Thanks to its elegant villas, the central area of the Lido of Venice is a bona fide tribute to the Liberty style, the Italian Art Nouveau.
This is the artistic and philosophical movement that was came into being between the late nineteenth century and the first decade of the twentieth century, and that transformed the island from a land of vineyards, vegetable gardens and dunes to a top tourist destination.
From the 1950s, the first bathing establishments were built and, by consequence, the first hotels also cropped up, and the Venetian families began to transfer their summer residences from the countryside to the Lido of Venice. The island’s golden age arose between 1910 and 1920, when it was considered one of the most elegant summer destinations in Europe.
There was a lot of land available, prices were low, and, in place of modest holiday homes, real aristocratic villas with large gardens were constructed, with an architectural style that evoked the taste of the time and, above all, an incredible freedom to experiment in forms and decorations. Indeed, the Lido, did not have the same constraints as the historic center of Venice, and the architects hired to manage the projects – Venetian and otherwise – gave free rein to their creative flair, so as to create a concentration of Liberty villas here that is unique in its genre.
Reinforced concrete and Istrian stone, wrought iron and bricks, majolica and floral and zoomorphic decorations, crenellated turrets… walking along the Lido you encounter a riot of summer residences, each different from the next, today often transformed from private homes to luxury hotels. If you want to take a stroll admiring these charming villas, the main ones are located in the area between S. Maria Elisabetta, via Negroponte, via Zara, via Cipro and via Parenzo up to the Lungomare d’Annunzio.
The most significant and interesting ones to visit are those protected by the Superintendence of Venice for their unparalleled value. These are currently: Villino Mon Plaisir, Villa Romanelli, Villa Otello, Villa Padri Armeni, Villa Giannina, Villino Erinna, Villa Gemma, Villa Annamaria, Villa Eva, Villa Fanna and Villino Fanna, Villa Lisa, Villa Krebser Beltrami, Villino Maffei, Villa Quarti and Villa Perez.