I was raised by an architect to have a deep and abiding love of structures. Few houses are so simultaneously comfortable and magnificent as Palladio’s Villa Rotunda.
He wrote of its situation:
“the site is one of the most pleasing and delightful that one could find because it is on top of a small hill which is easy to ascend; on one side it is bathed by the Bacchiglione, a navigable river, and on the other is surrounded by other pleasant hills which resemble a vast theatre and are completely cultivated all about with wonderful fruits and excellent vines; so, because it enjoys the most beautiful vistas on every side, some of which are restricted, others more extensive, and yet others which end at the horizon, loggias have been built on all four sides.”
I had the pleasure of going there one spring evening and finding it all to myself at the end of the day. I lingered on its porches and in its gardens, feeling very much as though I could retire inside at any moment.