Villa Rotonda and its influence

Rocca Pisani

Villa Rocca Pisani, Lonigo, near Vicenza plan and elevation

Vincenzo Scamozzi. L'Idea della architettura universale di Vincenzo Scamozzi' (Venice, 1615), part 1, book 3, ch. XIII, p. 273
Copyright: RIBA Library Photographs Collection


The Rocca Pisani was built by Palladio’s pupil Scamozzi on a gently rising hill above Lonido. The design was clearly influenced by the Villa Rotonda.

It uses an octagonal drum and saucer-shaped dome, very similar to that which Lord Burlington adopted at Chiswick House. Other similarities between the Rocca Pisani and Chiswick House include the use of single central Venetian windows on the side elevations and chimneys in the shape of obelisks, the latter a later addition.

Like Chiswick House, the Rocca Pisani was conceived as a place of retreat for idle afternoons rather than somewhere to live.

Scamozzi published his villa design along with an imaginary reconstruction of the Pliny’s Roman villa at Laurentinum. It would appear that the circular courtyard of the Roman structure also played a part in influencing Scamozzi’s design, just as the Villa Rotonda had done.