Ponte San Michele is undoubtely the most beautiful bridge across the river of Retrone. In order to preserve it for the future generations, this 1620 built bridge is premanently closed for the traffic. This example of the local authorities shold be followed in other Italian cities, where most of the fine old bridges still serve for the traffic.
The two rivers flow through the town of Vicenza making it very pitoresque, the first is Retrone and the second one river of Bacchiglione. This is river of Retrone with Basilica Palladiana in prospective, one of the most suggestive scene you can shot 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.
The legend says Virgin appeared to announce that Vicenza would be spared during a plaque in first half of the 15th century.
Three wide symmetrical staircases lead up to the church which, majestic in its huge size and nunerous statues, lifts high over its three facades, like a crown, an airy dome which gives a distinct gracefulness to the building as a whole.
The visit to this town was quint and well preserved and completely walled. It is barely 24 blocks square, but has a medieval wall surrounded by a moat. On the peak of the hill is the 10th century castle with crenellated tops and 24 towers. This was a focal point for territory turf, and many battles took place around here. It was built by Count SAn Bonifacio, and the expansion was when the Scaligeri family dynasty took ownership. They built the castle on Monte Tenda in 1375, with three circular walls.
The town name comes from Swabian-Nordic name of Svevi/Suavi that invaded this area in the 7th century. The Ventians took governance in 1405. The castle was restored to its present form in 1890 by Italian Senator CAmuzzoni. The fame of today comes from the green grape that makes wine. There are 3 palaces to view along with the castle. The walls are 2400 meters long.
Information center is just outside the wall entrance on the left.
The bridge is actually a site to see. It was built in 1209m and burned three times and rebuilt. In 1524, it was built in concrete and did not last more than 3 years-who knows why? The bridge was destroyed in WWI and again rebuilt. The issue for the bridge is many other people also are standing on the bridge for the same reason. It is crowded, I am sure especially in summer tourists season.
Museo Ponte degli Alpina Howis in a bar/restaurante downstairs. It does have some artifacts and alpine flavor, but was a surprise as to its location. It is very small, and good it is free to enter through the restaurant. Grapperia Nardini is on the right bank, and also not much to see.
However, a lot of Italiano locals do come to BAssano on weekends to enjoy the splendor of it all. The streets get very crowded if you do not get there early.
Chiesa dei Servi is situated in Contra Gazzolle, right opposite to the Regional Prefettura and a foot from Piazza dei Signori. This little but beautiful church is almost invisibile and could be neglected among all important historical sights in its close surroundings.
The Gothic church on the western side of the complex (see right on the picture) was built in 1428 with the trong support of the local population, convinced they would be miraculously freed of the plague which raged almost a quarter of a century.
The present facade is not the original, an extensive renovation in 1860 has given its appearance a heavier aspect.
This is western side of the Sanctuary with a small 15th century Gothic styled church.
The Shrine of Our Lady of Monte Berico stands with its distinctive outline at the summitof the hill which overlooks the city of Vicenza.
If you wish to go on foot, it's only a short walk from the town centre, durring which you can enjoy the view of the city. The walkway starts by "scalette", a pitoresque stairway of 192 steps which begins at Piazza Fraccon with the Triumphal Arch attributed to the architect Palladio. This exeptional work was designed and built by Francesco Muttoni, started March 7, 1746.
Its total length is 700 meters consisting of 150 arches, grouped by tens, and each group is divided by a samll landing in a form of chapel to symbolize the 15 mysteries and the 150 Hail Maries in the rosary.
The castle was last built by the Scaligeri family in 13759 They constructed a mast and three circular walls, with reinforced 24 towers, leading back into today's town. The first fortress was from the 10th century, and cited as a defense from the Magyar invasions. many times the control changed hands and Venice took control through a battle in 1405, but it was captured back in 1439, and then regained again. What a struggle for such a small town. The town was burned in 1508 and 1515, and later sold to the Gritti family in 1696. There is 5882 Square meters
As you walk up one of the stone paths leading to the top, You can see the definite restoration under way at this time. The major restoring was in 1890 by Senator Camozzi. They have done a lot of work, but more to do, and it continues along the walls. Entry price is 5 Euro to view the castle. The ticket office is in a 3 room medieval home. The walls are 2400 meters long, and 36 feet high. Look up an be impressed.
Italian named Bassano, the town has a population of 40,000, but explodes with locals most weekends and tourists also in summers. Founded in 2nd century BCE by a Roman called Bassianus, and was an agricultural estate. The medieval town was dating back to 998 and the castle is first noted as being built 1150. It struggled through takeover by the Lombards, Ventians, Austrian and then got into the war for independence/democracy in 1800's.
There are three main squares: Monte Vecchio, Liberta, and Garabaldi(melds with Liberta). The town is split by Rivera Brenta, a major flowing river. The right bank has the shops and retail for tourists. The left bank is more for the locals and the castello is at the top of the crest.
Park close to the information center and walk in using the Via J .Ponte. It leads to all the sites, and ends toward the Ponte Vecchio(bridge).
This peninsula is from the 5th century BC and was a popular resort for wealthy families form Verona in early BC. It became a Roman town and then fortified to protect the southern region of the lake. In the 13th century it was under the rule of the Scaligeri family which built the castle in 1308-29 on the foundations of old Roman castles. It was a military center point until the 16th century, In 1405, Venice took control and held until 1797, when Austria got control of the province. IN 1860 it went under Italy rule with the new democracy.
The castle has tours, and it is a wonderful castle on the outside, well preserved and surrounded by a moat. It is one of the best preserved castles in Europe. The inside does not hold much more than an empty shell, but the views are great. In the rear is a harbor that used to allow boats to enter the castle from water side. Closed Mondays and times are 9-12 and 14-17.
End to end the walk form information center to the bridge is no more than 10 minutes, but take a slow pace and enjoy the structures on each side of the streets. Many palazzi are noted along the way. Piazza GArabaldi combined with Liberta is a larger square where you can just relax.
Castello Ezzinin is worth the walk to get there. Once there, do not get too disappointed. Only can walk into the first level and then only briefly,; or at least for us. The cost is 2 Euro.
Dating from the end 1300, Palazzo Porto-Colleoni is one of the most beautiful gothic palaces in Vicenza.
With a superb facade and decorated windows, the palace's loggia opens in the garden with elegant columns and arches.
Address: Contra' Porti, 19 - 36100 - Vicenza (VI)
The walk from one end of the town to the other is only 6 long blocks. It is quiet and peaceful at this time of the year. Look into the many little inlets for adventure. The main street is Via Roma, and the other parallel street is Corso Vittoro Emannule.