Vicenza and the Palladian Villas, the enchanting Unesco Heritage in Veneto Region


Discover with us the city shaped by Andrea Palladio and the PalladianVillas, a must see during your holidays in Veneto.

Vicenza, the city of Andrea Palladio

The city of Vicenza has been a popular tourist italian destination since decades. Visitors from all over the world travel to the town to admire its many elegant and extravagant venetian villas and the masterpieces created by the famous architect, Andrea Palladio. Discover with us this must see city and Villas during your holidays in Veneto.

Vicenza is located in Northern Italy, in Veneto Region, at the base of Monte Berico. The town is located close to the Venice. The city is known for its rich culture and history. It is mainly renowned for its Renaissance style Palazzi. The Palladian Villas of the Veneto region have been listed as a world heritage site by UNESCO since 1994.

The Palladian Villas in Vicenza

The Unesco world heritage site protects the cluster of Villas which were designed by Andrea Palladio. In the first few years since the site was included in the world heritage list, only the buildings in the Vicenza area were included which included numerous villas, Palazzi and the Teatro Olimpico. However, the site had to be expanded later to include the ones which were located in the other parts of the region of Veneto.

Originally, the term Villa was used to describe a house in the suburbs or a country house. Various rich families of Veneto had a town house which was normally known as a palazzo and the country house was known as the villa. As a custom, in the ancient times the palazzo and the villas were always named after the family name which normally creates a lot of confusions.

Villa Capra La Rotonda

One of the most well known villas made by Palladio is the Villa Capra La Rotonda. The villa is located on top of a hill just outside Vicenza. The original design of the villa did not include a farm from the beginning like in most other villas. The villa was designed to be much more sophisticated and was termed palazzo by Palladio rather than a villa.

The design of the villa is symmetrical with a square plan and four different facades. Each façade has a portico and the name La Rotonda had been given due to the circular hall inside the villa with a dome. Every portico has steps that lead up and open up to the central hall through a small corridor or a cabinet.

All the rooms in the villa were designed with mathematical precision. The design of the villa is purely renaissance which also reflects the humanist values. The design was rotated to 45 degrees to let each room have enough sun light. The four porticos have pediments where statues of deities have been kept. All the main rooms were on the second floor.

The interior of the villa is truly magnificent and is even more stunning than the exterior of the villa. The frescoes in the main salons were done by Anselmo Canera, Giovanni Battista Maganzia and Alessandro. On the second floor there are four main salons, the West Salon or Holy Room is the most important. This salon has large frescoes and ceiling which are quite religious in nature. The East Salon depicts various scenes from the life of Paolo Almerico who was the first owner of the villa and many of his qualities have been depicted in the fresco.

The most stunning feature inside the villa is the large circular hall which is surrounded by a balcony on all the sides and is covered by a dome. The main hall is of large height, right up to the cupola and the walls have been beautifully decorated. There are plenty of frescoes on the walls which make it look like a grand cathedral rather than a suburban or a country home.

If you want to visit Villa La Rotonda you can rent an E-Bike from the city center and enjoy a nice ride along the cyclepath that leads to the Villa.

Villa Godi Malinverni