Originally a Roman forum and market place, the square has traditionally been the crossroads of business and leisure in the city. The square is really a rectangle and here you find the Basilica of Palladio and Bissara Tower. On the stand opposite the Loggia del Capitanio (also by Palladio) and the Palazzo del Monte di Pietà, and there are many exit routes. In summer it is very nice to take an evening stroll. It has many shops, restaurants for all tastes and exquisite ice cream. It is also known as "Piazza delle Erbe", Square of Herbs.
While your ticket does make you realize what awaits you, your visit will certainly convince you that this world heritage site is just great. Everything from the sculptures, décor to the stage. I was not sure where to look because wherever you look there is something to do. Maybe you are fortunate and that the musical light show is on. You will leave as happy as we did.
This staircase begins with the triumphal arch, which was built in honour of Our Lady in 1595, by James Bragadin. The remaining construction work began in 1746, by Francesco Muttoni, featuring complex architecture. Hundreds of pilgrims still flock to this staircase, which is 700m long, and divided into 150 arches, which are themselves divided into groups of ten, symbolizing the 15 mysteries of the Rosary and the Hail Mary. The staircase ends in a clearing in the middle of the hill, from which you can enjoy the breathtaking view of the city below.
The Palladian Basilica is a great hotel located in Piazza dei Signori, the main square in Vicenza. Formerly used as the seat of the public magistracies of Vicenza, the Palazzo della Ragione was re-designed by Andrea Palladio, who added to the existing building, Gothic-style, the famous white marble lodges. It was awarded World Heritage Status by UNESCO in 1994. The Basilica is now home to various shows and exhibitions in art and architecture, with three large conference rooms for this purpose. Cultural events of various kinds are held here. It was restored in 2011, celebrating the five hundredth anniversary of the birth of the architect, which took place in 2008.
The Ponte Pusterla has become famous among the people of Vicenza thanks to its event held every summer, the "Vie d'Acqua", an annual festival which features a tight schedule of concerts, workshops, tours and exhibitions. The Dock, in these times, becomes a small outdoor square where you go down to the river. Here projections of films, concerts, happy hours, and artistic and sporting events are organized. You can not miss the launch of the paper lanterns in the river. During the rest of the year, the Dock is one of the best panoramic points where you can go to enjoy the view.
This is one of the most peaceful, picturesque spots in Vicenza. The area, one of the oldest in the city, has been the subject of a recent restoration, and is now almost entirely pedestrianised. Inside the small district, overlooking the River Retrone, you can find arts and crafts shops, cultural and artistic associations, the bridge of boats, the Astra Theatre, the University, and a number of buildings in the Gothic style.
This terrace, dominated by a huge tricolour flag, is one of the most scenic in all of Vicenza. The breathtaking view of the city extends as far as the eye will see on sunny days, and in the evening, it's a popular spot for romantic trysts. The large parking lot ends at the marble railing, where the names of the towns near Vicenza are inscribed, some of which are clearly visible to the naked eye. You can also bring a pair of binoculars if you like, to get a better look at this enchanting landscape.
The Church of the Holy Cross to Carmini dates from the late 1300's, but has been subject over time to numerous extensions and renovations. The present appearance is more recent, as it was restored last century in a nineteenth-century Gothic style. The parish of Holy Cross, initially dedicated to Our Lady of Mount Carmel (hence the name Carmini), remained with the Carmelites until 1800, when it was united with the parish of St James. The interior has various works of art: an altarpiece by Veronese, a "Madonna and Child with Saints" by Benedetto Montagna and the "Entombment of Christ" by Jacopo and Francesco da Ponte. There are also nineteenth-century frescoes with scenes of saints and evangelists, with the background painted like a starry sky of intense blue sapphire.
The Convent of Our Lady of Monte Berico is located in a building behind the beautiful basilica of the same name, and includes a small museum with fossils and stones and a souvenir shop. Visitor access is restricted for obvious reasons, but you can enter the cloister, which is dominated by a small, bright inner courtyard. The atmosphere is silent, and you can admire the ancient sundials painted on the walls. The cloister is built in the old Venetian style, with a well in the centre.
Vicenza Cathedral is dedicated to Santa Maria Annunziata and dates back to the thirteenth century, but it seems that it was constructed on the remains of a fifth century basilica. The facade was built in 1467, in light marble with pink ornmaments. The vault is believed to have been designed by Andrea Palladio in 1566. The vast interior has a single nave divided into five sections with vaulted ceilings, and the whole interior is full of paintings, stucco and altars sculpted by the great local artists of the Renaissance.
The story goes that following an outbreak of the plague, there were two apparitions of the Virgin Mary, the first on March 7, 1426 and the second August 1, 1428, so a shrine was built on the spot in an effort to end the plague. It was built at the tip of Monte Berico, which dominates the city, to protect the city from above. Over the year, the building has been modified many times, sometimes by famous architects like Andrea Palladio. The current appearance dates back to the seventeenth century, and was carried out by Carlo Borella. The outer walls were enriched with bas-reliefs and statues by the Marinali brothers. In 1826, the bell tower was built by Antonio Piovene and in 1860, work began on the restoration of the neo-Gothic facade bringing the building to its current conditions. The building is open, except for during ecclesiastical ceremonies, and it is a place of pilgrimage and religious tourism.
For lovers of contemporary art, this is a must! This gallery, located on the ground floor of Palazzo Iseppo (the work of sixteenth century architect Andrea Palladio), is divided into two sections: SELECTION, dealing with talented young emerging artists, and CAVEAU, offering works by artists already well-established on the international scene. Both sections have exhibitions, events, private meetings and educational visits. The gallery is open from Tuesday to Saturday afternoons from 15:30 to 19:30 and admission is free.
This place is simply amazing! I knew about the Villa Capra (which is also known as the Rotunda), because of the film-opera "Don Giovanni" by Joseph Losey and I can assure you that this sixteenth-century villa (which was built by the architect Andrea Palladio) is a pure wonder! The best is when you go inside ...
First you see the beautiful ceiling statues, and then the beautiful gardens. Here nature is king: there are birds of many colors, plants, animals, etc.. Unfortunately the day I went I could only see the outside because it was all closed (the town only organizes tours in the summer (check beforehand at the Padua Tourism Office.) Note that the channels that you see next to the house in Losey's film do not exist, they were added by the director.
This beautiful, Gothic style building is famous for being the home of Antonio Pigafetta of Vicenza (1492-1531), who accompanied the navigator Ferdinand Magellan on his famous voyage, when the Earth was circumnavigated for the first time. The palace was built by Stefano da Ravenna around 1440, and at the end of the century, Matthew Pigafetta added the wooden Renaissance door. It's a beautiful building, with rich decorations in Nanto or Vicenza stone. On the lower part of the facade, the motto "n'est sans Espine roses" is carved, meaning "there is no rose without a thorn", a tribute to the family coat of arms of Pigafetta. The house, which is located just behind the Palladian Basilica, is currently being restored, but is privately owned, so you can not visit the interior. But it's definitely worth going to take a look at the outside, especially when the sun is shining on the facade.
The Bridge of Boats, or Romanesque bridge, is the oldest in the city of Vicenza. It is located in the central district of Rione, once a run-down area, but now fully restored and dedicated to the arts. The Bridge, which passes over the river Retrone, consists of four solid pillars forming three bass strings. The bridge of boats is, in fact, very low, so often that it often floods when the river rises.
This small, but interesting collection of fossils is located in some of the rooms at the back of the Basilica of Our Lady of Monte Berico, and is completely free. There are fossils of fish, crabs, and plants found in the area, as well as other interesting objects like ostrich egg shells, and Neolithic-era agate stones. A fleeting visit to this museum, which is a real hidden gem, is certainly recommended if you're in the area.
While making a tour of the museums of Vicenza, the Palladian villas and shops, I found myself aching for something sweet ... this is a little hidden spot, Tutto Gelato, selling homemade ice cream - classic cones and tubs, as well as more offerings! You can also take away a tray of miniature ice cream with crunchy biscuits ... a rainbow of different flavours!
The Cordellina Palace is located in one of the narrow streets in the historic centre of Vicenza. It dates back to the late 1700's, and was designed by architect Otto Calderari. It's currently owned by the Bertoliana Library. The palace was recently restored completely, up to, and including the interior frescoes by Guidolini and Chiesa. It is now used by the Library and the City of Vicenza to host exhibitions and conferences. The first of these took place at the end of 2011, in memory of the writer Fogazzaro, who was a native of Vicenza.
This city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, hence the amount of stuff to do in Vicenza is almost infinite. You can start with the historic city center where the Piazza dei Signori, the majestic Basilica Palladiana and the Loggia del Capitanio (by Andrea Palladio) are located. You'll notice in the squares and streets that you'll find other things to see in Vicenza, such as very important structures constructed by Palladio. Chiericati Palace and the Teatro Olimpico are some of the main Vicenza attractions also created by the famous architect. Another one of the many places to visit in Vicenza is Villa Capra, a palatial hotel built in 1566 on the outskirts of the city. Among the religious buildings and attractions in Vicenza, we must emphasize the cathedral, which dates from the early 11th century, the Church of Ara Coeli, the Church of Carmine, the Church of Santa Catalina, and the Church of Santa Corona, a Gothic church built by the Dominicans with paintings by Giovanni Bellini and Paolo Veronese. On Minube you'll find more suggestions on what to do in Vicenza. For example, there are Vicenza activities, excursions, visits, tours and more. Read the reviews of other travelers who have already been to the city to find out about all the things to do in Vicenza.