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Andrea Palladio's Italian Villa: La Rotonda

Updated on August 6, 2014

Roadside View of La Rotonda

La Rotonda from the roadside
La Rotonda from the roadside | Source

May I Reminisce?

When I lived in Vicenza, Italy one of my favorite things to do in the morning was pull up my shutters and throw open my wide double windows and breathe in the morning air while listening to happy little birds chirp in harmony to the local church bell as it would toll.

Sounds like a scene from that Disney cartoon "Cinderella"?

Well, I didn't have any mice named Jaq, Octavius or Gus Gus, but what I did have was this incredible view from my bedroom window.


Andrea Palladio

Frontispiece of The Architecture of A. Palladio - according to the source, it is the first edition (1715) of Giacomo Leoni's translation of Andrea Palladio's Quattro libri dell'architettura (1570)
Frontispiece of The Architecture of A. Palladio - according to the source, it is the first edition (1715) of Giacomo Leoni's translation of Andrea Palladio's Quattro libri dell'architettura (1570) | Source

Architectural View

Villa Capra, Vicenza, Palladio - Seccion de "i quattro libri" - 1570 - Publicacion de Ottavio Bertotti Scamozzi, 1778
Villa Capra, Vicenza, Palladio - Seccion de "i quattro libri" - 1570 - Publicacion de Ottavio Bertotti Scamozzi, 1778 | Source

An Introduction

Not more than a mile away upon the rise of a Venetian hillside, sitting majestically beneath the glorious sunshine was the looming presence of a very famous residence, a fabulous villa built by the great Italian architect Andrea Palladio.

Villa Almerico Capra or otherwise known as "La Rotonda" is a renaissance villa designed by Palladio during the early part of the 16th century. Inspired by the great Pantheon in Rome, La Rotonda is by far one of the most revered architectural villas in Italy and around the world.

Intricate Design

Sitting at the base of Monte Berico, the "palazzo" building is symmetrically designed with a square plan that intersects like a cross entailing four facades with protruding porticos on each wing. To the center of the building is a magnificent dome topped off with a cupola.

The interior of La Rotonda is just as spectacular and if not more so than the outside facade. Throughout the villa's abundant salons, there are numerous frescoes pertaining to the original owner Paolo Almerico, a priest who worked in the Vatican under Pope Pius IV and whose life story and religious works are forever memorialized.

Of course, the most exciting area within the villa is the central hall. Decorated with murals having a three dimensional effect, an art technique known as Trompe-l'œil, here the circular interior is lined with a surrounding balcony which looms with a domed ceiling.

Ornamental Detail

Villa Capra "La Rotonda" (1560) in Vicenza, Italy by Andrea Palladio. Detail of ornamental "open pedimant" doorway. Detailed fresco paintings fill the wall and ceiling behind the door frame.
Villa Capra "La Rotonda" (1560) in Vicenza, Italy by Andrea Palladio. Detail of ornamental "open pedimant" doorway. Detailed fresco paintings fill the wall and ceiling behind the door frame. | Source

Portrait of a President

Oil on canvas painting of Thomas Jefferson C. 1786
Oil on canvas painting of Thomas Jefferson C. 1786 | Source

An Inspired Admirer

Palladio's design of Villa Capra was so famous that it inspired none other than the great American President Thomas Jefferson to create his own version of the legendary villa, calling his home Monticello.

Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson, in Charlottesville, Virginia Photographer:  Matt Kozlowski
Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson, in Charlottesville, Virginia Photographer: Matt Kozlowski | Source

Walkway View of La Rotonda

Villa Capra detta La Rotonda
Villa Capra detta La Rotonda | Source

Vacation Time

Perhaps you would like to visit the Venetian countryside?

If so, you might want to try using this villa locator to find the perfect vacation get-away.

Villa Renter


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The Architect and the Design

© 2012 ziyena

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  • miftahur profile image

    Miftahur Roziqin 4 years ago from Indonesia

    hmmmb this is an amazing building

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    diogenes 5 years ago

    I have met quite a few Italians and love that race dearly, so much personality and fun with no meaness at all. I often wish my second language was Italian rather than Spanish.

    You - a beautiful senorina - and Italy must have been well met by moonlight.

    Bob

  • ziyena profile image
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    ziyena 5 years ago from Southern Colorado

    Wonderful that you could view the Pantheon everyday!

    I agree, Rome is magical. Beyond a bohemian's wildest dreams :)

  • edelhaus profile image

    edelhaus 5 years ago from Munich, Germany

    Lucky you! I used to live in Rome right across from the Pantheon, so I know how magical Italy's glories can be.

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