While it is officially called Villa Almerico Capra, this iconic building is more famously known as Villa Rotonda. The Renaissance palace was built by one of Italy's most renowned architects, Andrea Palladio, who was from Vincenza. His work is seen throughout the area, and the city and his villas in the region have been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
It was designed for Paolo Almerico, a priest, who wanted a country house in the vicinity of his hometown of Vicenza for his retirement from the Vatican. Built in 1565, the villa inspired many architects in the following centuries, though Palladio himself was inspired by the Pantheon in Rome for the building. The symmetrical and geometrical design is a square with a cross plan formed by protruding facades and porticoes. The circular hall in the center of the house is capped by a dome, which has given the villa its famous nickname. The interior noble salons are frescoed with allegorical and religious themes.
Several houses and castles in England were inspired by this building, along with Thomas Jefferson's estate of Monticello in Virginia.
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Address in Vicenza:
Via della Rotonda, 45.
Ph. (+39) 049 879 1380.