Villa Foscarini Rossi was a summer residence of the noble Venetian family of Foscarini. The second name, Rossi, belongs to the current owners, holders of the Rossimoda footwer company. It is located in Stra, 500 metres or so from Villa Pisani, so it can be a good idea to visit them both on the same day.
The guided tour of Villa Foscarini Rossi lasts about 40 minutes and it allows you to see the frescoed Ballroom (located in the Barchessa) and the Shoe Museum (located in the Villa).
Villa Foscarini Rossi was built between 1599 and 1602. One of the last Doges of Venice lived here.
The great Barchessa preserves in the ballroom a magnificent seventeenth-century trompe l’oeil fresco.
Nowadays it is used to host weddings, meetings, concerts and other events. I attended a wedding there and I must say that it was wonderful and extermely romantic. We had lunch in the frescoed ballroom, and the there was a huge sweets and cakes buffet under the Barchessa colonnade. It was a sunny day and they prepared also outside tables in the garden. Lovely!
Since 1995, Villa Foscarini Rossi hosts the Rossimoda Shoe Museum. Rossimoda has created luxury shoes starting from the design of many famous stylists: Dior, Lacroix, Donna Karan, Pucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Fendi, Givenchy, Mark Jacobs, Ungaro, Anne Klein, Kalvin Klein, Kenzo, Celine, Vera Wang and others .
The museum preserves about 1.700 pairs of high fashion women shoes.
As soon ad you enter the Museum, you can read on the wall a brief story of the Brenta river shoe district: the confraternity of Calegheri (Shoemakers) was founded in Venice and documented since 1268. After the fall of the Venetian Republic by Napoleon (1797) some craftsmen preferred to move in the Brenta river area. This area is still renowned for the production of luxury shoes. One of the best known companies of this footwear district is Rossimoda, owner of Villa Foscarini Rossi. Founded in 1947 it is now part of the Moet-Hennessy-Louis Vuitton Group.
In this first little room there are some rare models dating back to 1700.
The one on the left is a dance shoe. The one on the right is a bedroom slipper. The shoe in the center is the most characteristic: it is equipped in fact with a pattino (skate), some kind of sole that was tied to the shoe in order to protect it from dirt.
The next room is the biggest one.
On the walls of the you can admire drawings by Andy Warhol.
The most beautiful room for me was the Egiptian one, with its blue walls and some exotic shoes models.
All the rooms are full of transparent cases containing shoes. It was very complicated to take good photos because the cases reflects the light, so you’ll have to content yourselves with pic full of glares, shadows and reflections. Sorry!
I found very nice the Vera Wang model created for Sharon Stone‘s wedding.
The shoes displayed are very heterogeneous. Some of them were used in movies. There are the Piligrim shoes by Yves Saint Laurent, weared by Catherine Deneuve in Belle de jour.
There is also a shoe created for Marlene Dietrich. Which reminded me Ich bin von Kopf bis Fuß auf Liebe eingestellt…
- The girl who guided us was nice, smiling and funny.
- The frescoed Ballroom is worth a visit.
- You can admire the evolution of high mode shoes style. Many of them are not just shoes but works of Art.
- There are some rare XVIII century shoes.
- The private parking of the Villa is only used when an event takes place, so you have to park elsewhere. Anyhow the Villa is close to the town centre, where you’ll find parking places.
- On Saturdays and Sundays you can visit the Villa and the Museum only during the afternoon with a guided tour. The tours begin every hour, so: 2.30, 3.30, 4.30, 5.30 pm.
- If an event takes place you can visit the Museum only, but the frescoed Ballroom is off limits, so you better call (+39 049 9801091 or +39 049 9800335) before going. I wanted to go there on May 1st but luckily I called first. They told me that there was a meeting and I couldn’t have visited the Barchessa, so I postponed my visit.
- To reach the second floor of the Museum you have to climb the narrow stairs.
Via Doge Pisani 1/2, Stra (Venice)
Full price: € 7
Reduced (from 12 to 18, over 65): € 5
Children under 12 years: free
From April to October
Monday – Friday: 9 am -1 pm , 2.30 pm – 6 pm
Saturday, Sunday and holidays: 2.30 pm – 6 pm (guided tours only)
Easter Monday, April 25, May 1, June 2: open
August 15 and every August Sunday: closed
From November to March
Monday – Friday: 9 am -1 pm
Saturday, Sunday and holidays: closed
From Christmas to Epiphany: closed