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Villa Badoer

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'Villa Badoer is an Italian mansion or Villa built in 1557 in the village of Fratta Polesine in the Po river valley by Andrea Palladio for Francesco Badoer of Venice. It has been recently renovated, at the end of the 20th century.

It was built on the foundations of an old medieval castle, saving money, and giving a slightly raised setting to the building. A large, high and imposing entry staircase ensued, leading majestically to the front door of the villa and ensuring respect from the visitor. This was the first time Palladio used his fully developed temple pediment in the facade of a villa.

The house is framed by two semi circular arcade wings or curved loggias which originally housed agricultural activities, for this was a true working villa, like Villa Emo and several other designs by Palladio. Unlike other "winged" Palladian villas the wings here do not actually touch the villa, and they are set slightly in front of it. Palladio noted that the curved loggias had the effect of seeming to embrace visitors coming to the house. Vasari thought that they were beautiful, and even fantastic. According to Palladio, the interior is richly decorated with "inventive and brilliant" frescoes, done by Giallo Fiorentino. Architectural critics such as Vitold Rybczybski think that the interior is rather small and unimpressive, compared to what they consider a grandiose, impressive exterior.

As in most of the houses designed by Palladio, the attic is a granary, the ground floor is where all the livable rooms (for sleeping, eating, etc.) are located, and the raised basement is used for storage and for service rooms such as the kitchen.

The plan of Villa Badoer presented in Palladio's Quattro libri is somewhat different from what was really built there. For instance, there is no portico in the rear and the roof is different.


  • Boucher, Bruce. Andrea Palladio: The Architect in his Time. New York: Abbeville Press, 1998.
  • Rybczybski, Vitold. The Perfect House: A Journey With the Renaissance Master Andrea Palladio. New York: Scribner, 2002.
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