often nicknamed "Palladio's City," is one
of the more popular side trips from Venice, and it's well worth
the 50-minute train ride. The city is the birthplace of Andrea
Palladio, the 16th Century builder whose palaces and villas
draw architecture enthusiasts from around the world.
The centre of the city, still partly enclosed by medieval walls,
is an amalgam of Gothic and Classical buildings that today looks
much as it did when the last major phase of construction came
to an end at the close of the eighteenth century. This historic
core is compact enough to be explored in a day, but the city
and its environs really require a short stay to do them justice.
In 1404 Vicenza was absorbed by Venice, and the city's numerous
Gothic palaces reflect its status as a Venetian satellite. But
in the latter half of the sixteenth century the city was transformed
by the work of an architect Andrea di Pietro (or della Gondola),
Basilica Palladiana. On the southeast
side of the Piazza dei Signori in Vicenza stands the
Basilica Palladiana (1549-1614), Palladio's masterpiece,
with open colonnades of two storys (lower part Doric
and upper part Ionic), a very impressive combination.
The basilica was not built as a church but as a meeting-place
for the Grand Council. On the first floor is a hall
52m/172ft long with a wooden vaulted roof. In front
of the west end of the basilica is a marble statue of
Teatro Olimpico. Designed in
1580 by Andrea Palladio for the Accademia Olimpica,
Teatro Olimpico was Palladio's last work, and the first
single-standing roofed theatre building in modern history.
It is also the first indoor theater in the world. The
theater is directly across from the museum (Palazzo
Chiericati) which has a tribute to Giambatista Tiepolo
and other famous renaissance painters.
Contrà San Pietro 67, 36100 Vicenza
tel. e fax 0444 302425 - cell. 347 4925005
Duomo di Vicenza. The cathedral, dedicated
to Santa Maria Maggiore, though essentially Gothic,
is however the result of work from different periods.
One of the most significant was the covering of the
tribune, carried out under Palladio's direction in 1565,
and the construction of the dome in 1574. The door on
the south side of the church - flanked by two Corinthian
pillars which support an architrave decorated with festoons.
Piazza Duomo, Vicenza 36100, Italy
Palazzo dei Chiericati
Palazzo dei Chiericati. The noble palace
in piazza Matteotti just across from Teatro Olimpico
at the bottom of Corso Palladio is considered one of
Palladio’s finest works on account of its unusual
design and elevation. It was inspired by the Doge palace
in Venice Italy & now houses the city museum (Museo
Civico). The bulding was once completely surrounded
by water, and Palladio was commisioned to design the
building by Girolamo Chiericati, nobleman and one of
Vicenza's most important citizens at the time.