You still don’t know the city of Palladio? Here’s why you should organize a weekend in Vicenza and some advice on things to see in the historic center.
Vicenza is a city full of beauty, perfect for a weekend dedicated to art: not everyone knows, in fact, that the historic center and its surroundings boast numerous UNESCO sites, such as the Palladian villas, ideal for a spring visit.
An understated destination, but one that is sure to amaze you: so here are some tips on Vicenza and what to see of its historic churches, Palladian architecture and museums.
Vicenza: where it is and why to visit it
The city of Vicenza stands out among the most important industrial centers of the Po Valley and is, not surprisingly, located on the high-speed rail line connecting the major manufacturing districts between Milan and Venice.
Known as gold city, Vicenza is well known as a goldsmithing hub. Vicenza also boasts many cultural gems, its charm rivaling that of other UNESCO heritage cities such as Verona and Ferrara. Located a short distance from Venice, it is a fixed stop on a Veneto tour in search of art treasures and a romantic and hospitable destination for a weekend with your sweetheart.
Downtown Vicenza: the wonders of the city of Palladio
In Vicenza, cultural tourism evokes Andrea Palladio. Perfectly integrated into the historical fabric of the city, the contributions made by the Renaissance architect make it a unique city.
So, don comfortable shoes: getting around on foot or by bicycle is the perfect way to visit Vicenza: indeed, all the Palladian monuments are within walking distance of each other, including the ultimate symbol of Vicenza: the Basilica Palladiana. Overlooking Vicenza’s main square, Piazza dei Signori, the Basilica Palladiana is the result of the redesign of the 15th-century Palazzo della Ragione. In addition to being the city’s most iconic monument, the Basilica is among the major exhibition venues of Vicenza and the Civic Museums.
Walking around Vicenza: what to see in a day
From the Basilica, a short walk takes you to Piazza Duomo and the Cathedral of Santa Maria Annunciata: with your nose in the air, you can admire the dome designed by Palladio before walking to the Temple of San Lorenzo and being enchanted by its Renaissance-style cloister.
Visiting Vicenza in a day is quite feasible: among the most striking views of the historic center, remember to also visit the Ponte di San Michele, an authentic postcard view with its colorful buildings overlooking the river as well as one of the most romantic corners of Vicenza and its surroundings.
So, what is there to do in Vicenza on a beautiful sunny day, perhaps with your better half? Of course, visit the Palladian Villas, starting with the Rotonda, one of Italy’s most famous and imitated architectural concepts. We already told you about the Palladian Villas, remember? They are a perfect backdrop for your romantic weekend.
Art treasures and the world’s oldest indoor theater
Back to downtown Vicenza: what is there to see to complete our cultural itinerary besides the monuments already mentioned? Strolling along Corso Andrea Palladio, the city’s main street, and continuing towards the river, you will come across some of Vicenza’s most representative buildings: a must-see is the Church of Santa Corona, with its monumental Valmarana Chapel and Giovanni Bellini‘s “The Baptism of Christ.”
Just beyond stands Palazzo Leoni Montanari, home of the Gallerie d’Italia in Vicenza with important works by Tiepolo and Canaletto. And, still more, an absolute jewel of Vicenza: the Teatro Olimpico, Palladio’s last work and the site of concerts and plays.
To Vicenza with Italo
You must admit it: the idea of visiting Vicenza and the surrounding area is already winning you over. Thanks to high-speed rail, you can reach the city in no time: in fact, there are many daily train connections to Vicenza: from Milan’s Central Station, for example, you can arrive in one hour and 41 minutes! Even faster is the Vicenza-Venice train link: that takes only 42 minutes. Just enough time to browse your favorite magazine and you will have arrived!