If you’re spending time in Verona, Lake Garda, or Padova, consider visiting two Palladian Villas of the Veneto region. The Villa Rotunda and the Villa Emo are examples of architecture by Andrea Palladio, widely considered to be the most influential individual in the history of Western architecture.
The Palladian Villas in the Veneto make a great day- or 2-day trip if you’re . The most famous one, the Villa Capra “La Rotonda” or more commonly just the Villa Rotonda because of its internal round(ish) shape, is located just outside of Vicenza.
Villa in Italian means house, which the Villa Rotonda is technically not: Palladio designed it for his client Paolo Almerico as a house for entertaining rather than a dwelling (and Palladio referred to it not as a villa but as a palazzo). After Palladio’s death, the Capra brothers bought the incomplete building from the Almerico estate and commissioned architect Vincenzo Scamozzi to complete it. Scamozzi made a few changes, including adding the cupola, so the Villa Rotonda we see today does not represent Palladio’s original design. The grounds are open every day, and the inside is open on Wednesdays except in the winter. I recommend seeing the inside if possible.
Palladio built lots of actual villas in the area, many of which are not open to the public. But the Villa Emo, about an hour away from La Rotonda is worth a visit, not only because it was built as a dwelling but is also the only Palladian villa built exactly to Palladio’s designs.
Villa Emo is also open odd hours for visiting, so call to confirm opening times before planning a visit.
Photos from Wikipedia.
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