Andrea Palladio was an Italian architect who lived in the 16th century. He is regarded as the most influential architect in the history of western architecture - his styles, architectural innovations and advances, and his designs, have been recreated and adopted all over the world. His own work was influenced by ancient Roman and ancient Greek architecture.
Nowhere can his influence be seen more than in and around the city of Vicenza. The centre of Vicenza is recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site, with countless examples of his work located within the historic Old City. The Palladian Villas of the Veneto, found in the countryside close to Vicenza, are also recognised by UNESCO and are some of the finest villas and palaces in the world.
The Palladian Villas are a collection of impressive country houses in the region surrounding Vicenza. These villas were designed by Andrea Palladio and reflected the wealth and standing of their owners. The Palladian Villas are some of the finest examples of Palladio's work and were the foundation of his reputation as an architect.
One of the best known villas is 'La Rotonda', a hilltop villa commissioned in 1566, which has a centre dome (one of Palladioo's most famous and imitated design features, which was itself modelled on the Pantheon in Rome.