Born in Padua in 1508, Andrea Palladio came to Vicenza at a young age to work for Vicentine masons where he learned the trade.
His employer, G.G. Trissino, poet, philosopher, mathematician and architect amateur, helped him with the education and social contacts and was also the one that gave him the classical name of Palladio (his name was Andrea della Gondola).
The name "Palladio" was refering to Pallade, the goddess of wisdom, and to a personage of an epic poem who Trissino was writing.
Following his two years studies in Rome, Palladio returned to Vicenza and won the contest of the remake of the palace of the Reason or Basilica.
From that moment on Palladio was engaged in a large series of assignments for the construction of palaces, villas and churches.
In 1554 he published "The Roman antiquities”, a standard reference as guide of Rome " and "Description of the Rome churches".
In 1570 he published the "Four books of the architecture".
Andrea Palladio became famous for being the first one to conceive the Villa as an architectural, economical and social pattern.
Palladio died in Maser, Treviso in 1580.
Torre di Piazza
The look at the Torre di Piazza from the northern side of Piazza dei Signori. The Bell-Tower from different angle, see the huge proportions comparing it with the statues which stands on the high pillars on the Piazza dei Signori.
On the Contra
"Contra" is actually a corruption of "Contrada" which means, literally, district and thus a contra has become an alternate name for a street in the Vicenza dialect.
The Contra Porti is renowned for having many elegant palazzi and this, at 19 Contra Porti, is a typical example.
"Riunione Adriatica Di Sicurta" it said on the front and I was thinking it is now the home of an insurance company and I even wandered into the courtyard beyond the doorway but, to no avail until, of course, I contacted Anna from the tourist centre and, presto! Palazzo Colleoni – Porto
This gothic building is on Contrà Porti. It’s one of the most interesting gothic examples in Vicenza, but should have had a second floor; just with that it could give a better vertical image of the perspective, together with the buildings along the street.
In the past it was covered with frescoes of the 1400, in geometrical shapes. Nowadays the bricks that came out after a restoration are a warm frame to the beautiful mouldings.
Usually people in front of this building pass by, because it stands between the major palazzi Barbaran Da Porto, Porto-Breganze and Porto-Festa, but, as in almost every corner of Vicenza, it has had something special to offer: Sebastiano Serlio, in 1539, erected inside its garden a wooden "temporary theatre", committed by the Gentiluomini della Compagnia della Calza. This represents one of the most interesting experiments for the period, as this kind of theatre was rarely requested. Unfortunately nothing remains of this, except some drawings in the Trattato by architect Serlio.
Antiquities market in Piazza dei Signori
I have visited Vicenza for the first time at the end of the year, before Christmas, and I still remember the wonderful evening walk in Piazza dei Signori decorated with colorful lights and full of peddlers selling all kind of things.
I wanted to buy the famous novel "I promessi sposi" from one of the book sellers (I was studing Italian at that time) and although I didn't do it, I'm still associating the book I received later as gift with the books market in Vicenza.
The 17th century church is work of Vicentine architect Carlo Borella, begun in 1688 and finished in 1703. The work begun at the wish of the city of Vicenza as a symbol and an expression of the continued bond of faith between the city and the Madonna.
The exterior's architecture is repeated exactly of three sides of the Sanctuary, the east, the north and the west.
The originals of the basilica are tied to two apparitions of the Blessed Virgin which occured on this hill: the first one on March 7, 1426, the second one on August 1, 1428.