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Tourist information on the life & times of the great Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio and his famous Palladian villas and other great works to be found in the Venetian countryside include his Villa Rotonda, Villa Barbaro, Villa Malcontenta, and in Vicenza his Teatro Olimpico and Basilica.

Andrea Palladio (1508 - 1580)

Andrea di Pietro della Gondola, known to history as " Andrea Palladio" was born in Padua in 1508. At 13 years old, he was apprenticed to a local stonecutter.

But, after only 18 months, Palladio broke his contract and fled to the nearby town of Vicenza where his uncle enabled him to join the guild of stonecutters and stonemasons, and to find work at the celebrated Pedemuro workshop. In Vicenza, Palladio realized his own destiny.

Andrea Palladio's presumably settled life was transformed in 1537 when he encountered his great mentor Count Trissino. A man who was at the center of Vicentine society, and the main catalyst behind the transformation of the city of Vicenza from it's previous romano-medieval form of architecture to the sumptuous renaissance style of architecture that the city enjoys today.

Count Trissino quickly realized that Andrea, later renamed by Trissino " Andrea Palladio", was the potential champion to realize the needs and requirements of the city of Vicenza. Trissino immediately set about the task of introducing Palladio to the principles of classical architecture. Palladio was taken on several field trips to study the works of the ancients, particuarly in Rome.

Also, through Trissino's social circle, Palladio was able to come into contact with other renaissance architects and influences that helped to slowly create his own unique form of architecture.

Andrea Palladio was literally created from the needs of the clients he served. First, the city of Vicenza, and then later in the 1550's and onwards the nobility of Venice as they conquered the mainland establishing country estates for which he built his famous villas.

His place in architectural history was ensured in 1570. Following years of preparation, he published in Venice his "four books of architecture". The book helped create the Palladian movement in 17th century England, that later so greatly influenced Thomas Jefferson and architecture in the US.

Andrea Palladio died in 1580, in his adopted town of Vicenza.