The hedge labyrinth in the gardens of Villa Pisani is a symbol of love. Its tangle of low box trees allowed for an intriguing game in which a knight had to reach a masked lady, who was waiting for him on top of a tower at the heart of the green maze. Only if he were able to succeed in this quest, the woman would reveal her identity.
But the labyrinth also echoed an ancient symbol of power: the royal power in Crete, represented by Minos’s palace in Knossos – a building so intricate it inspired the legend of the Labyrinth built by Daedalus to imprison the Minotaur.
Built in Stra – in the province of Venice – starting from 1721, the villa soon became a symbol of Doge Alvise Pisani’s successful career, and welcomed the powerful of the whole world. Its great halls, lavishly decorated with works of art from the 18th and 19th century (including a fresco by Tiepolo, the “Apotheosis of the Pisani Family”), received Napoleon, Charles V of Spain, and Tsar Alexander I. In 1934, Mussolini and Hitler held here their first official meeting.
What a beautiful place for the games of love and power to play out.