“Where are you from?” asked the gregarious guard at the entry to Palladio’s Villa La Rotonda. After replying, “Chicago, USA” we braced ourselves for the usual “Al Capone, bang bang bang!” only to be surprised by the guard’s delighted smile and cheery rendition of the theme song to Married… with Children.
While Chicago may be known internationally for it’s 20’s gangsters and 90’s sitcoms, Vicenza, in Northern Italy, is famous for the Renaissance architect Palladio. Villa La Rotonda, Palladio’s most well-known building, is a prime showcase for his rediscovery of classic architecture. The villa is symmetry: a cube with a dome on top, and four identical temple-like entrances on each side. For a glimpse of the interior, check out this trailer for Joseph Losey’s Don Giovanni which was filmed in and around Villa La Rotunda.
Villa La Rotunda c. 1566 – 1580.
The four entrances say “temple”, but the overall structure says “party house for rich people”.
This floor plan (thank you Wikipedia) shows Palladio’s OCD dedication to symmetry.
How we got to Vicenza: train from Milan.
Where we slept: Key Hotel. Price: €65 for a double. Recommended: yes.