Framing Palladio: Villa Poiana

January 24, 2014 / Places
Poiana Maggiore, Veneto

Twenty-four historic villas, each one a stepping stone through the High Renaissance, dot the landscape across the Veneto region of northeastern Italy. All of these “lord of the manor” estates were designed by Andrea Di Pietro della Gondola, better known as Palladio, the most influential individual in the history of western architecture.

Framing Palladiao: Villa Poiana | ©Tom Palladio Images

These two dozen countryside landmarks are part of the UNESCO World Heritage site known as the “City of Vicenza and the Palladian Villas of the Veneto.” With the aid of my car’s GPS, along with willing curators clutching keys, I plan on photographing as many of these fine examples of Palladian real estate as I can, one front gate at a time.

Framing Palladiao: Villa Poiana | ©Tom Palladio Images

Don’t look now, but we’ve just pulled up to one such iron portal at 41 Via Castello, the address of Villa Poiana, the patrician estate of Poiana Maggiore in the Province of Vicenza.

Framing Palladiao: Villa Poiana | ©Tom Palladio Images

Commissioned by Bonifacio Poiana, a member of a centuries-old family of wealthy landowners, Palladio completed the design work in the late 1540s. Construction began in the early 1550s and was finally completed when the paint dried in 1563.

Framing Palladiao: Villa Poiana | ©Tom Palladio Images

Signore Poiano’s military past is reflected in the austere exterior design and complimented by a series of interior frescoes, some military themed, painted by Bernardino India and Anselmo Canera, with sculptures by Bartolomeo Ridolfi.

Framing Palladiao: Villa Poiana | ©Tom Palladio Images

According to Palladian experts, the villa remains one of the most curious examples of Palladio’s creative style, especially in the building’s main feature on the facade, an arched window with five circular holes reminiscent of ancient Rome.

Framing Palladiao: Villa Poiana | ©Tom Palladio Images

I’ve removed the lens cap. What do you say we take a look around this quaint little abode?

Framing Palladiao: Villa Poiana | ©Tom Palladio Images
Framing Palladiao: Villa Poiana | ©Tom Palladio Images
Framing Palladiao: Villa Poiana | ©Tom Palladio Images
Framing Palladiao: Villa Poiana | ©Tom Palladio Images
Framing Palladiao: Villa Poiana | ©Tom Palladio Images
Framing Palladiao: Villa Poiana | ©Tom Palladio Images
Framing Palladiao: Villa Poiana | ©Tom Palladio Images

For visitor information on the Villa Poiana, just click HERE. For complete information on all 24 of the UNESCO World Heritage sited Palladian villas of the Veneto, just click HERE.

Framing Palladiao: Villa Poiana | ©Tom Palladio Images

Join me again next time when I remove the lens cap and frame another of Maestro Palladio’s estates. You might even overhear me ask the curator, “Are all utilities included in the monthly rent?”

by Tom Weber

Tom is a veteran print-broadcast journalist who resides in the Colli Euganei (Euganean Hills) in the province of Padova in the Veneto region of northestern Italy. He hosts the eclectic travel/foodie/photography blog The Palladian Traveler.com, is a regular contributor to Los Angeles-based TravelingBoy.com, and is a member of the International Travel Writers Alliance. Feel free to follow Tom as he “meanders along the cobblestone to somewhere.”

30 Responses to “Framing Palladio: Villa Poiana”

  1. Phyllis Bove

    How magnificent and inspiring. I look forward to the many wonders you send me. Thank you.

    Reply
  2. I’m very grateful to vicariously enjoy your travels. I’m a frequent visitor who lived in Rome years ago and hope to get to your region in the future. Just wanted to say “thank you”.

    Reply
  3. Bob Blesse

    Thanks, Tom. Fantastic images; wonderful color and beautifully composed! How exciting it must be to set out and photograph these beautiful buildings. I’ve done some architectural photography myself, and look forward to following your journey with additional Palladio buildings.
    Getting closer to Italy, Vicki and I move to Florence in September.
    Cheers, Bob

    Reply
    • Hey Bob, thanks for the note. Good luck to you and Vicki and your big move to Firenze. You know, it’s only a two-hour ride on the Frecce (train) to Vicenza, or 3 hours by car. See you along the cobblestone.

      Reply
  4. Mary Ellen Gadski

    A friend who sent me your “note” paid me a high compliment by saying: “At first I thought you wrote this!” I had recently sent him a link to my Flickr photos of my self-guided architectural tour of the Veneto last summer (to be continued this summer). Now I must make time to go back and read all of your wonderful notes. I was so interested to see the photo including the guide by the Italian Touring Club and must try to find it. I have been e-mailing the Villa Emo staff (in English and in Italian) to find out the concert schedule this summer, having missed I Solisti Veneti last year to my great regret. Do you have any suggestions on how to find out what’s on there in July? You now have my e-mail and may reply privately if you wish.

    Reply
    • Mary Ellen — The Villa Emo hasn’t released its 2014 event calendar yet. You might want to sign up for the foundation’s newsletter to be up to date once they release this year’s program. The form is in Italian, but you only need to fill out those sections with red asterisks. Here’s the link: http://www.villaemo.org/index.asp?menu=9001&lingua=IT. Thanks for the feedback!

      Reply
  5. Fantastic! I cannot wait to visit some of the Palladian villas in your area. Didn’t you write about the Palladian museum in the venue to last year? Your article is great and the photos superb.

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    • Elida — I believe that may have been the note about the reopening of the Basilica Palladiana following the five-year restoration project and the associated Raffaelo to Picasso art exhibit. A new exhibit, Verso Monet, gets underway at the end of February for a two-month run. Great time to visit Vicenza, Citta di Palladio.

      Reply
  6. Mary Ellen Gadski

    Tom, how very helpful of you to provide a link to the Villa Emo’s newsletter. Thank you! After a challenging deciphering of several “Capchas,” I am now signed up. I had seen a heading for a newsletter but couldn’t figure out how to receive it.

    Reply
    • CR — Quite a few are privately owned. Some are open to the public for tours and events, even overnight stays, while others remain closed. I’ll be doing my best to get inside as many as I can and document the experience. So, keep it here.

      Reply
  7. Anna Mangus

    When are you planning on visiting the next villa? Looking forward to reading about it!

    Reply
    • Anna — As a matter of fact, I’m visiting the Villa Tiepolo Passi in Carbonera near Treviso on Sunday. I’m sure I’ll have a story to tell and lots of photos, IF the weather outside cooperates. Thanks for your interest.

      Reply
  8. What a joy to see/read your Palladio villa journey. I visited many of them awhile back..so it’s special to renew. I look forward to your travels.

    Reply
  9. It’s been a lifelong desire to visit the Palladian villas. I don’t know if that will ever happen, but this is a wonderful chance to see them all, through your eyes and your lens. Many thanks for making this possible for me.

    Reply
  10. Donald Civitella

    Enjoyed your notebook post, and the photos, as I am also an admirer of Palladio’s work. While doing some research for an informal presentation on Palladio to our Italian Culture group, I came across a not-too-well-known fact about him. It is that in 2011 the United States Congress passed a resolution recognizing him as “The Father of American Architecture”. It’s too long to post here, but it can be found in its entirety on the internet.

    Reply
  11. Luisanna Papini Waggoner

    I am from Vicenza, (away for 35 years now). How refreshing to see this area portrayed.

    Reply

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