine area.
It is located in Canda, a small town in the province of Rovigo, and the locals consider it the most magnificent among the various residences left by the Venetian lords of the sixteenth century.
The date of beginning of construction is uncertain, even if some documents place it around 1580.
The author is probably Vincenzo Scamozzi, architect and pupil of Palladio, but there are also those who think it is the work of Baldassarre Longhena, architect and sculptor of the Republic of Venice among the most famous and representative of his time.
It overlooks the Tartaro river and has two facades, one dated back to 16th century to the north and the other dated back to eighteenth century to the south. The interior, heavily damaged by a fire in 1946, presents various frescoes concentrated in the stairwell and in the two front rooms of the noble floor.
It is said that Villa Nani Mocenigo is linked to the legend of the “Sad Countess”, who probably wanders still today, as a ghost, to the sumptuous rooms of the residence.
According to the legend, the fact dates back to the 1600s when a countess Nani residing in Venice was left by her beloved.
Desperate, she let herself go to such sadness that it was thought to she have gone mad.
His brother Giovanni ordered her to go with her Spanish company lady (that the locals later called “the stria” – the witch), in the residence in Canda, to find peace and serenity.
Months passed but her pain did not abate.
However, a beautiful day, as if by magic, she returned to being cheerful and began to organize parties and to receive guests.
One day the two women left the house to go to the blacksmith and someone heard them ordering “rasuri” (razors).
At the receptions the countess, beautiful and kind, won the hearts of lot of men and she, generously, appreciated their courtships. However, after a night of love, the unlucky lover disappeared.
It was soon thought that the Countess threw her lovers into the well, probably with sharp blades on the bottom, and that the poor men reached the nearby Canal Bianco, sliced like fishes.
A revenge, a pathology or irrepressible pain?
Probably the countess and her company lady wanted “just” to take revenge on men.
One thing is certain: one day both the countess and her company lady disappeared.
Probably a shrewd lover must have discovered the clumsy game and took revenge…