Villa Angarano

Bassano del Grappa Vicenza (1548)
Of the villa that Palladio designed for his great friend Giacomo Angarano in the environs of Bassano del Grappa very little remains: only the two barchesse which flank a manorial house of clearly seventeenth-century aspect. The plate in the Quattro Libri (II, p. 63) gives us the plan of the complex according to the architect’s original intentions: two barchesse folded into a “U” which grip a emphatically protruding manorial block. We know from documents that Giacomo inhabited a building pre-existing on the site: it was probably for this reason that works began on the barchesse, and were then suspended before the older house could be remodelled, which happened later and certainly not according to Palladio’s design.
In truth, not even the date of the villa’s design is certain. Traditionally, and with solid argumentation, it is dated to the end of the 1540s, but it is also possible that its design was contemporary with the sudden inheritance Giacomo received from his brother Marcantonio in 1554, especially if one considers that two years later he would also acquire important public offices in Vicenza. Angarano was a passionate enthusiast for architecture and a close friend of Palladio, and in 1570 the latter dedicated to him the first half of the Quattro Libri. Unfortunately, eighteen years later, Giacomo was forced to return the entire dowry of his daughter-in-law, who had been left a widow, to her family. This action provoked the financial collapse which would constrain him to sell his villa to the Venetian patrician Giovanni Formenti.

View (photo Guidolotti 1997)

Left barchessa (photo Guidolotti 1997)

Right barchessa (photo Guidolotti 1997)

The villa from Andrea Palladio’s Quattro Libri (1570)