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:
Heidelberg Castle is a famous ruin and one of the the most important Renaissance structures north of the Alps. The rich and eventful history of Heidelberg Palace began when the counts palatine of the Rhine, – later prince electors – established their residence at Heidelberg. The earliest castle structure was built before 1214 and later expanded into two castles circa 1294; however, in 1537, a lightning-bolt destroyed the upper castle. Until the Thirty Years’ War, Heidelberg Palace boasted one of the most notable ensembles of buildings in the Holy Roman Empire. The present structures had been expanded by 1650, before damage by later wars and fires. In 1764, another lightning-bolt caused a fire which destroyed some rebuilt sections.
The 19th century brought a new wave of admiration: a sight both terrible and beautiful, the ruins epitomised the spirit of the Romantic movement. Heidelberg Palace was elevated to a national monument. The imposing edifice and its famous garden, the Hortus Palatinus, became shrouded in myth. The garden, the last work commissioned by the prince electors, was never completed. Some remaining landscaped terraces and other vestiges hint at the awe-inspiring scale of this ambitious project. In the 17th century, it was celebrated as the “eighth wonder of the world”. While time has taken its toll, Heidelberg Palace’s fame lives on to this day.
Heidelberg Castle is located 80 metres up the northern part of the Königstuhl hillside, and thereby dominates the view of the old downtown. Set against the deep green forests on the north flank of Königstuhl hill, the red sandstone ruins tower majestically over the Neckar valley.