Villa Trissino at Vicenza (VI)


Vicenza, altitude 35 m/115 feet above sea level; train station at Vicenza about 4 km/2.5 miles to the south.  The villa is located at the northern periphery of Vicenza at the beginning of the Strada Marosticana [SS 248].  On bicycle it is easily reached from the center of Vicenza; take the Corso Andrea Palladio, turn left just past the Teatro Olimpico, follow Borgo Santa Lucia which then becomes Stradella Mora up to the point where you turn left onto Via Cricoli, and where there is a section of bike path.

The villa normally is not open to the public, except for pre-booked groups.

Giangiorgio Trissino, famous humanist, writer and dilettante architect, author of the poem L'Italia liberata dai Goti [Italy liberated from the Goths], between 1530 and 1538 constructed this villa over a preexisting family structure; it is likely that he personally oversaw the design and construction by the workers.

On the job site there was a young stonecutter named Andrea, son of Pietro della Gondola; Trissino was so impressed with his ability and his talent that he took him under his protection, then took him to Rome to study ancient architecture and gave him the nickname that was to become a legend in the history of architecture: Palladio.  [an allusion to the Greek goddess of wisdom Pallas Athene and to a character of a play by Trissino]

One could say that it wasn’t Palladio that created this villa, but that the villa created Palladio.

The villa has a hybrid characteristic, the four towers in the corners recall medieval castles, the central facade with three arches presage in some way the Palladian model.  To the side, as is normal with Venetian villas, there is a barchessa [farm support building] which currently is being renovated.  Around the villa is a vast agricultural estate.

Latest visit: 3 February 2013

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