Palladio, La Rotonda
Looking back and looking forward
A building with four façades
The importance of site
A palazzo in the countryside
A unique commission for a timeless edifice
La Rotonda was commissioned by Paolo Almerico, a retired prelate who returned to Vicenza after a career in the Vatican Court. Almerico sold his house in the city to retire in the countryside. For this reason, La Rotonda was not technically designed as a villa as much as an urban residence placed in the countryside. Almerico never thought of this space as an agricultural production facility, and Palladio himself classified the building as a Palazzo. The ecclesiastical career of Almerico had a definite impact on the building. The religious connotations of La Rotonda are palpable in the vibrant interior, which contrasts with the sober exterior. Inside, La Rotonda is a colorful and vivid space that looks more like a church than a household. In fact, many of the paintings make explicit connections to the religious life of Almerico, celebrating religious values and Christian virtues, such as temperance and chastity.