Why you should go
The Palladian villas were designed to be functional. During the 16th Century in Italy, a villa was basically a farm. Especially for the Veneto region, agriculture had become a very important business for the merchant aristocracy. While the Venetian maritime empire gradually fell under the Ottoman Turkish advance, the Venetians decided to invest in their hinterland.
Palladio designed buildings for merchants, noblemen or gentlemen who shared an intense admiration for the ancient Rome. They were children of the Renaissance immersed in humanistic learning. Palladio was the first architect to apply pediments and colonnades to centuries-old buildings.
But the beauty of its villas was not just applied as ornamentation. As can be seen in other villas, there is a geometric order deriving from sophisticated systems of proportion and an intuitive sense of design. You won’t be surprise knowing that Palladio become the most influential architect of the western world.
Many of his surviving villas and palaces are included in this tour, as well as some of the less known and accessible.
First day: Vicenza
Upon arriving in Venice airport, you will rent a car. Departing to Vicenza to visit the city. Vicenza is universally known as the city of Palladio, registered on the UNESCO World Heritage’ list. It is the home of 23 monuments of the big architect. His main public works are the Basilic and the Olympic Theatre, the oldest walling covered theatre of the world.
Second day: Lonigo - Poiana Maggiore - Fratta Polesine
Villa Pisani di Bagnolo in Lonigo, small but of majestic proportion, is the most representative work of the young age of Palladio’s art.
Villa Pojana, another young work, has restrained but noble proportion.
Villa Badoer, in Fratta Polesine, built in the middle of his career, is a perfect example of the Palladian hierarchy, an elevated estate linked with curved porticos to nearby buildings.
Third day: Vicenza – Lugo di Vicenza
Villa Almerico Capra called "La Rotonda", just 10 minutes by car from Vicenza, is the most famous work by Palladio, planned and built for commission of Monsignor Paolo Almerico by Andrea Palladio around 1570.
At the foot of the Dolomites, Villa Godi Malinverni is a severe building with luxurious frescos inside.
Fourth day: Bassano – Maser – Fanzolo
Visit of Bassano, a beautiful city with a wooden bridge designed by Palladio.
Villa Barbaro in Maser, declared UNESCO’s World Heritage, is one of the masterpieces by Andrea Palladio.
He was in charge for the Barbaro’s brothers project: Marcantonio, influential politician character often involved in the architectural choices of the Venetian Republic, and Daniele, patriarch of Aquileia, a cultured and fine man in love with architecture.
Villa Emo in Fanzolo, combines in a typical and evocative way the utilitarism and the monumental.
In the evening back to Vicenza.
Fifth day: Malcontenta – Piombino Dese
You will drive along a way of the Brenta’s canal, coasting the summer estate of the Venetian nobles. Villa Foscari “La Malcontenta” is one of the most well known and charming villas by Palladio. The villa designed for Nicolò and Alvise Foscari is an expression of extraordinary completeness of Palladio’s theorical belief.
After this villa, one of the most progressive, beautiful and influential of Palladio: Villa Cornaro in Piombino Dese. This villa was commissioned by the noble man Giorgio Cornaro, who wished an estate for his family during the sowing and harvesting period.
Back to Venice airport for the flight and return the car.
Many of the mentioned villas in this itinerary are private properties, therefore need special authorizations to be visited. The selection and the order could therefore slightly change compared to the above description.
- Visit Palladian villas
- Car rental
- Entrance fees
- Double room in a luxury hotel for 5nights on BB basis
- Everything not included in the Included field