Vicenza is a UNESCO World Heritage site and was once part of the Venetian Republic. “The work of Andrea Palladio (1508-80), based on a detailed study of classical Roman architecture, gives the city its unique appearance,” notes UNESCO, and it is a style which rapidly spread throughout Europe to England and even North America. The Palladian influence on the White house is clear to see when you visit his famous villa, La Rotonda, which is one of Palladio’s most admired creations, observes The New York Times.
Despite its outsized architectural legacy, this charming town remains quietly unpretentious. Drop in to exhibitions in the immense Basilica Palladiana, browse 400 Russian icons in the Gallerie di Palazzo Leoni Montanari, and catch a concert in Palladio’s Renaissance theatre, Teatro Olimpico, which was inspired by Roman amphitheatres. And the “grandiose Palazzo Chiericati” has been beautifully renovated “to showcase the municipal art collection,” writes John Brunton in The Guardian, and “a three-year restoration of the 13th-century Chiesa di Santa Corona has just finished, meaning two masterpieces by Veronese and Bellini are now on view again.” And there’s even a new Palladio Museum. But what’s really surprising about Vicenza, explains Brunton, “is that there is a lot more to it that just sightseeing and museums.” As one of the wealthiest cities in northern Italy it is full of “ancient osterias, family trattorias and historic cafes, but also cool lounge bars, innovative gourmet restaurants and designer boutiques.”
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