Basilica Palladiana is a palace in Vicenza, overlooking Piazza dei Signori, inextricably linked to the Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio. The architect redesigned the Gothic Palazzo della Ragione by adding the loggias with the famous white marble serliane. A serliana, also known as a Palladian window, is an architectural motif popularized by Andrea Palladio, which consists of a window with three openings, the central one arched and wider than the lateral rectangular ones. Once the seat of the public magistrates of Vicenza, the Palladian Basilica is today equipped with three independent spaces, used to host architecture and art exhibitions. The building was included in 1994 in the UNESCO World Heritage Site City of Vicenza and the Palladian Villas of the Veneto. SHORT HISTORY Palazzo della Ragione was built around the middle of the 15th century according to a project by Domenico da Venezia, incorporating two pre-existing public buildings. The Gothic facade of the palace was made of diamond-shaped red and yellow Verona marble, still visible behind the loggias. The building was the seat of the public magistrates of Vicenza and, on the ground floor, it housed a shop gallery. Adjacent to the building is the Bissara Tower, 82 meters in Read more [...]
Vicenza and the surrounding countryside are famous for the works of the great architect Andrea Palladio. In 1994, the city was included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site City of Vicenza and the Palladian Villas of the Veneto.
The most important tourist attractions of Vicenza are the Palladian Basilica and Palazzo Chiericati, both works of Palladio, the Cathedral of Vicenza dedicated to Santa Maria Annunciata, Piazza dei Signori, the main square of the city, Torre Bissara, Loggia del Capitaniato, and Teatro Olimpico, began by Palladio and completed by Vincenzo Scamozzi.
Piazza Castello is one of the main squares of Vicenza, located in the western part of the historical center of the city, near the Salvi Gardens and Loggia Valmarana. DESCRIPTION Piazza Castello hosts several Palladian palaces. The most important, located in the southern part of the square, is Palazzo Porto in Piazza Castello, also known as Porto Breganze, designed around 1571 by the architect Andrea Palladio for Alessandro Porto. In the northern part of Piazza Castello, we can find Palazzo Thiene Bonin Longare, another palace designed by Andrea Palladio presumably in 1572, and built by Vincenzo Scamozzi after the death of the architect. Other important buildings in the square are Palazzo Piovini and the medieval Tower of Porta Castello. The square also houses a statue of Giuseppe Garibaldi, made by Ettore Ferrari in 1887. HOW TO GET THERE Piazza Castello is located about 500 meters away from the Vicenza railway station. The closest bus stop is right in the square, on the bus Lines 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 10 and 18.
The Sanctuary of the Madonna of Monte Berico is a church in Vicenza, located in an elevated position on the top of the Monte Berico Hill, overlooking the city. The sanctuary is actually composed of two churches: the first, in Gothic style, from the 15th century, and the second, in Baroque style, from the second half of the 17th century. SHORT HISTORY According to tradition, the construction of the first church is connected to two apparitions of the Madonna, which a woman from Sovizzo named Vincenza Pasini witnessed in 1426 and 1428. In these apparitions, the Madonna asked for the construction of a church dedicated to her. At first, the Municipality of Vicenza built in only three months a modest rectangular room. The administration of the church was initially entrusted to the Order of Santa Brigida, but in 1435 the friars were removed, and were replaced by the Servants of Mary. Towards the middle of the 15th century, the Servites completed the convent, with the erection of the cloister, the guesthouse, the infirmary and the bell-tower. Near the end of the century, the church was enlarged towards the east, the old choir was replaced, the sacristy and the main Read more [...]
Piazza dei Signori is the main square of Vicenza, located in the historical center of the city. Originally a Roman forum and then a market, the square is best known today for the Basilica Palladiana, the grandiose work of Andrea Palladio. The square has a rectangular shape and is delimited to the southwest by the Palladian Basilica and the Bissara Tower, while on the opposite side we can find Loggia del Capitaniato and Palazzo del Monte di Pietà, which incorporates the beautiful Church of San Vincenzo. SHORT HISTORY In antiquity, the area of Piazza dei Signori was the site of the Roman forum of Vicetia. Later, during the Middle Ages, the area was called Perònio, and was the center of the political, commercial and social life of the city. The oldest building in the square is the Bissara Tower (Torre Bissara), built in 1174 at the behest of the Bissara family, next to their palace. In the 13th century, the municipality of Vicenza bought both the palace and the tower. After escaping the terrible earthquake of January 25, 1348, the tower was raised around the middle of the 15th century, reaching its current height. Near the tower, stands the Read more [...]
Loggia del Capitaniato, also known as Palazzo del Capitaniato or Loggia Bernarda, is a palace in Vicenza, located in the central Piazza dei Signori, in front of Basilica Palladiana. 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. SHORT HISTORY 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 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 Read more [...]
The Church of San Vincenzo is a beautiful church in Vicenza, located in Piazza dei Signori, in front of the Palladian Basilica. The church is dedicated to Saint Vincent of Saragossa, the patron saint of the city. SHORT HISTORY After the Christian martyr Vincent of Saragossa was killed in 304 during the persecution of Christians under Diocletian, his cult spread rapidly throughout Europe, reaching Vicenza in the first centuries of our Era. In the second half of the 14th century, during the Scaligeri domination of the city, the cult of San Vincenzo was revived. The construction of a church dedicated to him was begun in 1385 and completed in 1387. During the 15th century, the church was rebuilt and its facade was oriented towards Piazza dei Signori. In 1486, a Monte di Pietà office was created in Vicenza by the Catholic Church, which established a pawnshop in the Church of San Vincenzo. Ten years later, the Monte di Pietà building collapsed and, in 1499, work began on a new building adjacent to the church, with the simultaneous renovation of the church itself. During the 16th century, the works were completed with the construction of the two wings of the Read more [...]
Ponte San Michele (Saint Michael Bridge) is a pedestrian only bridge over the Retrone River, in Vicenza, located in the southeastern part of the historical center of the city. SHORT HISTORY A wooden bridge was built on this site in 1265, and replaced in 1422 with a stone bridge. The current bridge was built between 1621 and 1623 on the model of Venetian bridges by the architects Tomaso and Francesco Contini. The name of the bridge derives from the Romanesque-Gothic Church of San Michele, located nearby, built in the 13th century by the Augustinians, but destroyed in the Napoleonic era. HOW TO GET THERE Ponte San Michele is located about 950 meters away from the Vicenza railway station. The closest bus stop is located in Largo Neri Pozza, about 160 meters away, on the bus Line 10.
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. SHORT HISTORY 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. ART AND ARCHITECTURE The plain facade of the church is embellished by nine statues, two of which are attributed to the sculptor Read more [...]
The Monument to Giuseppe Garibaldi is a sculpture in Vicenza, located in the historical center of the city, in Piazza Castello. SHORT HISTORY The statue was sculpted by Ettore Ferrari, and inaugurated on August 21, 1887, on the occasion of the 27th anniversary of Garibaldi’s entry into Reggio Calabria. The inauguration took place under heavy rain. HOW TO GET THERE The Monument to Giuseppe Garibaldi is located about 550 meters away from the Vicenza railway station. The closest bus stop is near the monument, in Piazza Castello, on the bus Lines 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 10 and 18.
Parco Querini is a public park in Vicenza, located in the northern part of the historical center of the city. The park takes its name from a building located in the immediate vicinity, a noble residence first owned by the Capra family, then purchased by the Querini family. SHORT HISTORY At the beginning of the 19th century, a document reports that the area of the current park, owned by the Capra family, included meadows, vineyards and vegetable gardens. In 1811, Antonio Capra, notary and councilor of Vicenza, bought from the Municipality the former monastery of the Poor Clares of Araceli. In 1813, the monastery disappeared and in its place are indicated an orchard, a garden and greenhouses, a sign that the new owner intended to expand and embellish the garden. In 1821, a long avenue was built that leads to a circular hillock dominated by a small round temple surrounded by water. In 1969, 9.5 hectares were expropriated by the Municipality, and two years later the area was opened to the public as a city park. DESCRIPTION Parco Querini is surrounded on two sides by the banks of the Bacchiglione River and its tributary Astichello. From the back Read more [...]
The Church of San Rocco is a Renaissance church in Vicenza, located in Contrà Mure San Rocco, in the western part of the historical center of the city. SHORT HISTORY The construction of the church began in 1485, on the site of an ancient oratory dedicated to San Rocco (Saint Roch). The adjoining monastery was built around the same time, where a community of Canons Regular of San Giorgio in Alga was established in 1486. Around 1530, the church was extended towards the east and a new facade was built. In December 1670, the Carmelites of San Zaccaria of Venice replaced the Canons Regular of San Giorgio in Alga, and remained there until 1806, when, after the French returned to Vicenza, were relocated to the Convent of San Domenico. In 1810, the religious complex was suppressed by the Napoleonic decrees, and all the assets were confiscated by the Municipality. Later, the monastery was transformed into an orphanage, and remained so until the end of the 1980s. Today, in addition to religious functions, the church hosts concerts by the polyphonic Choir of the Schola San Rocco. ARCHITECTURE The facade of the church dates back to 1530, when the building Read more [...]
Palazzo Angaran, also known as Palazzo Magrè Angaran, is a Renaissance-style palace in Vicenza, located in Piazza XX Settembre, in front of Ponte degli Angeli. SHORT HISTORY The palace was built around 1480 at the behest of Battista Magrè, on a piece of land belonging to the family, probably by the Vicentine architect Tommaso Formenton. In 1552, the palace was bought by Giacomo Angaran, a friend of Andrea Palladio, who asked the architect to prepare a sumptuous invention to replace the existing building. Palladio designed the project, but it was never realized. The last owner, Ottavio Angaran Porto, ceded the property to the Municipality of Vicenza, which allowed the building to deteriorate. In 1899, a few years after the disastrous flood of 1882, to avoid further damages caused by the frequent flooding of the nearby Bacchiglione River, the street level around the building was raised, almost completely burying the portico. In the second decade of the 20th century, the building was so badly deteriorated, that the Municipality of Vicenza considered demolishing it. Starting from 1921, however, the restoration began. The palace was dismantled piece by piece and rebuilt to a higher level, replacing only the dilapidated moldings and the Read more [...]
Loggia Valmarana is a Palladian-style loggia in Vicenza, located on the northeastern corner of the Salvi Gardens (Giardini Salvi), opposite the main entrance from Viale Roma. Since 1994, together with the other Palladian buildings in Vicenza, Loggia Valmarana is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site City of Vicenza and the Palladian Villas of the Veneto. SHORT HISTORY The land adjacent to the walls of Piazza Castello was acquired in the 16th century by the Valmarana family, and Giacomo Valmarana himself designed the arrangement of the garden, around the middle of the 16th century. The gardens were inaugurated in 1592 by Leonardo Valmarana, but soon were closed and reopened to the public only in 1909. Inside the gardens, there are two Palladian-style loggias: one from the 17th century, with three arches, known as Loggia Longhena, on the western side of the park, and the second, built at the end of the 16th century, known as Loggia Valmarana, structured as a hexastyle temple. Loggia Valmarana was probably built in 1591 by a pupil of Andrea Palladio, and not by Palladio itself, as it was once thought. ARCHITECTURE Loggia Valmarana rises above the waters of the Seriola Canal, at the Read more [...]
Torre Bissara, also known as Torre di Piazza, is a medieval tower in Vicenza, about 82 meters in height, located in Piazza dei Signori, adjacent to the famous Basilica Palladiana. SHORT HISTORY The tower was built in 1174, at the behest of the Bissari family, next to their palace. Between 1211 and 1229, the Municipality of Vicenza bought both the palace and the tower. After it was spared by the terrible earthquake of January 25, 1348, it was raised towards the middle of the 15th century to its current height. Over the centuries, there were numerous interventions to maintain the stability and beauty of the tower. On March 18, 1945, the tower, together with the Palladian Basilica, was hit by an Anglo-American bombing. The top of the tower caught fire and the dome collapsed to the ground. The bells also fell, destroying the pavement of the square. In the following years, along with the Basilica, the tower was rebuilt, not without controversy concerning the form, partly different from the original one. In 2002, a radical restoration of the tower began. The intervention concerned the consolidation of the tower and the restoration of surfaces, friezes and decorations. ARCHITECTURE At Read more [...]
The Cathedral of Santa Maria Annunciata is the beautiful Cathedral of Vicenza, located in the historical center of the city, in Piazza del Duomo. The church, dedicated to the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary, is included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site City of Vicenza and the Palladian Villas of the Veneto. SHORT HISTORY Studies carried out in the second half of the 20th century attest to the presence in the 3rd century AD of a Christian place of worship, housed in a pre-existing Roman building of the 1st century. After the Edict of Constantine of 313, a small church was built here, which was rebuilt later, in the second half of the 5th century. Around the year 600, the first bishop of Vicenza, Oronzio, replaced this church with a larger, rectangular one with three naves. Around the year 1000, the church, now the cathedral of the city, was enriched by a complex of three apses. The church was damaged by the terrible earthquake of 1117, and it was once again replaced by a larger one with five naves supported by pillars and arches. The cathedral was damaged again in 1236, this time during the sacking of Vicenza by Read more [...]
The Church of Santa Maria in Araceli is a Baroque church in Vicenza, located in Piazza Araceli, in the eastern part of the Querini Park. SHORT HISTORY The first information about a small church dedicated to Santa Maria dates back to 1214, near which, in 1244, the community of Sancta Maria Mater Domini of Longare bought a piece of land and built a modest monastery. In 1277, the monastery passed to the Clarisse nuns of San Francesco. In the 15th century, the monastery was in a state of serious decline, due both to economic reasons and to the isolation in which it found itself after the construction of the Scaliger walls. The ancient Church of Santa Maria was demolished in 1675 and rebuilt in Baroque style by the architect Guarino Guarini. The works were completed in 1680, but the consecration of the church took place only on November 17, 1743, by the bishop of Vicenza, Antonio Maria Priuli. In 1797, the nuns were expelled by the French army, which used the rooms to house the troops. They returned there in 1799, but were definitively removed from the property in 1810, by virtue of the Napoleonic law of suppression of Read more [...]
The Church of San Lorenzo is a Gothic church in Vicenza, located in the central Piazza San Lorenzo, along Corso Antonio Fogazzaro. SHORT HISTORY The presence of the Conventual Franciscans in Vicenza dates back to the beginning of the 13th century, more precisely to the year 1216. In 1280, they received the old Church of San Francesco Vecchio, together with a piece of land in the area. Starting with 1280, a new larger church was built on this site, with a large churchyard in front of the facade. The church was completed around the year 1300. Throughout the 14th century, changes and external additions were made, such as the Oratory of the Conception on the western side, the portal, and the restructuring of the apses. In the following centuries, the interior was embellished with numerous works of art, donated by patrician families of Vicenza. Following the Napoleonic invasion, the church and the adjacent convent were looted and used first as a military hospital, then as a barracks for the troops. With the decree of Compiègne of 1810, which dissolved the religious orders, the few Franciscans left in Vicenza were dispersed. The buildings remained in a state of neglect, until Read more [...]
The Church of Santa Croce in San Giacomo Maggiore, also known as the Church of the Carmelites (Chiesa dei Carmini) is a church in Vicenza, located in Piazza dei Carmini, near the end of Corso Antonio Fogazzaro. SHORT HISTORY In 1372, while the Scaligeri were enclosing the village of Porta Nova within the new western walls of Vicenza, the bishop Giovanni de Surdis started to build a new church in the center of the area, dedicated at first to San Giacomo Apostolo (Saint James the Apostle), and later to San Giacomo Maggiore (Saint James the Great). Around the same time, the bishop entrusted the religious building to the Carmelite friars, and the church was commonly called Santa Maria dei Carmini (Saint Mary of Carmel). To adapt to the needs of the developing village, the church was completely rebuilt in Gothic style, with three naves, between 1420 and 1425. Between 1720 and 1730, the church was restored again and brought back to a single nave. The Carmelites remained in the convent until 1806, when, after the Napoleonic decree suppressing the religious orders, they were expelled from Vicenza. The parish was merged with the neighboring one of Santa Croce. In the Read more [...]
Corso Andrea Palladio is the main street of Vicenza, named in 1945 after the famous Renaissance architect. About 700 meters in lenght, it crosses the historical center of the city from west to east, respectively from Piazza Castello to Piazza Giacomo Matteotti. SHORT HISTORY The current street corresponds substantially to what, in Roman times, was the decumanus maximus (the main road in a Roman city, oriented from west to east). Also called strata major, after the construction of the early medieval walls of the city, it was bordered to the west by Porta Feliciana and to the east by Porta San Pietro. During the Middle Ages, but also in modern times, Corso Palladio retained the function of linking the neighbouring cities of Veneto, respectively Verona and Padua. Near its edges, there were inns, taverns and, later, parking lots. In 1847, the historian Cesare Cantù called it the most elegant street in Europe, if you do not count the Grand Canal of the incomparable Venice. In 1866, after the annexation of Veneto to the Kingdom of Italy, the street was officially called Corso Principe Umberto. In 1943, the name was changed to Corso Ettore Muti and finally, after the Liberation, Read more [...]
Palazzo Chiericati is a Renaissance-style palace in Vicenza, located in Piazza Matteotti, next to Corso Andrea Palladio, in the vicinity of Teatro Olimpico. Designed in 1550 by the architect Andrea Palladio, the palace houses the Civic Museum of Vicenza since 1855, and was included in 1994 in the UNESCO World Heritage Site City of Vicenza and the Palladian Villas of the Veneto. SHORT HISTORY The palace was commissioned by Count Girolamo Chiericati to Andrea Palladio in 1550, and the construction of the building began in the following year. In 1557, the count died and the works were stopped. The son of Girolamo, Valerio, limited himself to decorate the interiors of the palace, involving some great artists of the time, like Bartolomeo Ridolfi, Giovanni Battista Zelotti, Giovanni Antonio Fasolo and Battista Franco. The palace remained unfinished for more than a century, and it was completed only in 1680, following the design of Palladio, who died in 1580. The Municipality of Vicenza purchased the building in 1839 from the Chiericati family, with the intention of collecting the most important art of the city. The palace was restored by the architects Berti and Giovanni Miglioranza, and the Civic Museum was inaugurated on Read more [...]
Palazzo Porto in Piazza Castello, also known as Porto Breganze, is a palace in Vicenza, located in Piazza Castello, designed around 1571 by the architect Andrea Palladio for Alessandro Porto. It is one of the two palaces designed by Palladio in Vicenza for the Porto family, the other being Palazzo Porto, for Iseppo Porto, located in Contrà Porti, and is included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site City of Vicenza and the Palladian Villas of the Veneto. SHORT HISTORY Alessandro Porto inherited the family properties in Piazza Castello after the death of his father, Benedetto Porto, which took place in 1571. The family assets were divided between the brothers Alessandro, Orazio and Pompeo. Francesco Thiene, owner of the Palladian palace of the same name at the other end of Piazza Castello, married Isabella Porto, Alessandro’s sister, and a competition began between the two families for having the most imposing palace in the square. The palace was designed with seven bays and a courtyard with an exedra, as shown by an analysis of the surviving walls, but the works were stopped near the end of the 16th century and never resumed. The reasons remain unknown. Between October 2009 and the Read more [...]