Villa Zeno in Cessalto is the most easterly villa designed by Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio. The building is near the highway between Venice and Trieste, but was built to face a canal which served as the primary means of arrival.
Palladio's building for the Zeno family has been dated to the 1550s. It is illustrated in I Quattro Libri dell'Architettura, the architect's influential publication of 1570, and has similarities to some of the other villas described there such as the Villa Saraceno.
Palladio appears to have incorporated an existing building, and his villa has had several modifications. Its Palladian features include a facade characterised by a triple-arched loggia. The roof is capped with period clay tiles, and the structure is of brick covered with stucco, typical of Palladio who was able to achieve great buildings with what are commonly regarded as inferior materials.
In 1996 it was designated by UNESCO as part of the World Heritage Site 'City of Vicenza and the Palladian Villas of the Veneto'. The villa is in need of restoration.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.