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The Villla Varda park is on the outskirts of Brugnera, Italy, and includes numerous tree-lined paths favored by joggers and walkers.
The Villla Varda park is on the outskirts of Brugnera, Italy, and includes numerous tree-lined paths favored by joggers and walkers. (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)
The Villla Varda park is on the outskirts of Brugnera, Italy, and includes numerous tree-lined paths favored by joggers and walkers.
The Villla Varda park is on the outskirts of Brugnera, Italy, and includes numerous tree-lined paths favored by joggers and walkers. (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)
The mansion — or villa — at Villa Varda serves as a popular location for weddings. The structure is surrounded by an 18-acre park that gives most locals more reason to visit frequently.
The mansion — or villa — at Villa Varda serves as a popular location for weddings. The structure is surrounded by an 18-acre park that gives most locals more reason to visit frequently. (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)
It might seem as if there are more restrictions at Parco di Villa Varda than anywhere else on earth. The big ones for Americans to observe: No dogs, no bikes and no kicking balls or running on the lawn (outside the picnic area).
It might seem as if there are more restrictions at Parco di Villa Varda than anywhere else on earth. The big ones for Americans to observe: No dogs, no bikes and no kicking balls or running on the lawn (outside the picnic area). (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)
Along the paths of Parco di Villa Varda in Italy, there are dozens of benches for those wanting to take a break from a jog or just relax with a book or gadget - parts of the park offer free Wi-Fi.
Along the paths of Parco di Villa Varda in Italy, there are dozens of benches for those wanting to take a break from a jog or just relax with a book or gadget - parts of the park offer free Wi-Fi. (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)
Parco di Villa Varda in Brugnera, Italy, offers miles of walking and jogging paths, with trees giving cover from the sun.
Parco di Villa Varda in Brugnera, Italy, offers miles of walking and jogging paths, with trees giving cover from the sun. (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)
Parco di Villa Varda sits along the banks of the Livenza River just outside Brugnera, Italy.
Parco di Villa Varda sits along the banks of the Livenza River just outside Brugnera, Italy. (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)
Just as the park near Brugnera, Italy, offers several different landscapes, the Livenza River offers a few variations as well. Parts of it are deeper and more tranquil and other parts shallow, with rapid-flowing water.
Just as the park near Brugnera, Italy, offers several different landscapes, the Livenza River offers a few variations as well. Parts of it are deeper and more tranquil and other parts shallow, with rapid-flowing water. (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)
Those interested in figuring out what some of the trees around them are in Parco di Villa Varda in Italy are in luck - as long as they speak Latin or Italian.
Those interested in figuring out what some of the trees around them are in Parco di Villa Varda in Italy are in luck - as long as they speak Latin or Italian. (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)
The fllowers weren't blooming when this picture was taken. But Parco di Villa Varda, near Brugnera, Italy, can be colorful at times, especially in the area surrounding the villa itself.
The fllowers weren't blooming when this picture was taken. But Parco di Villa Varda, near Brugnera, Italy, can be colorful at times, especially in the area surrounding the villa itself. (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)
A tower at Parco di Villa Varda near Brugnera, Italy, can't be climbed. And it doesn't serve as an entrance to a secret dungeon - or at least it's not very obvious. There is, however, a dungeon-like toilet area attached.
A tower at Parco di Villa Varda near Brugnera, Italy, can't be climbed. And it doesn't serve as an entrance to a secret dungeon - or at least it's not very obvious. There is, however, a dungeon-like toilet area attached. (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)
Italy is dotted with thousands of small chapels, but the one at Parco di Villa Varda outside Brugnera, Italy, is likely one of the prettiest. 

Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes
Italy is dotted with thousands of small chapels, but the one at Parco di Villa Varda outside Brugnera, Italy, is likely one of the prettiest. Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)
An angel statue offers a prayer atop the chapel at Parco di Villa Vardi near Brugnera, Italy.
An angel statue offers a prayer atop the chapel at Parco di Villa Vardi near Brugnera, Italy. (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)
Any service conducted in the chapel at Parco di Villa Varda  near Brugnera, Italy, would have to be small. There are only a handful of benches. But the interior is nicer than many larger peers around Italy.
Any service conducted in the chapel at Parco di Villa Varda near Brugnera, Italy, would have to be small. There are only a handful of benches. But the interior is nicer than many larger peers around Italy. (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)
The pond that's close to the tower at Parco di Villa Varda is getting a makeover of sorts. It's been drained to low levels, but still sports a turtle or two, while a new bridge is built around the southern end (to the right of this view).
The pond that's close to the tower at Parco di Villa Varda is getting a makeover of sorts. It's been drained to low levels, but still sports a turtle or two, while a new bridge is built around the southern end (to the right of this view). (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)
The orangery at Parco di Villa Varda in Italy was designed as a place to grow plants indoors - and perhaps soak up some sun. Now it serves mainly as a book exchange.
The orangery at Parco di Villa Varda in Italy was designed as a place to grow plants indoors - and perhaps soak up some sun. Now it serves mainly as a book exchange. (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)
There are two areas at Parco di Villa Varda designed specifically for kids. This  one is strewn with pebbles to break falls and another is part of the picnic area.
There are two areas at Parco di Villa Varda designed specifically for kids. This one is strewn with pebbles to break falls and another is part of the picnic area. (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)
Kids can climb a web on the playground at Parco di Villa Varda near Brugnera, Italy. Spider suit not required.
Kids can climb a web on the playground at Parco di Villa Varda near Brugnera, Italy. Spider suit not required. (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)
Most of Parco di Villa Varda is full of places to walk or jog. But for those who want to visit during meal time, there are about a half-dozen picnic tables and a small play area for kids.
Most of Parco di Villa Varda is full of places to walk or jog. But for those who want to visit during meal time, there are about a half-dozen picnic tables and a small play area for kids. (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)

A visit to Parco di Villa Varda might be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Or it could just be a place to get in a walk or jog.

The 18-acre park, located on the outskirts of Brugnera, a small city about 15 miles southwest of Aviano Air Base in Italy, is a prime destination for weddings — especially this time of year. The villa, which dates back to around the 15th century, offers a picturesque location.

The surrounding park, though, is probably a more useful place for most Americans, with miles of walking or jogging trails. Just don’t bring your bike or your dog. Both are prohibited.

Trees overhang most of the trails, providing a relatively cool place even in summertime. The Livenza River forms the boundary of roughly a third of the park, which is owned by the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region and operated by the Brugnera commune. Classified as a state park, it’s well-known by local residents but not by Italians living farther away, as it’s not really a tourist destination.

But there are sights to see if you’re looking for more than a nice place for a stroll or jog. A lone tower sits near a pond that’s recently undergone renovation. A new bridge spans it, as the old wooden one collapsed years ago. Not far away, there’s a mausoleum for the family that owned the property before it was transferred to the state. There’s also a small, elegant chapel that might serve as an even better wedding spot — if your guest list isn’t very long.

The villa itself features a small cafe that is open for lunch six days a week and dinner by prior arrangement. Another option is to bring your own food and have a picnic. There’s a designated area for the purpose, which contains a small playground for kids. There’s another playground area right next to the villa.

Adults looking for some quiet can take a break by sitting on one of the numerous benches that line the trails. If you read Italian, you can even pick up a book at the village’s solarium, which now serves as a book exchange. Or if you prefer an electronic version, free Wi-Fi is available in spots.

harris.kent@stripes.com

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