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 the Loggia del Capitaniato and the Palazzo del Monte di Pietà, which incorporates the beautiful Church of San Vincenzo.
SHORT HISTORY AND ARCHITECTURE
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 magnificent Basilica Palladiana, designed in 1546 by the great architect Andrea Palladio. Built starting with April 1549, the Basilica took a long time to complete. In 1614, thirty years after the death of Palladio, the building was finished, with the completion of the facade on Piazza delle Erbe.
On the opposite side of the Basilica, rises, with its large loggia, the Palazzo del Capitaniato, a mature work of the same Palladio, designed in 1565 and built between 1571 and 1572. On the facade towards Contrà del Monte, stuccos were added to commemorate the victory in the Battle of Lepanto, which took place during the building of the palace.
Continuing on the same side towards the center of the square, there is the Monte di Pietà building, with its 72 meter long facade, which incorporates the Church of San Vincenzo, whose origin dates back to 1387.
The first of the two columns on the eastern side of the square was built in 1464. The winged Lion of Saint Mark was placed on the column in 1473, when the city passed under the rule of Venice. The second column was built over a century and a half later, in 1640, with the statue of Christ the Redeemer on top.
HOW TO GET THERE
Piazza dei Signori is located about 900 meters away from the Vicenza railway station. The closest bus stop is in Piazzetta Largo Neri Pozza, located about 180 meters away, on the bus Line 10.