Rocca Pisana History
Villa Rocca Pisana is a Venetian villa designed by the architect Vincenzo Scamozzi in the Palladian style in 1576. The client was Vettor Pisani, a Venetian nobleman who already owned considerable landholdings in the area of Lonigo-Bagnolo.
Architect and artist Manfredo Massironi remembered Villa Rocca Pisana as “a life’s experience, a therapy session”. Indeed, beyond its value as Scamozzi’s most important work, as reassessed by art historiography in the mid 20thcentury, something magical captures those who have the privilege of spending a few hours in this ancient villa in Vicenza. Villa Rocca Pisana is located near Lonigo over a hill that dominates the plain of Vicenza. The sense of detachment from the "common life", together with the symbiosis between the building, which opens to the sky and into the woods, and the natural surroundings convey to the visitor the feeling of being at the same time within the building and outside surrounded by nature and give a sense of comfort and relaxation. Thus in this way we can say that a day in this ancient place "is a therapeutic experience." This was probably the thought of "the architect of light" when planning his most important work in 1574 after being commissioned by Vector Pisani, the noble of an important Venetian family and the eldest son of Giovanni, who in November 1523 bought the estate of Bagnolo. According to the volume treatise "The idea of ​​universal architecture" (by Vincenzo
Scamozzi) Villa Rocca Pisana dates back to 1576, the year which probably corresponds to the completion of the building. The work was not built as a residence, but for "pleasure in the healthier air, far from the smelly and mosquito- infested plain”. The building lies on the remains of an ancient fortress, called Rocca, destroyed by Ezelino Romano, from which it takes its name. The Villa, visible from a great distance, is characterized by a square plan surmounted by an octagonal dome with a circular opening at the top. The oculus allows the light to enter and spread all over the main hall. On the floor, a grid marble collects rainwater. Around the hall turns the main floor (piano nobile) with rooms decorated with period furniture. A wonderful view of the valley can be seen from the Villa and on a clear day you can see the Apennines. The access to the Palladian lodge is through a roman-style staircase leading to a neoclassical pronao with six Ionic columns, tightened by the corbie gable. At the top rises the dome open to the sky. The basement features a large room, some bedrooms and a functioning kitchen. The article written by Franco Barbieri, Howard Burns and Simona Tortora (Vincenzo Scamozzi 1548-1616 - Marsilio) affirms that Bresciani Alvarez , in particular Cavallari Murat and Semenzato contributed (in the Sixties and Seventies of the last century) to reveal the architectural features of Villa Rocca Pisana "which exists as one of the most beautiful examples of Venetian art." "The relationship between architecture and landscape" is revealed by Semenzato. Thanks to recent restoration work commissioned by Countess Rosetta de Lazara Pisani in the 1950s and constant care of the current owner of the Villa, Counts Ferri, Villa Rocca Pisana appears today beautiful.
A student of Palladio
Was Vincenzo Scamozzi (Vicenza September 2th, 1548 - Venice, August 7th, 1616) a student and an imitator of the famous Palladio? The villa is characterized by memorable comparisons in the arts between the Villa Rocca Pisana and the most renowned Rotonda by Palladio, located near Vicenza and built during the same period.
Many art critics have compared the works, however not until the middle of the twentieth century was there a process of revision and enhancement of the work of Vincenzo Scamozzi; a contemporary of Andrea Palladio, but 40 years younger. The comparison between the two Villas was a sort of perpetual nightmare, "invariably resolved to disadvantage of Villa Rocca Pisana." Barbers, Burns and Tortora wrote in the essay about Villa Rocca Pisana: "it can be ended a heated debate between the paradigm of the almost perfect Villa Rotonda such as “Gods House” and the strict adherence to practical
functionality explicit in Villa Rocca Pisana, "man's house". The Villa was realized by Scamozzi with little functional sacrifice in his search of an abstract formal perfection. In fact, he knew very well the Palladian villa and its functional deficiencies and he participated firsthand in the completion of the work (after the death of Palladio). The relationship between Palladio and Scamozzi (that brings us back to the relationship between Mozart and Salieri) has ironically meant that, Scamozzi, while since the title "the architect of light" (and this is evident walking through the ancient walls and rooms of Villa Rocca Pisana illuminated by the light entering from the circular opening at the top of the dome), received much less recognition during his own life. Scamozzi was truly a significant contributor to the architecture of his time. He was a particularly erudite man and conceived architecture as a complex science with its own rules to be carefully and patiently studied. Thanks to his work, and in particular the treatise "The idea of ​​universal architecture", which includes plans for many buildings in Vicenza, Venice and Padua and an important personal library of essay, Scamozzi influenced the formation of European architects, especially the followers of Palladian style like Richard Boyle.
Vincenzo Scamozzi
Andrea Palladio