Villa Forni Cerato at Montecchio Precalcino (VI)


Montecchio Precalcino, Province of Vicenza, Via Venezia; train station at Dueville on the Vicenza-Schio(*) line about 5 km/3 miles to the southwest.  The villa is located along the Vicenza-Thiene bike route.

This villa, or cottage, was built, by reworking an existing structure, during the mid-sixteenth century and commissioned by Girolamo Forni a wealthy timber merchant, but in a situation more unique than unusual for Palladian villas, he was not a nobleman.

Forni was involved in business dealings with Andrea Palladio as a supplier of lumber, and this is one of the reasons why most critics attribute the design of this villa to Palladio; drawings of the villa are also included in Le fabbriche e i disegni di Andrea Palladio [the buildings and drawings of Andrea Palladio] by Ottavio Bertotti Scamozzi.

The villa has a simple yet attractive appearance.  The facade consists of a Serliana [Palladian window] with a stairway in front and surmounted by bas reliefs by Alessandro Vittoria.  Behind the villa is a large estate contained by a garden wall.

Today, unfortunately, the villa is in a state of total disrepair; the interior is gutted and all the fixtures have been removed, the garden overgrown; the villa presents a ghostly appearance, reduced to a skeleton.

Ownership of the villa, after many changes of hands, has ended with a shaky Irish holding company and the subject of litigation; for now there seems no prospect of restoring the villa.

Latest visit:  15 November 2014

All photos by Paolo Bonavoglia, unless indicated otherwise.

For an overall interactive map of the Veneto, showing all these villas and many more, please see this custom Google map.