Vicenza is a small, elegant city that was part of the Venetian empire from the 15th through the 18th centuries.  It’s wealth is based, in part, on its having long been a center for processing gold.  The Piazza dei Signori is its heart and has buildings that were designed by the Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio.  His work gives the city a unique appearance and helped make it a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

Northeast Italy 2013

Vicenza - Central Veneto

Photos by Walt & Gloria Fogler-Mancini

Life-sized “classical” sculpture on buildings was a hallmark of Palladio’s style.

The Corso Palladio follows the old Roman road through Vicenza.  The city has 23 out of the 26 buildings cited by UNESCO.  Most buildings reflect the Renaissance concern for “universal” harmonic proportions and balance while using classical elements.  Vicenza was largely rebuilt with Renaissance palazzi and public buildings, but their construction was with humble materials like wood and stucco.

Palladio is one of the world’s most influential architects.  He studied Roman architecture, set up a practical system of design, and wrote and published theoretical books on architecture (see  Thomas Jefferson’s Montecello is like a Palladian villa.

Vicenza is a good town for exploring on foot or bicycling.  It’s center is compact and there are surprises everywhere. There are shops and coffee houses as well as interesting architectural details on every street.  For more information about many things for travelers, look at Tom Weber’s blog The Palladian Traveler:

Two of Palladio’s important public buildings are near the Piazza Matteotti.  The Palazzo Chiericati (below left) is now a public art gallery.  The stage and stadium seating of the Teatro Olimpico were modeled on theaters from antiquity.  It was finished after he died in 1580.

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The photographs were taken with Leicas, the M8 and M9.  All images are copyrighted and may not be reproduced without permission.  We can be contacted at   Our home page is

January 23, 2014                                                                                                                                                                                                               wgfm