Villa Pisani was designed by Andrea Palladio about 1552, for Cardinal Francesco Pisani. Pisani was also a patron of the painters Paolo Veronese and Giambattista Maganza and the sculptor Alessandro Vittoria, who provided sculptures of the Four Seasons for the villa, which is in fact provided with fireplaces to dispel winter chill.
Construction of the villa was under way by 1553, and it was completed in 1555. The central block is an uncompromising rectangle, with a pedimented tetrastyle portico, Ionic over Doric, that has been sunk into its wall-plane so that the columns are embedded half-columns. On the garden front, the similar structure instead forms a screen across the fronts of a recessed portico surmounted by a loggia, which become in single recessed central feature. The Doric frieze runs uninterrupted round the building, further binding all elements together. There are no surviving autograph drawings related to this project. However, Palladio published a version of the building in his I Quattro Libri dell'Architettura. The woodcut shows an idealized, amplified form of the villa, in which the central block is flanked by arched gateway structures that end in tall, three-storey tower-like pavilions.
In 1996 UNESCO included the Villa Pisani in the World Heritage Site 'City of Vicenza and the Palladian Villas of the Veneto'. The villa continues to be in private ownership.References:
Roman Walls of Lugo are an exceptional architectural, archaeological and constructive legacy of Roman engineering, dating from the 3rd and 4th centuries AD. The Walls are built of internal and external stone facings of slate with some granite, with a core filling of a conglomerate of slate slabs and worked stone pieces from Roman buildings, interlocked with lime mortar.
Their total length of 2117 m in the shape of an oblong rectangle occupies an area of 1.68 ha. Their height varies between 8 and 10 m, with a width of 4.2 m, reaching 7 m in some specific points. The walls still contain 85 external towers, 10 gates (five of which are original and five that were opened in modern times), four staircases and two ramps providing access to the walkway along the top of the walls, one of which is internal and the other external. Each tower contained access stairs leading from the intervallum to the wall walk of town wall, of which a total of 21 have been discovered to date.
The defences of Lugo are the most complete and best preserved example of Roman military architecture in the Western Roman Empire.
Despite the renovation work carried out, the walls conserve their original layout and the construction features associated with their defensive purpose, with walls, battlements, towers, fortifications, both modern and original gates and stairways, and a moat.
Since they were built, the walls have defined the layout and growth of the city, which was declared a Historical-Artistic Ensemble in 1973, forming a part of it and becoming an emblematic structure that can be freely accessed to walk along. The local inhabitants and visitors alike have used them as an area for enjoyment and as a part of urban life for centuries.
The fortifications were added to UNESCO"s World Heritage List in late 2000 and are a popular tourist attraction.