The city of Vicenza is bursting with works of famous architect Palladio, characterized by a strong connection with classical art of ancient Greece and Rome.
The Basilica Palladiana is located in Piazza dei Signori (Lords’ Square), its original Gothic structure served as Hall of Justice. Palladio worked on this building during the 16th century adding two levels of loggias. The bell tower (Torre Bissara) dates back to the 12th century and belongs to the original building. On the opposite side of the square is located the unfinished Palladian Loggia del Capitaniato.
The 16th century Teatro olimpico (Olympic theatre) is one of the last work of Palladio and his masterpiece, unfortunately, he died before its inauguration and the structure has been carried out by Vincenzo Scamozzi. The bond with the classical style is really strong, with a profuse use of wood and stucco. The half-moon shaped seat area is surrounded by columns; on the main stage a large central arch, plus the permanent representation of the ancient city of Thebes will surprise you with its amazing perspective illusion. The theatre is nowadays still used for performances and concerts.
The gothic church Chiesa di Santa Corona (Church of the Holy thorns ) dates back to the 13th century and owes its name to the enshrined relic of Christ’s crown of thorns. Two highlight of the church are Giovanni Bellini’s Battesimo di Cristo (Baptism of Christ) and Veronese’s Adorazione dei Magi (Adoration of the Magi). From the church you can take Corso Andrea Palladio bursting with Palladian palaces.
Other must-see of Vicenza are the stunning Palladian villas. The most famous is undoubtedly Villa Rotonda (Villa Almerico Capra) inspired by Roman temples, you can also visit the interior of the stunning Villa Valmarana “Ai Nani” and its series of great frescos of Giambattista Tiepolo.
The Civic Museum (Palazzo Chiericati) is another great Palladio’s building which has been started in the 16th century but carried out only in the 17th. It has a great collection of Venetians paintings including pieces of art of Tintoretto, Veronese and Tiepolo.