Vicenzais a province in the Veneto region of northern Italy, west of Venice and east of Milan. This province has a capital by the same name, Vicenza. Vicenza is the traditional center of Italy's gold manufacturing industry and each year three prestigious international gold fairs are held here. Vicenza Italy is also one of Europe's largest produces of textiles.
People of the Veneto region seem to have settled here several centuries before the birth of Christ. The Santa Corona museum presents the tourist with remains of this period. It was during the Roman domination that the city was organized according to the 'castrum' or plan. In Piazza Duomo, under the Palazzetto Proti, the 'Roman Cryptoporticus' which is part of the ancient patrician home lies. The High Medieval age saw Vicenza become Lombard dukedom.
Vicenza was transformed and made stunningly beautiful architectural paradise during the three Venetian centuries. This made Vicenza one of the major artistic centers of Italy. Vicenza fought the Austrians in the hills at the beginning of 1848 and finally unified itself with the kingdom of Italy in 1866. Today Vicenza is the home of the 'US Army Garrison Vicenza' and the 'European Gendarmerie Force' was inaugurated in Vicenza in 2006.
Vicenza - UNESCO World Heritage site
In December 1994, the city of Pallodio has been included in the UNESCO World Heritage list. This is in recognition of the Palladian architectural treasures which are of exceptional viewer interest and universal value. Vicenza is the home of Andrea Palladio, the greatest Italian architect of the Italian Renaissance. It goes to his credit that Palladio transformed the appearance and physical characteristics of Vicenza. Strolling across the city you can spot the Palladian Basilica and the 'Loggia del Capitaniato'. Perhaps the two remarkable spots for Palladio patriots are the Villa Capra 'La Rotonda' and 'Teatro Olimpico' his last rendering.
The illuminated piazzas alongside the boutique lined streets of Vicenza allow tourists to gather a wealth of knowledge and enduring lessons about architecture. Hundreds of villas that mark Venetian culture for centuries can be found in this territory. The Venetian gothic buildings of the 15th Century are interesting to watch and so are the large 18th century complexes in Vicenza. The three cycles of sublime frescoes by Giambattista Tiepolo are exquisite in their artistry and workmanship.
Architectural splendors of Vicenza Villas
The Palladian villas are a must see for tourists who love renaissance art and architecture. Vicenza is famous for magnificent palaces and theatres designed by the famous architect Andrea Palladio.
Villa Rotonda: This is situated on top of a hill outside the town of Vicenza. Villa Rotonda also known as Villa Capra is completely symmetrical in plan with a central circular hall. The proportions of the rooms are arithmetically precise according to the rules of architecture as laid down by Palladio in his Quatro Libri.
Teatro Olimpico: Designed for the Vicenza Accademia Olimpica theatrical performance and modeled by Palladio, this is a lone surviving Renaissance theater. This elaborate wooden theater interior is a half circle of steep tiers of seats facing the rectangular proscenium stage. The ceiling is significantly painted in blue suggesting an open sky above the theater. The architectural details and statues on the walls and ceiling of the proscenium are elaborate and made of wood and plaster.
Palazzo Chiericati: Rectangular in design, this was designed as a house for an important Vicenza citizen originally. The loggias are richly ornamented by Doric and ionic capitals and deep coffered ceilings.
Palazzo Thieno: This is an early Palladian work and it is a town palace with protective characteristics of the medieval palazzo. Built of heavily rusticated stone with arched openings, the fa?ade is dressed with stone support articulated by composite pilasters and pedimented windows framed by ionic columns. The interior of the courtyard is surrounded by a continuous open arcade two bays deep on the ground floor. It has an open loggia on the piano nobile and tourists can view the detailed construction of the piano nobile gallery.
Tourist destinations in and around Vicenza
Vicenza is a great place to tour on foot or by bike. Experience a rewarding cultural holiday in this walled city, with historic monuments, basilicas, piazzas and villas. Bars and pubs offer live music appealing to all tastes and classes of people from the traditional Italian folk songs to jazz highlights.
Bassano del Grappa is a flourishing economic and cultural centre located on the River Brenta. Visitors to Grappa can take a glimpse at houses and edifices with frescoes on the outside walls. The 'wooden bridge' is symbolic of Venice and the Germanic empires of yesteryears.
Marostica and Nova, the city of cherries, chess and ceramics lie north of Vicenza. Production of ceramics has been present in Bassano and Nova for centuries.
Recoaro Terme is a well-known spa on the north west of Vicenza. This is the place to head for therapeutic holidays for those who want to relax in the curative power of the waters which are particularly used for treating problems of the digestive and urinary tracts, liver disorders and iron deficiencies.
Schio is one of the most important sites of industrial archeology in Italy. Lonigo is the chosen home of the Pisani family and is known for its architectural masterpieces.
Vicenza and its province undergo dramatic changes in climate all year round. In the mountains that rise above this city, the temperature drops well below zero in the winter, whereas it can reach 35 degree C during summer months. Winter is probably the best time to visit Vicenza.
Vicenza can be accessed by train as it is located on the main railway line between Venice and Milan. While Venice is about 40 minutes by train from Vicenza, Milan is approximately two and half hours. The main railway station at Vicenza is located in the centre of the town, walking distance from the main street of the city, Corso Palladio. Vicenza can also be reached by car through the Autostrada highways connecting Milan with Venice. Vicenza is a small and compact city. However, cars are banned from entering historical areas in the main and they need to be parked on the outskirts of the town.