Bagnolo, altitude 32 m/105 feet above sea level, a hamlet of the comune of Lonigo (VI), Via Risaie 1; train station at San Bonifacio on the Milano-Venezia line, about 10 km/6 miles to the west. The villa is located along the river Guà which divides Lonigo from Bagnolo. It is easy to reach the villa by bicycle from San Bonifacio or from Noventa Vicentina, at the end of the Vicenza-Noventa Vicentina bike path.
Andrea Palladio was commissioned to design this villa in 1542, at age 34, by the Venetian noblemen and brothers Vittorio, Marco and Daniele Pisani; the Pisani family owned extensive agricultural lands in this region best known for the cultivation of rice. This is the first time that Palladio, who up to now had worked only for clients from Vicenza, obtained a commission from one of the great Venetian aristocratic families.
The Palladio design, the first to be described in the section on villas [Chapter XIV] in The Second Book of Architecture, remains largely unfinished; the facade facing the entrance lacks the central portico and its lateral stairways; completely missing is the large rectangular courtyard surrounded by arcades and barchesse [farm support buildings].
The facade facing the river consists of three arches surmounted by a triangular pediment, as at Villa Saraceno, a theme that anticipates the Greek temple facade that was to become the norm for Palladian villas. Rather unusual is the presence of the two towers on the corners, less tall than in the original design, a design motif that eventually was to be abandoned by Palladio.
The villa can be visited, preferably by appointment; for the latest information visit the official villa website.
Latest visit: 26 January 2013