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Travel: Vicenza, Italy July 10-12/2022

Updated: Sep 4, 2022

The segment travel to Italy started on June 23rd and until the 28th, is dedicated to the visit of 2022 Bienale Arte, (work in progress) and then to other Italian cities.

Vicenza was the last one we visited on this trip.


A short only 40 minutes drive from Padua landed us in Vicenza - Paldium Town

The city is situated one hour drive from Venice

The agricultural landscape on the drive from Padua was as unremarkable

Upon entering Vicenze 's historic center, a colorful noisy Gay Parade greeted our arrival to town, right by the remarkable old in-doors Paladio Theater

Andrea Palladio (1508-1580 c) the great Italian Renaissance architect, most famous for the villas he designed in and around Vicenza and the 2 large churches in Venice, who blended elements of classical Greek and Roman architecture, was already mentioned extensively on my posts on Venice, (here) so will not extend on him here,

Panoramic view of Vicenza's historic center

Vicenza is a thriving and cosmopolitan city, with a rich history and culture, and many museums art galleries,, piazzas, churches and elegant Renaissance villas and palazzos

Palladio's extensive work in the Vicenza area, made the place known as a Palladian Town with its 23 buildings designed by Palladio, and 24 Palladian villas of the Veneto region, which are listed in UNESCOWorld Heritage Site since 1994

(The churches of Palladio are to be found within the "Venice and its Lagoon" UNESCO World Heritage Site.)

Map of Pallladio's villas in Vicenza's historical Center

Map of Villas Outside the center and Vicenza's Vicinity

A bike tour offers the experience of viewing the villas on a bike ride can be found below

Villas and the making of Palladio - The Palladian E- Bike Experience +39 o4441270212 whatsupp +3923601161

We enjoyed viewing the building via walking throughout the old city center or by car


Old City Center

Olympic Theater, - Piazza Matteotti 11 (here)

Teatro Olimpico constructed in 1580–1585 as the first in door theater. as the final design by Palladio, with interiors made of wood, stucco and plaster, and was not completed until

after his death. ranking amongst his highest masterworks.

The Olympic Academy (the Accademia Olimpica, created in 1555) was the seat of the theater founded by Paladio

The trompe-l'œil onstage scenery, designed by Vincenzo Scamozzi, to give the appearance of long streets receding to a distant horizon, was installed in 1585 for the first performance held in the theatre, and is the oldest surviving stage set still in existence.

The Teatro Olimpico is, along with the Teatro all'antica in Sabbioneta and the Teatro Farnese in Parma, one of only three Renaissance theatres remaining in existence. Both these theatres were based, in large measure, on the Teatro Olimpico. It is still used several times a year.

The theater still operates today as a cultural center and as a theater dedicated to presenting dramatic musical performances

Piazza Matteotti

The piazza was small island surrounded by the waters of the Bacchiglione river.

Across from the entrance to the theater, at the footstep of the main street Corso Paladio

leading to the center of old town, the imposing Palazzo Chiercati with its large white hand sculpture, from which an olive tree grows , can't be missed at the beautiful and famous Piazza Matteotti

" GIVE" - a symbol of peace, by contemporary Italian artist Lorenzo Quinn -

a leading figurative sculptor , was installed on March 2021

The Palazzo Chiericati is a Renaissance palace also, designed by Paldio

who was asked to design and build the palazzo by Count Girolamo Chiericati.

The architect started building the palace in 1550, and some further work was completed under the patronage of Chiericati's son, Valerio. The palace, has a 2-story facade bristling with columns - Doric on the lower and Ionic on the upper.

The palazzo was not fully finished until about 1680, possibly by Carlo Borella.

The palazzo was built in an area called "piazza dell'Isola" (island square, currently Piazza Matteotti), which housed the wood and cattle market.

At that time, it was an islet surrounded by the Retrone and Bacchiglione streams, and to protect the structure from the frequent floods, Palladio designed it on an elevated position: the entrance could be accessed by a triple Classic-style staircase.

Since 1855 the building has housed the Museo Civico-City Museum' and, more recently, the city's art gallery. It has received international protection since 1994, along with the other Palladian buildings of Vicenza, as part of a World Heritage Site.

Palladio also designed a country home, for the family the Villa Chiericati, also known as Villa Chiericati-Rigo, at Vancimuglio, in the early 1550s

At the Historic Center's Heart

Bazilica Paladiana

The first known architectural project of Palladio was a commission in 1546 c to provide a new facade for the town hall of Vicenza known thereafter as the Basilica Palladiana

The building was originally constructed in the 15th c and was known as the Palazzo della Ragione, and served as the seat of government and also housed a number of shops on the ground floor

This imposing Renaissance building, with its notable feature 0 the loggia, which shows one of the first examples of what have come to be known as the Palladian window is situated in the central Piazza dei Signori in

The Square with the Bissara tower ,

Since 1994, the Basilica Palladiana, together with other Palladian buildings in and around Vicenza, has been part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site "City of Vicenza and the Palladian Villas of the Veneto".

This main rectangular square in the historic center of Vicenza . originally a Roman forum and market place , is traditionally the crossroads of business and the city.

On one side stands the Basilica Palladiana and the Bissara tower , while on the opposite side there is the Loggia del Capitanio (also by Palladio ), the Palazzo del Monte di Pietà with the Church of San Vincenzo and there are numerous paths.

The square was named after the residences, which overlooked it, of the podestà and the captain , representatives of the Lordship of Venice .

Palazzo dei Monte Pieta Loggia del Capitanio Church of Sa Vincenzo

Art work by Andrea Roggi "Circle of Life" is placed in various Vicenza squares

Parallel to the smaller eastern side of the square, the first of the 2 current columns was built in 1464 : the winged lion that dominates is the symbol of the Republic of Venice and was placed there in 1473 , after Vicenza had given itself to the Serenissima.

Over a century and a half later it was flanked by a second column, with the statue of Christ the Redeemer , in 1640 . The choice was widely discussed and was decided in honor of the city and its citizenship. Behind the columns is the area (which also includes the small Piazza Biade) once used as a grain market(even today the clearing is used for seasonal markets).

Vicenza's Old center

The grand palace off Corso Palladio - the main street of Vicenza, named in 1945 after the famous Renaissance architect, and it corresponds substantially to what, in Roman times, was the decumanus maximus (the main road in a Roman city, oriented from west to east,

It is one of two palaces in the city designed by Palladio for members of the Porto family (the other being Palazzo Porto in Piazza Castello.

Other historic center's Palazzos by Paladio

Hotel we stayed at:

Glam Boutique Hotel -Vicenza

Viale Antonio Giuriolo 10 +393385943253

A small Renaissance building in a very convenient location, just 650 feet from Vicenza's Teatro Olimpico and Palazzo Chiericati,

The 4-star hotel , is made up of 16 rooms different from each other,

Rooms are small but charming and the staff who runs the hotel is very pleasant and helpful

Near the Hotel

Structures visited Outside the City Center

Arco delle Scaletti "arch of the little stairs"

Located in the south-eastern border of the historic center, the arch marks the beginning of one of the routes climbing to the sanctuary of St. Mary of Monte Berico (built in the early 15th c). The path, called the "Scalette", is a series of stairs with 192 steps.

Built in 1596, the arch's design is attributed to the architect Andrea Palladio (about 1575).

Since 1994 the arch has been part of a World Heritage Site

The view seen of the city center from climbing the steps and hill top

On Monte Berico Hill

A short walk from the center of Vicenza, Monte Berico is one of the range of hills to the south of the city. Religious pilgrims, tourists and local residents alike take the steep hike up to Monte Berico’s summit Marina de Nonte Berico - a Roman Catholic and minor basilica from the 1500 situated on the hill's top of Monte Berico , from where also great views are seen and are worth the visit.

large panoramic square on top of Monte Berico Hill, a national monument dedicated on September 23, 1924 to honor Vicenza’s fallen soldiers and heroes of the numerous battles fought against the Austrian Empire during .

Villa Valmarana Ai Nani

The 17th c Villa Almarana Ai Nanai at the foot of the gates of the city is named as such

to differentiate it from other villas named Valmarana, especially the very famous Villa Capra "La Rotonda" designed by Andrea Palladio and formerly owned by Mario di Valmarana, a member of another branch of the same family. Villa Valmarana ai Nani was purchased by a set of brothers from the aristocratic Valmarana family in 1720 and is still owned by their descendant

It is composed of 3 buildings, the Palazzina (Owners’ Residence) built in 1669, the Foresteria (Guest-House) and the Scuderia (Stables) built in 1720.

They are embraced by a large historical park with rose gardens, a "giardino all'italiana" with its open air theater and well, a double hornbeams alley terminating with a statue of Neptune.

The Palazzina and the Foresteria are noted for its frescos by Giambattista and Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo hired in 1757 by Giustino Valmarana.

And stone sculptures of dwarves named "Nani". after which the villa takes its nam.

The statues of the 17 stone dwarfs, originally placed in the garden, now on the walls surrounding the house and which inspired the Villa's legend of Princess Layana.

The dwarfs were probably sculpted by Francesco Uliaco, most likely from the drawings by Giandomenico Tiepolo.

The Valmarana family still lives in the Villa, which is universally considered the highest expression of the painting of the eighteenth century and one of the highest examples of the Tiepolo’s genius.

The country scenery outside of Vicenza Old Center

Villa Almerico Capra della la Rotanda by Paladio

A Renaissance villa just outside Vicenza

Palladio was particularly focused on capturing the symmetry and proportions seen in the buildings of ancient Rome. Examples of his work include the Villa Valmarana, aka 'La Rotonda', built c. 1551 C. The 'Rotonda' villa is clearly inspired by Rome's Pantheon (c. 125 CE) except that Palladio has added another three giant columned porticoes, one for each side of the villa.

The villa's special design inspired and influenced plans of the White House.

In 1979 the American film director Joseph Losey filmed Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's opera Don Giovanni in Villa La Rotonda

Villa Valmarana Bressan

In the early 1540s Palladio designed a small villa for the cousins Giuseppe and Antonio Valmarana, at their commonly inherited estate in Vigardolo,

a few km north of Vicenza

Built in the 16th c by Paladio, this

a patrician villa, which belonged to Gian Giorgio Trissino - a man of letters, the author of plays for the theater and works on grammaris, located at Cricoli, just outside the center of Vicenza

Recommended Eating Places

Fuori Modena - Old hystoric center of vizenza

Contrà San Gaetano da Thiene, 8

0444 330994 - ++++++++++++++

Mezzaluna restaurant &Bar Viest Hotel - via U. Scarpelli, 41 +39 0444 582677 About 9km from Vicenza's old center - nice surrounding +++++++++++++

Via Soghe 35. 36057 Arcugnano. · 0444 273082.

We couldn't get into this recommended traditional restaurant, so ate in the one next to it in the same beautiful village

Via Soghe 62 Arcugnano +39 044273081

About 20 minutes of beautiful ride, from old city center

Arcugnano is a small village situated in a beautiful hilly area is home to the food company Bertagni, the oldest filled pasta producer in Italy.


Al Crichelon -Altavilla

via Napoleone Bonaparte, 4

+39 0444 375062 ·


Remo - Villa Cariolato Ristorante

strada Bertesina 313 a Vicenza - tel. 0444 911007.

This most charming historical place, where we had lunch on our last day, only 15 minutes away from the historic center, is situated in the wide Villa's garden, under the shade of tall Cyprus trees, It is run by 2 most friendly brothers and their wives. They bought villa Cariolato, as the set of pandemic (2020) restoring and invested in it , in hope to also turn the villa into a small boutique hotel, however were not given the permits,

So they open this excellent out/in doors restaurant, we learnt about from a local couple Letizia and husband Giulio, we befriended.

In 1848 during the Austrian siege of the city of Vicenza. the 12-year-old boy

who saved a mother and her children from death, and who was later awarded

a medal for military valor, was Domenico Cariolato , (1835-1910)the hero whose. Villa Cariolato in Vicenza was his home.

At just 24 years old Domenico Cariolato took part in the "Expedition of the Thousand" and in a few years he became one of the most trusted officers of Giuseppe Garibaldi who united Italy. He became colonel of the army and was one of the Garibaldian commanders protagonists of the defense of the French Republic who freed the city of Dijon from Prussian soldiers His relationship with Giuseppe Garibaldi was intimate and important


Viva Verdi

Amazing Concert

On the last night of our stay, an amazing free to the public concert named

Viva Verdi, took place In the main old city's square ,to the delights of many from the area who specially arrived. Concert finale Viva Verdi at the main square, was conducted by the amazing

Giuliano Fracasso - conductor Chilia Forte - Opera Singer

More about her (here) Matteo Falcier - Opera Singer

 Sara Pinna- was the anchor woman, a local TV Broadcuster/reporter

At the end of this uplifting musical evening, our trip was sealed with the sad accord

news of the passing away, (already 2 days before) of David's mother - Ziona Naveh,

David returned straight to the funeral in Israel, the following day.

By By Vicenza



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