Villa Saraceno
Villa Saraceno is a Palladian Villa in Agugliaro, Province of Vicenza, northern Italy. It was commissioned by the patrician Saraceno family.

Architectural significance
Villa Saraceno has been dated to the 1540s, which makes it one of Andrea Palladio's earlier works. In 1570 the building was illustrated in an imagined state in its architect's influential publication "Four Books of Architecture". However, the villa had been constructed in a more modest form, and existing farm buildings were retained rather than being replaced by the architect's "trade-mark" wings. The reasons for the divergence between the published plan and the actual building are not entirely clear, but it is not the only one of Palladio's villas to be different from the published plan. The villa is one of Palladio's simpler creations. Like most of Palladio's villas it combines living space for its upper-class owners with space for uses related to agriculture. Above the " piano nobile" is a floor which was designed as a granary. As it stands today, the villa has a nineteenth-century wing which links it to a fifteenth-century building.

Restoration and current use of the villa
The villa fell into a poor state of repair in the twentieth century but retained some of its original frescoes. It was acquired in 1989 by the British charity the Landmark Trust. By 1994 the Trust had completed its restoration, converting the property, which includes adjacent farm-buildings not by Palladio, into a holiday home sleeping up to 16 people. The many people who have since stayed in the villa include Witold Rybczynski, who used it as a base when researching his book on Palladio. The restoration has been praised for its sensitivity, and since 1996 the villa has enjoyed an additional level of protection, being conserved as one of the buildings which make up the World Heritage Site "City of Vicenza and Palladian Villas of the Veneto". The principal rooms of the villa are open to the public on a limited basis, but the Trust attracted some criticism in the past for not promoting the building as part of the World Heritage Site. In 2008 the Landmark Trust celebrated the 500th anniversary of Palladio's birth with a new guidebook for the Villa Saraceno in English and Italian and extended opportunities for visiting.

Building Activity

  • Georgi Sokolov
    Georgi Sokolov activity.buildings_person.create
    about 5 years ago via OpenBuildings.com