The Church of Santa Maria in Foro is a church in Vicenza, located in Piazza Biade, a small square adjacent to Piazza dei Signori. The church is also called dei Servi, due to the fact that it was built by the Order of Friar Servants of Mary.
The church was built starting with 1404, the year in which Vicenza passed under the domination of the Republic of Venice.
At the beginning of the 15th century, the Servite Order arrived in Vicenza and entrusted the construction of the church to the architect Giampietro Cirmisone, who completed the works in 1425. Some decorations were added between 1432 and 1435.
The Servants of Mary lived in the adjacent convent until 1788, when the order was suppressed. Afterwards, the Municipality of Vicenza took care of the church until 1797, when the building became a military warehouse for the troops of Napoleon Bonaparte.
In 1810, the parish of the Church of San Michele was transferred here, and the Church of Santa Maria in Foro was again open for worship.
The plain facade of the church is embellished by nine statues, two of which are attributed to the sculptor Orazio Marinali, one to Angelo Marinali and five to Giovanni Calvi. The portal of the church was executed by the workshop where Andrea Palladio worked at the beginning of his career, and could constitute one of his earliest works.
The interior of the church has three naves with cross vaults supported by ribs. The two parts of which the church is composed are clearly visible – the first, from 1407, goes from the presbytery to the chapels near the end of the minor aisles, up to the third pillar from the entrance, while the second, from 1490, goes from the aforementioned pillar to the entrance wall.
HOW TO GET THERE
The church is located about 1.1 kilometer from the Vicenza railway station. The closest bus stop is in Piazzetta Largo Neri Pozza, about 190 meters away, on the bus Line 10. To find the church on foot, use the map below.