The Veneto by bicycleVenetian Villas
Villa Saraceno at Agugliaro (VI)
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Map of the villa and surroundings

Finale, a neighborhood of Agugliaro, altitude 15 m/50 feet above sea level; train station at Montagnana about 15 km/9 miles to the south or at Monselice about 20 km/12 miles to the east. The villa is located on a local street, Via Finale, about 400 m/1,300 feet from the statale [state road] and from the Vicenza-Noventa Vicentina bike route.

Anyone who, by accident, passes by this agricultural complex, would hardly imagine that it is one of the first villas designed by Andrea Palladio, between 1546 and 1555, in this case for the Vicentine nobleman Biagio Saraceno who held agricultural properties in the area.

As with other early Palladio villas the facade has an entrance consisting of three arches surmounted by a triangular pediment and accessed by a broad stairway; this organization recalls that of the later and more famous Palladian farm villas such as Villa Badoer and Villa Emo, except for the substitution of three arcades for four or six columns in a Greek style.

The original Palladian design, as depicted in I Quattro Libri dell'Architettura [The Four Books of Architecture], included two long, lateral barchesse [farm support buildings] but was never fully realized; the adjacent barchessa is from the 19th century, other agricultural buildings are from the 15th century.

The villa is now a property of The Landmark Trust, an English organization that specializes in the restoration of historic structures and to give them new life; this villa can be visited, but only during the summer.

Latest visit: 2012-12-29

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