Villa Valmarana ai Nani owes its name in part to the 17 grotesque statues of stone dwarves arranged along the perimeter wall of the property.
These statues, the first versions of which are attributed to Giandomenico Tiepolo, represent characters from the commedia dell’arte and tell the story of a legend linked to the villa.
Layana was a young girl affected by dwarfism who lived in the house, shut away here by her parents together with servants who were also affected by dwarfism. Why? So that she did not notice or worry about her height. But this secret did not last for long: one day Layana saw a prince pass by the villa and discovered that she was “different”. In her suffering, Layana threw herself from the tower and her dwarf servants, overcome by pain, turned to stone.