Andrea Palladio was born in Padova (Padua) where he was baptized in the year 1508. In his hometown he left no important works but in the Paduan province he revealed his talent in the project of two villas, Villa Cornaro and Villa Pisani.
Andrea di Pietro della Gondola was born in Padova (Padua) then part of the Republic of Venice, in the Paglia Borough. His father was a miller and his mother, Marta, a housewife.
There are no documents regarding the precise day of his birth but a document reports that he was baptized on the 30th of November, 1508 in the church of St. Michele. Of the original church you can still visit the small oratory, which is decorated by a fine 14th century fresco cycle by Jacopo da Verona. (Reduced ticket for PadovaCard's owners).
Apprenticed as a stonecutter in Padova when he was 13, he broke his contract after only 18 months and fled to the nearby town of Vicenza where, under the protection of Count Gian Giorgio Trissino he could fully express his talent.
It was Trissino who gave him the name by which he is now known, Palladio, an allusion to the Greek goddess of wisdom Pallas Athene. With Trissino Palladio came back to Padua and here he met Alvise Cornaro, another Venetian nobleman, and his personal architect Falconetto, who had planned the fine Odeo and Loggia Cornaro.(Reduced ticket for PadovaCard's owners).
Unfortunately no works by Palladio are documented in Padua, even though the funeral monument of Luigi Visconti inside the Basilica of st. Anthony and part of the project of Mocenigo Palace are attributed to him.
On the contrary, in the province of Padua Palladio left two beautiful villas: Villa Cornaro in Piombino Dese and Villa Pisani in Montagnana. Both buildings are characterised by the porticos with timpano and double order of coloumns.
RIVIERA DEL BRENTA
The famous Riviera del Brenta with its beautiful Venetian villas scattered along the river banks from Padua to Venice is one of the main tourist destinations in Italy.
The Riviera del Brenta was created when the Venetians started to drain the mainland swamps to salvage the land for agriculture. They put water back into the dry river bed controlling the water by a series of locks and gates.
Its close vicinity to Venice soon made it a popular place for the aristocracy and wealthy professionals to build second homes in the countryside that were a relative short distance from Venice.
From the 16th century, a series of fine homes (villas) were built along the banks of the Riviera Brenta. Owners commuted to their homes on a horse drawn barge known as the Burchiello.
At Malcontenta you will admire one of Palladio’s finest projects: Villa Foscari called La Malcontenta.
With PadovaCard 10% off individual cruise prices along the Riviera with visit of the most important villas. More info at: www.padovanavigazione.it and www.deltatour.it