The palace, designed in 1565 by the architect Andrea Palladio, is currently the seat of the city council. In 1994, it was included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site City of Vicenza and the Palladian Villas of the Veneto.
In 1565, the Municipality of Vicenza asked Andrea Palladio to build a palace for the Captain, the military head in charge of the city on behalf of the Republic of Venice. The palace was to replace a pre-existing medieval building, already used as the residence of the Captain.
Because the construction of the Palladian Basilica was still in progress, Palladio found himself engaged on two fronts located in the same square. For the Palazzo del Capitaniato, he was able to exploit the architectural and stylistic knowledge acquired in the last 20 years of work in Vicenza.
Like many other buildings of the Venetian architect, the palace remained partially unfinished. The works were stopped in 1572, with only three bays built, instead of the five or seven originally planned.
Just like the neighboring Basilica Palladiana, the Loggia del Capitaniato was also the subject of a restoration, that took place between March and September 2008, coinciding with the celebrations for the 500th anniversary of Andrea Palladio.
ART AND ARCHITECTURE
On the ground floor of the palace there is a large loggia, enclosed by a wrought iron gate, covered by large vaults, which supports a noble floor with a large hall, known as the Bernarda Hall (Sala Bernarda). The facade of the building is divided by four giant half-columns and three large arches.
The arches of the facade are surmounted by balconies, which in turn support an attic. The large columns between the arches reach up to the balustrade of the attic.
The lateral facade onto Contrà del Monte includes an arch with four semi-columns, lower than those of the facade, which is decorated with bas-relief stuccoes and two allegorical statues. On the upper floor, there are four other statues, symbolizing from left to right Virtue, Faith, Mercy and Honor.
The noble floor is occupied by the Sala Bernarda, which is enriched by 16th century frescoes. The hall underwent major renovations between June 2010 and January 2012. The renovation of the hall also involved the ceiling and the nine large canvases of Giovanni Antonio Fasolo, which were completely restored.
HOW TO GET THERE
Loggia del Capitaniato is located about 1 kilometers from the Vicenza railway station. The closest bus stop is in Piazzetta Largo Neri Pozza, located about 200 meters away, on the bus Line 10.