Villa Saraceno [is located] in Finale di Agugliaro, a small country village midway between Vicenza and Padova in the Bassa Vicentina.
Built by Andrea Palladio, the father of western architecture, around 1545 as the centerpiece for an existing farm owned by Biagio Saraceno, the villa caught fire in 1798 and was severely damaged, partitioned off and used as a community farm house in the late 1800s, converted to tenement dwellings during World War II, and by the 1980s Villa Saraceno was totally abandoned, derelict and, sadly, forgotten.
With barely a pulse left in its facade, the Villa Saraceno was plucked off the building emporium scrap heap by The Landmark Trust, a British charity charged with rescuing significant historic buildings at risk.
Purchased in 1989, The Landmark Trust breathed new life into Villa Saraceno with a tedious five-year renovation project that culminated with the reopening of its doors and windows in 1994. [...]