The City of Vicenza and the Palladian Villas

Two UNESCO awards linked to the Palladian genius: the city and the villas


When the aristocracy of the Veneto saw their business activities fall into crisis as a result of the discovery of America and the arrival of new products, it decided to invest even more heavily into the exploitation of resources in the hinterland.

The most obvious and irrefutable result of this turning point in the politics of the Serenissima (Most Serene Republic of Venice) is the more than four thousand villas located in the most evocative landscapes in all of the Veneto, among them, the villas of Andrea Palladio, the masterpiece of one of the most important masters of sixteenth-century architecture.

The Palladian Villas were the expression of a dominant, refined class, sensitive to the beauties of nature and art and, at the same time, active in the careful administration of its vast agricultural lands. The Villas, known throughout the world for harmony of proportion, purity of form and the cycle of frescos that adorn the interiors, constitute a housing model for the noble residence of the landowner that will endure for the next three hundred years. The place in which a noble could enjoy routine splendour, display his elevated social position and also manage his agricultural holdings.

Whoever visits the Veneto, even for a short time, cannot deny itself the joy of admiring these marvels together with Palladian works of art, such as the renowned and recently restored Basilica, the evocative Olympic theatre, and the numerous palaces of the local aristocracy, for which Vicenza's historical centre is valued.

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Vicenza and The Villas