The importance of Villa Zeno was recognised by Palladio himself who included it in his work “Quattro Libri dell’archittetura”. Palladio’s project for this villa was based upon an existing structure.
This in fact explains why the plans are very unlike those for the other villas he designed. Another difference is the abandoning of the elements commonly used for façades, that is a loggia to the rear and a smooth face. Here we simply see a sort of checkerboard of windows.
The general layout of the villa with its vast open courtyard can also be seen at Villa Sareceno in Finale di Agugliaro and at Villa Pojana in Pojana Maggiore. Like the former, Villa Zeno has porticoes adjoining the main building and simple passageways to the actual “barchesse” (rural buildings typical of villas in the Veneto similar to barns).
In 1996 the villa was declared a world heritage site by UNESCO.