Few cities identify so fully with an architect, a designer, or more generally with an artist like Vicenza identifies with Andrea Palladio, the great genius of the Renaissance and Italian and key figure in world architecture. It comes to mind Gaudi for Barcelona or Bernini (or Borromini) for Rome. But there are big cities or metropolis. Here, instead, we are talking about a small provincial town that has just over 100,000 inhabitants and where Palladio has decisively influenced the style and structure of the city.
We are talking about mansions, theaters, but primarily splendid villas, more than 20, all located in the Veneto region and, in particular, in the district of Vicenza. People that come in Vicenza cannot skip the visit of what is considered, if not the most beautiful, certainly the most famous and imitated of all the Palladian villas, the so-called “Rotonda” (photo 1), which is the Villa “Almerico Capra”, just outside the city.
This Villa is a true icon of its kind, a monument to perfection, style and symmetry of forms. The four-sided, in fact, in the neoclassical style topped by a triangular pediment, are virtually identical. Around the villa, then, there is a beautiful garden decorated with stone sculptures and manicured lawns in a truly picturesque rural landscape (photo 2).
After the visit of the Palladian Villa, you can return in the town and leave your car near the central Piazza Matteotti, on the Bacchiglione River.
On Piazza Matteotti, very large and airy, overlooking very architecturally interesting buildings. First of all, the beautiful Palazzo Chiericati (photo 3), work of Palladio, now a museum and art gallery.
In front of the Palazzo Chiericati there is the entrance of the Teatro Olimpico (photo 4), also designed by Palladio, built in the late sixteenth century. Venetian architect absolute masterpiece, is the oldest indoor theater in masonry in the world.
The courtyard in front of the entrance is beautiful, too (photo 5), topped by a tower and embellished with stone statues.
Going through Corso Andrea Palladio and turning left into Via Contra del Monte you pass in front of the Church of St. Vincent (photo 6), whose facade has two loggias with three arches.
Then, you arrive to the Piazza dei Signori, the main square and the city’s nerve center. On the square there is the Palladian Basilica accompanied by Bissara Tower (or Clock Tower, photo 7).
It’s definitely a building that draws much the visitor, especially for its 82 meters in height that make the tower one of the higher buildings in Italy. And it’s very difficult to see the tower in a single frame, so is its height in one aspect very “slender”.
In short, a town that is definitely worth a visit for a day to immerse yourself in the beauty and perfection of the architectural style of Palladian buildings.
To book a visit to the “Rotonda”, click here.
To book a visita to “Teatro Olimpico”, click here.