Villa Trissino was mainly built in the 16th century and is associated by tradition with the architect Andrea Palladio. The building is of undeniable importance in the Palladio 'mythos'. Since 1994 the villa has been part of a World Heritage Site which was designated to protect the Palladian buildings of Vicenza and Veneto area.
It is uncertain whether this villa was designed by Palladio, but it is one of the centres if not, in fact, the origin of his myth. For, tradition holds that right here, in the second half of the 1530s, the Vicentine noble Giangiorgio Trissino (1478–1550) met the young mason Andrea di Pietro at work on the building of his villa. Somehow intuiting the youth’s potential and talent, Trissino took charge of his future formation, introduced him into the Vicentine aristocracy and, in the space of a few years, transformed him into the architect who bore the aulic name of Palladio.
Trissino did not demolish the pre-existing building, but redesigned it to give priority to the principal facade facing south. This gesture was a sort of manifesto of membership in the new constructional culture based on the rediscovery of ancient Roman architecture. Between the two existing towers Trissino inserted a two-storey, arcaded loggia. Trissino reorganised the spaces into a sequence of lateral rooms, which differ in dimensions but are linked by a system of inter-related proportions, a matrix which would become a key theme in Palladio’s design method.
Building works were certainly concluded by 1538. At the end of the eighteenth century the Vicentine architect Ottone Calderari heavily modified the structure, and in the first years of the twentieth century a second campaign of works cancelled out the last traces of the Gothic building by accomplishing its belated “Palladianisation”.References:
The eight towns in south-eastern Sicily, including Ragusa, were all rebuilt after 1693 on or beside towns existing at the time of the earthquake which took place in that year. They represent a considerable collective undertaking, successfully carried out at a high level of architectural and artistic achievement. Keeping within the late Baroque style of the day, they also depict distinctive innovations in town planning and urban building. Together with seven other cities in the Val di Noto, it is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In 1693 Ragusa was devastated by a huge earthquake, which killed some 5,000 inhabitants. Following this catastrophe the city was largely rebuilt, and many Baroque buildings from this time remain in the city. Most of the population moved to a new settlement in the former district of Patro, calling this new municipality 'Ragusa Superiore' (Upper Ragusa) and the ancient city 'Ragusa Inferiore' (Lower Ragusa). The two cities remained separated until 1926, when they were fused together to become a provincial capital in 1927.