The city of Vicenza is world-famous for its Palladian villas and is a great day getaway from Venice.
Located on the edge of the Po plain, Vicenza has always been a prosperous city, from pre-Roman to modern days due to its rich natural resources and a strategic position near the powerful city of Venice.
It earned its place on the UNESCO World Heritage list because of the splendid villas designed by Andrea Palladio in the 16th century that can be admired today in the city.
You do not need to be an architecture buff to enjoy the beauty of Palladian heritage. Stroll along Corso Andrea Palladio, the city’s main thoroughfare, lined by splendid palaces some of which were designed by the famous architect. One of his masterpieces, the Basilica Palladiana, dominates Piazza dei Signori, in the heart of the city. With its elegant colonnades, a 52-metre long hall with a wooden vaulted roof it leaves a long-lasting impression on visitors. Climb on to the top terrace for fine views of Vicenza. Palladio’s last work, the Teatro Olimpico, which was finished by his son, is also worth a visit. Its clever design and use of trompe l’oeil effect makes the interior look deceptively large.
Across the road from the Teatro Olimpico is the Museo Civico housed in the elegant Palazzo Chiericati. The museum boasts fine archaeological collections and works by such famous Venetian masters as Veronese, Tintoretto and Tiepolo. For an extra helping of art, head to the the Gothic Church of Santa Corona to see works by Bellini and Montagna. The stunning Basilica di S. Maria di Monte Berico, apart from some magnificent frescoes and a Veronese work, also has breathtaking views over the city.
|Basilica di S. Maria di Monte Berico|
No visit to Vicenza would be complete without sampling its excellent cuisine. You will see many typical Venetian dishes in restaurants, there are also some hearty fare that you will only find in Vicenza. Try the ancient dish of baccalà alla Vicentina, dried cod cooked in milk and olive oil to perfection, or bigoi co' l'arna, egg pasta with a rich duck sauce.
Photos via Flickr by: David Nicholls, Igor Zeiger, Stefano Bussolon.