Our itinerary includes the discovery of the Palladian villas. There are many as 24 which are considered a patrimony of UNESCO. The result reveals one of the most beautiful art cities in Italy: Vicenza and the Venetian villas that are located within the surroundings.
The city of Vicenza is the place where the genius named Andrea Palladio left his mark: in fact, during the sixteenth century, families from Vicenza competed against each other to entrust the famous architect with the design of their Venetian villas, later known as the"Palladian villas" that were constructed in the image and likeness of Palladio's inspiration.
He is considered to be an urban and architectural benchmark. Palladio shaped the city of Vicenza and the Veneto and Friuli territory with villas and historic houses which are among the most beautiful in the world. Let's discover the most precious Palladio architecture together, starting off with Vicenza.
The Palladian Basilica
"It is not possible to describe the great impression that the basilica of Palladio makes on us ..."
Goethe affirmed this after admiring the monumental symbol of Vicenza – Palladio's absolute masterpiece. The Basilica Palladiana, which is the ancient Palazzo della Regione – dominates Piazza dei Signori and stands out for those who are skillful with the use of the "serliana" - a round arch flanked by openings which became a true signature of the Palladian villas in Veneto.
The Olympic Theater
Unique to its kind, the Teatro Olimpico was the architect's last project. It was designed to host the shows of the Olympic Academy of which he was a member. A visit to Vicenza cannot do without entering this enveloping theater!
There are as many as 24 Palladian villas to visit which UNESCO counts as World Heritage property. Here are the Palladian villas in Vicenza and the surrounding areas that are a must see!
It is offensive to call it a "villa" - La Rotonda is so much more! Villa Almerico Capra, called "La Rotonda" is located among the Palladian villas in Vicenza and infuses the sense of balance and grace that – amongst the centuries - was sung by poets, artists, scholars and illustrious travelers who visited it.
Among the Palladian villas in Veneto we can find Villa Chiericati, located in the province of Vicenza. This marks a turning point in the language of the Palladian villas: for the first time we can find, in fact, a real pronaos consisting of a classical temple, inserted as an integral part of the Venetian villas.
Villa Angarano and DOC tastings
This villa is not too far from Bassano del Grappa. This Palladian villa stands at the center of the vast area of the Breganze DOC vines. It is definately among the Venetian villas to visit. Today,Villa Angarano is a farm and offers the tasting of excellent local Merlot and Chardonnay.
Venetian villas along the Brenta Riviera
Are there other palladian villas that should be visited? Definately those that overlook the Brenta Riviera! Villa Pisani located in Stra, is the National Museum of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries today and is called "the queen of the Venetian villas": it follows the path of the Brenta Canal and is divided into 168 rooms. The park that surrounds it encloses a labyrinth and a swimming pool.
Villa Widmann which is located in Mira, boasts a breathtaking salon: the chandeliers, stucco cornices and a series of frescoes that celebrate the glories of the family make it one of the most sumptuous Venetian villas to see internally, although it was built much later than the Palladian era.
Not just Palladian villas!
The itinerary to discover Vicenza and Palladio's Venetian villas also includes a visit to some unmissable villages.
Asiago, for example, is the main center of the so-called "Altopiano dei Sette Comuni". It is located in the province of Vicenza. Besides boasting an unbeatable cheese which is well known worldwide, it also offers a suggestive trek along the Calà del Sasso: the longest stairway in Italy.
The village of Schio - with the remains of the castle and "La Roggia Maestra", and the river that cuts through the historic center, tells the story of one of the most historic wool mills in the province of Vicenza and offers an unforgettable glimpse of green at the Jacquard Garden.
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