The Villa Forni Cerato is a 16th-century villa in Montecchio Precalcino. Its design is attributed to Andrea Palladio and his client is assumed to have been Girolamo Forni, a wealthy wood merchant who supplied building material for a number of the Palladio's projects. The attribution to Palladio is partly on stylistic grounds, although this is a complicated issue - the building departs from the Palladian norms.
The villa was probably built in the 1540s modifying an existing building on the site. The double name Forni-Cerato, which it is always given, dates back to 1610. Both its attribution to Palladio and the assumption that Girolamo Forni had it built remain a matter of speculation. The first reference to the architect being Palladio is in the 18th century. However, modern research agrees almost unanimously with their opinion.
The body of the building has not undergone any significant changes with the exception of the back, which had a serliana, which was replaced by a balcony. The outline of the rear serliana is still visible.
Today, the only authentic sculptural decoration appears to be a mask over the round arch of the entrance serliana which is attributed to Alessandro Vittoria.
In 1996 UNESCO included the building in the World Heritage Site 'City of Vicenza and the Palladian Villas of the Veneto'. The villa is in a poor state of conservation.References:
Angelokastro is a Byzantine castle on the island of Corfu. It is located at the top of the highest peak of the island"s shoreline in the northwest coast near Palaiokastritsa and built on particularly precipitous and rocky terrain. It stands 305 m on a steep cliff above the sea and surveys the City of Corfu and the mountains of mainland Greece to the southeast and a wide area of Corfu toward the northeast and northwest.
Angelokastro is one of the most important fortified complexes of Corfu. It was an acropolis which surveyed the region all the way to the southern Adriatic and presented a formidable strategic vantage point to the occupant of the castle.
Angelokastro formed a defensive triangle with the castles of Gardiki and Kassiopi, which covered Corfu"s defences to the south, northwest and northeast.
The castle never fell, despite frequent sieges and attempts at conquering it through the centuries, and played a decisive role in defending the island against pirate incursions and during three sieges of Corfu by the Ottomans, significantly contributing to their defeat.
During invasions it helped shelter the local peasant population. The villagers also fought against the invaders playing an active role in the defence of the castle.
The exact period of the building of the castle is not known, but it has often been attributed to the reigns of Michael I Komnenos and his son Michael II Komnenos. The first documentary evidence for the fortress dates to 1272, when Giordano di San Felice took possession of it for Charles of Anjou, who had seized Corfu from Manfred, King of Sicily in 1267.
From 1387 to the end of the 16th century, Angelokastro was the official capital of Corfu and the seat of the Provveditore Generale del Levante, governor of the Ionian islands and commander of the Venetian fleet, which was stationed in Corfu.
The governor of the castle (the castellan) was normally appointed by the City council of Corfu and was chosen amongst the noblemen of the island.
Angelokastro is considered one of the most imposing architectural remains in the Ionian Islands.