August, 08 2019 ( Updated August, 08 2019)
Discover the Palladium jewels of Vicenza in Italy...
For architects, heritage fans and design enthusiasts, the building style of Andrea Palladio (1508 – 1580) will certainly strike a chord.
Established in the 16th century, the Palladian style drew inspiration from the classical proportions and symmetry of Ancient Rome. The building era became known as the Italian Renaissance; a style personified by a simplistic, symmetrical exterior and a contrasting, sumptuously decorated interior.
The very best architectural examples are on display in the Vicenza province of Italy, across the beautiful regional landscape of Veneto. All classified now as UNESCO world heritage sites, we have picked our best bunch of Palladian buildings for you to visit - from dilapidated villas to the meticulously restored versions, we have them all-ready for you to explore. Enjoy!
Built by the nobleman Giuseppe di Bernardino Valmarana (between 1542 and 1546), Villa Valmarana in Vigardolo is considered one of the earliest examples of Palladian architecture. The villa offers a vast array of frescoes from different periods for you to take in as you pass through the beautifully proportioned rooms. Today, the distinct early villa hosts corporate and private events; making it a tempting destination for both party-goers and architecture fans.
Also known as ‘Villa Caldogno Nordera’, the 16th century villa in Veneto is attributed to Andrea Palladio. Built in 1570 for the noble Caldogno family and recently renovated, the villa offers beautiful frescoes by Giovanni Antonio Fasolo (who decorated Andrea Palladio’s Teatro Olimpico) and Giovanni Battista Zelotti (who decorated the walls of other Andrea Palladio villas). The villa provides a captivating ambience of a bygone-era.
Visited by artists, poets, nobleman and statesman alike, Villa Rotonda (otherwise known as ‘Villa Almerico Capra Valmarana’) has always captivated the imagination. Portraying Palladian refinement at its best, J. W Goethe once remarked after a visit to the villa in 1786 that “Perhaps the architectural art has never reached such magnificence”. Located just outside of Vicenza, this landmark villa offers a ravishing example fit for any heritage fan or ardent architect. If you are going to visit just one Palladian jewel, make it this one!
Located in Montecchio Precalcino, this derelict 16th century villa is attributed to Andrea Palladio. Unlike the noble clients of the day, the orginal owner was Girolamo Forni, a wood merchant and cultural enthusiast, who supplied the materials for several Palladio buildings. The modifications on the existing Cogollo house were completed in 1565. The bourgeois villa provides a superb example of a Palladian conversion; where a modest building is transformed into a tasteful monument to style and elegance. Established in 2018, the ‘Villa Forni Cerato Foundation’ aims to renovate and restore the derelict villa back to its former glory, so watch this space for its rebirth!
Other Palladian gems to pick n’ mix during your Veneto stay include Villa Barbaro Volpi in Maser (Villa di Maser), Villa Pisari in Stra, Villa Emo in Franzolo di Vedelago and Villa Bertolo Valmarana ai Nani.
Palladian buildings appeal to you, one thing is for sure - the style of Andrea
Palladio is as enduring today as it ever was!