The Villa Pisani is a patrician villa designed by Andrea Palladio, located in Bagnolo, a hamlet in the comune of Lonigo.
The Pisani were a rich family of Venetian nobles who owned several Villas Pisani, two of them designed by Andrea Palladio. The villa at Bagnolo was built in the 1540s and represents Palladio's first villa designed for a patrician family of Venice (his earlier villa commissions were from provincial nobility in the Vicenza area). It was designed with rusticated features to complement its rural setting; in contrast, the Villa Pisani at Montagnana in a semi-urban setting utilizes more refined motifs.
In 1570 Palladio published a version of the villa in his Four Books of Architecture. The executed villa differs noticeably from the design. The deviations may have been in response to certain conditions on the actual site.
An engraved ground plan of 1778 by Ottavio Bertotti Scamozzi, gives a clear idea of the villa as it appeared in the 18th century. There was originally a long barchessa (wing) at the back of the courtyard terminating in dovecotes that kept the villa supplied with squab; this wing was admired by Vasari, but it was demolished in the nineteenth century and replaced by a structure that bears no relation to the Palladian facade it faces.
The interior features a central T-shaped salone with barrel vaulting inspired by Roman baths; it is decorated with frescoes.
In 1996, UNESCO included the villa in the World Heritage Site 'City of Vicenza and the Palladian Villas of the Veneto'.References:
Built around AD 90 to entertain the legionaries stationed at the fort of Caerleon (Isca), the impressive amphitheatre was the Roman equivalent of today’s multiplex cinema. Wooden benches provided seating for up to 6,000 spectators, who would gather to watch bloodthirsty displays featuring gladiatorial combat and exotic wild animals.
Long after the Romans left, the amphitheatre took on a new life in Arthurian legend. Geoffrey of Monmouth, the somewhat imaginative 12th-century scholar, wrote in his History of the Kings of Britain that Arthur was crowned in Caerleon and that the ruined amphitheatre was actually the remains of King Arthur’s Round Table.
Today it is the most complete Roman amphitheatre in Britain.