The Venetian lion, so-called Leone Marciano, which stands on the top of the high pillar, represents that the town of Vicenza was a part of once mighty Venetian Republic. Venetian Lion symbolizing wheter Republic is in a state of war or in a sate of peace. Leone Marciano means War Lion and symbolizing the state of war. The other, peaceful lion, is reading a book. Both pillars are situated on the northern part of the Piazza dei Signori.
I don't know whom represents the statue on the top of the other pillar.
The main body of Torrione (the tower) di Porta Castello dates back to 1200, and battlements and the interesting hexagonal lanterns were added in 1343 by Bernardo Scannabecchi following instructions by Martino and Alberto della Scala (known as Scaligeri).
This is the most appropriate point from which you can start exploring the old core of the town.
Going along Viale Roma, away from the train station, at its end you'll find the entrance arch to the Giardino Salvi and Porta Castello which leads in the heart of the old core of the town.
The look of the Torrione di Porta Castello from the Piazza Castello. This huge defending tower is a part of the massive town walls which circled the old core of the city.
Next to the tower there is the 17th century entrance to the courtyard of Palazzo Salvi. Porta Castello was one of the main entrances to the town in the medieval times.
The Basilica of SS. Felice and Fortunato is one of the most important examples of Paleo-Christian art in Northern Italy. It was originally built around 300, on a pagan burial ground, to hold the relics of two Saints Vicenza Felice and Fortunato, who had been martyred around 303.
Originally rectangular, the church was doubled in size and divided into three naves around the end of the last century. The Martirion was built in the 5th century to hold the remains of other local martyrs.
In 899 the Basilica was destroyed by the Hungarians, amd only the Martirion and a part of the outside wall left standing. It was rebuilt in the 10th century and was handed over to the Benedictine monks in 963.
In 1117 an earthquake struck, causing structural damage, and during the restoration work the crypt was enlarged, as was the Confessio which holds the remains of felice and Fortunato in a Greek marble urn. The upper part of the bell tower also dates from this period.
If you have already checked out my General tips then you will have noted the difference in the weather from my first visit. Also, the fact that most things were open.
Villa Valmarana was one of the things I wanted to view and, despite it opening one hour later than advertised at the local tourist centre, I finally got to see the inside story.
Then, as I read the signs, I realised that I had come upon not only Giovanna (Giambattista) Tiepolo, but his son as well.
Piazza dei Signori, that's where it happens. What day? Haven't got a clue, I just happened to stumble upon them the day I was there. I have, after diligent research, found out that they are apparently on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
They were busy and I was impressed. There seemed to be a lot of quality on offer here but my most enduring memory was that of the Dutch Cookie Man. He was a classic with charisma to burn and was worth the trip on his own.
There are shops and eating places all along the street. It runs about 1 mile in length. Made up of old buildings, but how can you tell what is old? It is said to be comparable to chic shopping avenues in Paris. You determine, but imagine maybe the prices compare. The avenue is nice to stroll along and see all the retail shops and eateries
The combined Piazzi of Signori and Biade make up a large area with the anchor of Basilica Palladian as the main feature. When we were there, the building was covered totally and under restoration. Check first, but either way the visit is a must. The original name was Palazzo della Ragione, and build in the 15th century. That collapsed, and they City Council solicited Palladio to design another building. He came up with that arched effect/loggia look.
Palladio got paid from 1549 until his death in 1580 for his work. The cost and time took a burden on the city. It finally was finished in 1614.
The other side of the street holds a picturesque structure called Monte della Pieta. It was constructed in the 1400's and from end to end a great looking and long building. The monuments on the tall pillar columns are of Venice's St. Marks Lion and the other is of Christ, standing tall.
When we were there, one whole side was under wraps, or renovation, including the clock tower access. Apparently they had restored the other side in recent years.
Called Leoni Montarni GAllery, it is encompassing Russian iconoclasts and Vicenza frescoes. The BAnco Intesa began assembling the collection in mid 1990's and have a great display of Russian religious paintings, Vicenza fresoces by Alberti and statues by Monnari brothers. Overall, it is a good display of the works of the bank, and shows the effort it takes to obtain these items.
The place was built in 1676, and finished in 1694, with many decorations continuing for another 20 years. The entry is an impressive sight, but watch out taking pictures. They are strict on this, even outside. The palazzo passed to the Egido family in 1808, and the CAtholic BAnco obtained. It went to them, and in 1976 and it was restored. Now called Banca Intesa, s owner.
Entry is 3.50 Euro, but the Vicenza card to allow entry into many tour sites is the best deal at 11 Euro. Open 10-12 and 15-17 except Monday
This was a very nice museum of all the Bishop artifacts. That includes clothing, jewels, religious ceremony icons, and all the other special items received as gifts, or procured. This was build over a Roman administration building, and construction began at same time as first building of the duomo, in 13th century. This was also an aristocirat house called Palezzeto Proti, where Roman crypotporticus was located. One floor down from ground level, you can see the remains of the sewer lines from the original ground level of the Roman buildings.
Palladio was part of designing about 63 structures, almost all in the Vento Region, and especially the Vicenza province. The boy was an apprentice stone mason, for which he got the depth for structures and designs. He was around 38 years old when he got his first big break by designing the Basilica Palladiana. He was deceased before it got completed, but the terms of the contract allowed his to get paid on this job for 13 years. The support of Chiercati and Thiene helped him along the path from stonemason to architect. Many structures around the world pattern from his Corinthian columns and loggia.
Palladio produced a four volume catalog of his work with commentary. It was called The Four Books of Architecture, and has been used since by laymen of the design trade to pattern his ideas. Due to his style of architecture, Palladio became famous among the aristocrats and politicians for the design of buildings. As Venice was losing its world domination power from 1400's to 1500's, the last era was to protect and preserve the mainland around the city. For that, it began cultivating land and villa prestige in the 1500's. Along comes Palladio with his style and it took off. Of the designed 63 villas/structures, but only 3/4 were finished before his death. His style, however lives on.
The old city area-citta vecchia-is all laid out focusing on the Corso Palladio, that past the walls is called Corso S. Felice, a road to Verona and autostrada. The walk inside the old city can be tiresome if yo do not plat out your course. WE tried a long way one time, and after 2 hours of w;lking got to the main street in the old city. WEW! But had 8 hours site seeing to do that day.
the river Bacchigliione meets the Retrone at the junction south of the city, so most of the old part is ringed with water. People walk everywhere, so do as the locals do.
This structure is located in Piazza Castello, which is near Giardino Salvi. AT Palladio's death in 1580, the construction still had not commenced, and only 1/3 built by 1593. It was finished in early 1600's. The purchase of Lelio Bonin Longare in 1835 caused the name change. Scamozzi claims to have been the architect to finish the building. From conjecture by researchers, some of the front may have been the design of Palladio due to his relationship with Thiene, the owner, and the sides by Scamozzi. Frescoes inside by Guidonlini and Chiesa still remain. The building is used for a local union. and inside visits prohibited.
Built as a country villa in 1669 for Gian Maria Bertolo. Mutoni The Valmarana family became owners, and still live on premises. The villa is named after the dwarfes (nani in Italiano), and legend is a dwarf princess was secluded/imprisoned with her dwarf servants in the villa. When she saw a charming prince in the garden, she threw herself form the tower, obviously died, but the other dwarfs were petrified, and were place on the walls. There are about 20 nani statues, all cute and cuddly. Frescoes were painted in 1757 by Tiepolo. There is a guest house (now retail gift store and ticket purchase) and stables. The side/major part under restoring during our visit. The grounds are medicore.
Price is 8 Euro. Villa is open Tuesday-Sunday 10-12 and Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday also 3-6, from March through November.
The complex was constructed in 1668 by the Mutoni family. They owned for many years. It is still occupied in the main house by the owner. The guest house (foresteria) is a ticket office and souvenirs, while the stables are adjacent that were built in 1720. The overall villa is modest, and of its time was intended to be only a trip outside of Venice to enjoy the summers and weekends.
It takes some keen eye to find this off the road. Frescoes by Tiepolo painted in 1757 are the highlight of the tour and to be seen once.
If you drive without looking real hard, you can go past the small sign that takes you through a village to the hill and villa at top. It is past Monte Berico turn about 1/2 mile.
Overall, not that impressive inside. There are local archeological items that show the excavation form the local hills for the most part. Many date back to BC time period, and Neandthral period. The visit took less than one hour to go through, and it is not big in terms of the building size.
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