Throughout the 16th century the architect Andrea Palladio revolutionized the architectural conception of civil constructions; In the Renaissance period, the medieval palaces and fortifications had evolved to become urban mansions, the we althiest families in the region fought each other to build the largest, most beautiful and best located palace in the city.
However, at the beginning of the 16th century, some changes were introduced in the Veneto region: at the end of the War between the League of Cambray (1507 – 1511) most of the rural areas of Venice were devastated and In this context, the main families of the region chose to build lavish rural villas that would serve not only as a place of leisure and recreation but at the same time would allow them to control and manage their agricultural domains in the area and, above all, to be a symbol of power over other landowners. In this context, the architecture of Andrea Palladio finds the best referent of him.
Andrea Palladio (1508 – 1580) is one of the most renowned architects of the Italian Cinquecento, his work was adapted to the needs of the new society without losing the classicist essence and later his villas and palaces were one of the most outstanding references of neoclassicist architecture. On this occasion we find ourselves before the Villa Badoer, also known as LaBadoera that Palladio must have begun to build in the middle of the 16th century, around the year 1556 and that would be completely finished and inhabited in the year 1563.
Located in the valley of the River Po, in the town of Fratta Polesine, the work was commissioned by Francesco Badoer, heir to an important family of the Venetian Republic who, despite having a rather modest status, his surname allowed him marry their son to a member of the Loredan family much we althier than themselves. Finally La Bardoera will become the symbol of such a union as described by the decorations on the walls with the coats of arms of the two intertwined families.
Raised on the ruins of an old castle from the Middle Ages, the villa consists of a main body raised on a stepped podium and two lateral wings that are separated from the central body. This separation is something new in Palladio's villas since the lateral wings always tend to remain attached to the central body, however on this occasion the artist has separated them but continues to recreate a unified space by curving the loggia of the central body so that it seems embrace the lateral bodies. A very similar scheme will be used a few years later when Bernini designs the famous Vatican square.
Palladio placed the central body at the disposal of the lords of the town while the lateral wings are used for agricultural tasks, such as storage of tools, granary, etc. Some specialists have criticized the dichotomy between thelavish exterior of the villa and an interior that seems too small that distorts the final set.