The city of Vicenza in Italy was founded, according to various estimates, between the 7th and 11th centuries, although the first settlements on this site arose in ancient times. For many centuries, the city was influenced by the Roman Empire and the Venetian Republic, which left its mark on the look of Vicenza. But still, most of all the architectural landscape of the city is associated with one single name of a great man. It was to him that Vicenza in 1994 was awarded the inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
If you try to rephrase a slightly banal metaphor about the "one-actor theater" in relation to Vicenza, then with a slight stretch this city can be called the "city of one architect." Namely, Andrea Palladio, who at one time created magnificent architectural masterpieces in the city and its environs.
Vicenza is a real piggy bank of outstanding works of the great architect. You will not find such a "concentration" of the master’s work in any other place in Italy. “Palladio Villas” is the creator’s most significant heritage, and many tourists flock to Vicenza every year to see all this picturesque splendor with their own eyes.
Palladio created many brilliant architectural structures in Vicenza and its environs
The buildings designed by Palladio are found here at every step. One of his first works was the Palladian Basilica in the very center of the city. Beyond the city limits, the legendary La Rotonda, like a magnet, attracts thousands of admiring glances. Many of the palazzos created by Palladio today work as museums. For example, the Vicenza Art Gallery is now based in the Palazzo Chiericati - it is the oldest museum in the city. The headquarters of the international center for the study of Palladio architecture is located in the Palazzo Barbaran.
Such close attention to the man-made heritage of Andrea Palladio may not be entirely obvious to a layman. But if you realize that it is he who is the founder of classicism and in fact is recognized as perhaps the most influential architect in history, upon arrival in Vicenza you will inevitably begin to perceive the sights of the city with reverence and reverence. Let us dwell in more detail on the brightest.
Attractions Vincenza Palladio
The Palladian Basilica mentioned above was one of the first works of Palladio and has remained the brightest attraction of the city since then. The construction was not built from scratch — the author added a loggia of white marble and a portico to the already existing Gothic building, which encircled the building, completely transforming the architectural ensemble of Piazza dei Signori.
The Palladian Basilica was one of the first works of Palladio in Vicenza
In a two-tier gallery built of white marble, a new type of three-part Venetian window was used. The idea was so successful that such windows forever secured the name of the author - they began to call them Palladian.
Palladio himself began to call his creation a basilica by analogy with the ancient Roman name for buildings of this type.
To admire another Palladio masterpiece, you do not need to go far from the Palladian Basilica - just look at the other side of the main city square Piazza dei Signori. Directly opposite the Palladian Basilica is the Palazzo Capitanianato.
The Palazzo Capitaniano as well as the Basilica of Palladian decorates Piazza Signoria
The building and its very location are largely symbolic. Not everyone, even the illustrious architect, managed to build two magnificent buildings on one square during his life. Andrea Palladio succeeded, and now we can see in one place the results of his work, obtained in his youth and at the end of his career.
Now the city council is sitting in the Palazzo Capitaniano.
La Rotonda is a country house in the vicinity of Vicenza that Adrea Palladio built for a retired Vatican official Paolo Almerico. Then the house was called after the owner - Villa Almerico. Then it was taken over by the Capra brothers, and the building was renamed the Villa Capra. Centuries later, the common name La Rotonda was established.
Built Villa Rotonda on a hilltop near Vicenza in Italy
The building is made in the style of an ancient temple. Many even draw parallels with the legendary Roman Pantheon, and there are some similarities. Actually, in the design of the building there are sculptures of ancient gods, and the house itself is designed in perfect symmetry. Villa Rotonda is built on a hill and looks simply bewitching.
Following Palladio, the idea of building private houses in the style of pagan temples was taken up by other prominent architects.
The Chiericati Palace Andrea Palladio began to build in 1550 by order of Count Girolamo Chiericati. Until 1855, the building was only partially completed, and at that time served as the City Museum. Then it housed an art gallery.
Palazzo Chiericati currently houses an art gallery
To its present appearance, the building was completed many years after the death of Palladio, but its purpose remains the same. Now there is an art gallery - the oldest museum in the city. In addition to painting, here you can admire an extensive collection of sculptures, drawings, prints and even ancient coins.
Palazzo Barbara da Porto
Another "pearl" of the city of Vicenza in Italy is the palace of Barbaran. Its development and construction was commissioned by Andrea Palladio, one of the representatives of the local nobility - Montano Barbarano. The architect designed the magnificent residence in 1569, and was able to see the fully completed result of his work already in his declining years - in 1575. In fact, the Palazzo Barbaran was the only creation of the master, which he managed to bring to life from beginning to end personally during his lifetime.
The Palazzo Barbaran is the only complete work of Palladio. Now here is the museum of the great architect
The great Palladio approached the finishing work with particular demands, inviting the best artists of his time, Andrea Vicentino, Anselmo Caner and Giovanni Battista Zelotti, to collaborate. The famous Lorenzo Roubini was engaged in frescoes.
The stunning imagination Theater "Olympico" was the final work of Andrea Palladio and a peculiar result of the talent of the great master. Unfortunately, the architect did not have time to personally finish his last creation, having died in 1580. Olimpico was completed for another five years.
Theater "Olympico" was the last work of the great master
In addition to the great creations of Palladio, the city of Vicenza has other attractions. At a minimum, it is worth visiting some of the most prominent churches.
First of all, be sure to look at the Church of the Virgin Mary, it is also the Cathedral of Vicenza. The building dates back to the 11th century, but over the course of almost a thousand years, it has been rebuilt and restored more than once. Inside the church are sculptures and paintings by local authors.
Cathedral of the Virgin Mary - one of the most striking places of worship in Vicenza
Another bright temple building - the Basilica of the Virgin Mary of Monte Berico - is not as impressive in scale as the Cathedral, but it is located on the top of the hill. From the observation deck you can admire the panorama of Vicenza and Veneto. According to legend, it was in this place that the Virgin Mary came to the simple peasant Vicenza Pasini twice.
According to legend, next to the Basilica of Monte Berico several times saw the appearance of the Virgin Mary
The basilica of Santi Felice and Fortunato is also noteworthy - the first religious building here was built back in the 4th century.
One of the best-preserved ancient churches of the city is Santa Corona of the 13th century. It now contains paintings by Bellini and Montagni, available for inspection by tourists.
Finally, San Lorenzo, the Gothic church of 1280, serves not only as a temple, but also as a tomb for many noble citizens.
The Basilica of San Lorenzo has become the tomb of many noble citizens
One cannot but say a few enthusiastic words about the museums of the city of Vicenza in Italy. The collections of local museums are among the most impressive in the whole country.
For example, the Palazzo Chiericati mentioned above contains an amazing collection of works of art from Fogolio, Buonconcillo, Speranza. If the names Tiepolo, van Dyck, Tintoretto tell you something, you should definitely go here.
The Palazzo Chiericati presents a large collection of paintings
Not far from the Dominican monastery is the Museum of Nature and Archeology of Santa Corona. Here is an exposition of two sections - archeology (since the Paleolithic) and nature.
If while traveling in Italy you miss your homeland and want to discover sights with a “piece” of Russia in Vicenza, head to the Palazzo Leoni Montanari. In addition to the great examples of 18th-century Venetian painting, it contains several hundred of the most authentic Russian icons.
Finally, something that cannot fail to be in Vicenza is the Andrea Palladio Museum. In addition to artifacts that are directly related to the creator of the architectural appearance of the city, multimedia materials and films are presented here that tell about the life and work of the great master.
How to get to Vicenza
Seeing all the splendor of Palladio’s creations is not difficult. Vicenza is in close proximity to other famous cities of Italy, such as Venice, Verona, Milan, to the airports of which there are regular flights from Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and other countries of Eastern Europe.
Find plane tickets in the form below.
It is most convenient to overcome the further way by train. From Venice to Vicenza, the journey will take about 45 minutes, from the train station Mestre and Verona - 30 minutes. Padua is even closer. The White and Red Arrows Frecciarossa is home to Vicenza from Padova in just 15 minutes. The longest trip will be from Milan. The journey will take about 1 hour 40 minutes, if you use the speed train. You can find out the cost of tickets and a detailed schedule here.
You can also take the bus. Trips are made from Milan, Bergamo, Bologna, Trieste, Turin and even Rome. You can specify the schedule and build a route here.
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