The Veneto by bicycleVenetian Villas
Rocca Pisana at Lonigo (VI)
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Photo gallery
Photo gallery, double clic to see photo alone
Map of the villa and surroundings

Villa Pisani, also known as “La Rocca Pisana”, Lonigo, 140 m/460 feet above sea level, Via Rocca; train station at Lonigo on the Milano-Venezia line about 4 km/2.5 miles to the northwest

This villa was constructed between 1576 and 1579 on behalf of the noble Venetian family, the Pisani, owners of a vast agricultural estate in the area of Lonigo (the township in which one also finds Villa Pisani at Bagnolo); design of the project was entrusted to the still young Vincenzo Scamozzi. The villa is set at the high point of a small hill that overlooks the town of Lonigo and was built on the foundations of a medieval fortress from which it gets its nickname: rocca [Italian for fortress. RB]

Often compared to the nearby Villa la Rotonda of Palladio, for a long time it was considered an unconvincing imitation. This negative assessment has been reconsidered over time; it is in fact a work to be judged on its own and among the most significant works of Scamozzi; it is particularly attractive for its panoramic setting which makes it visible from a great distance; the plan is a square surmounted by a cupola as at Villa Rotonda, but by contrast, at this villa only one facade has a portico, but that is recessed, with six Ionic columns and a single wide stairway in front; the other three facades employ a simpler motif of a Serliana [Palladian window] and without any stairways. By contrast, the Palladio design has four porticos that extend out from the main building block. Another major difference is in the plan organization; whereas the Palladio plan strives for perfect centrality, the Scamozzi plan is clearly directional.

The villa, after several changes of ownership, is now the property of the Ferri family; it may be visited only during the spring (March-April) and the fall (October-November) by groups and by first making an appointment

Latest visit: 2014-12-08

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Panoramic photo: to see the entire photo, double click on the image. X