"Hello Palladio, looking for Tiepolo, and finding!" Top 5 Page for this destination Vicenza by iandsmith

Vicenza Travel Guide: 328 reviews and 911 photos

The gloom of winter

As usual, I got lost trying to find my accommodation. The night, the rainy weather, the traffic, all served to confuse me. The fact I'd passed within 50 metres of it at least four times was irrelevant!
Eventually I found it, a B&B hosted by Bob the American expat and his Asian lady. In and out of numerous doors, for which I eventually had enough keys, and one of them proved to be the portal to my room.
Vicenza wasn't quite the layout I expected. Then again, visions formed in one's mind of people and places before seeing them are apt to be considerably flawed.
The central heating soon thawed me out of the almost numbing cold that was apparent outside and I settled in amongst the numerous books that Bob had accumulated. Being an avid reader this was a plus.

Cold days in Vicenza

Bob pointed me in the direction of a local trattoria which turned out to be a wonderful choice with good food and plenty of atmosphere and I slept well that night before I awoke the next morning to see the snows still falling.
Trudging my way with an exhilerating expectancy up the hill I came upon the Villa Valmarana ai Nani. I had hoped to visit it later in the day but, like most of Italy, it was closed till the end of the week so my hoped-for viewing of the famous Tiepolo frescoes would have to wait.
I then turned back on the Via San Bastiano and headed towards the Basilica di Monte Berico. As I approached the town of Vicenza lay below me, shrouded in smog and haze, atop which sat the cloud bank.
I made fresh footprints in the soft white snow wherever I walked. To be up around 7.30am on this type of day is a treat. Little traffic disturbs the peace and your mind can wander in extraordinary directions, as can your feet as I soon went back for breakfast before I headed off for my day in this proud town.
(The statue represents Mercury, the messenger of the gods; this statue is above the main post office building and it was built during the Fascismo age in the Twenties. That kind of sword is one of the symbols of Mercury, as you can see in every image of the classical age.)

My accommodation was at the base of Monte Berico, atop which sits the Basilica and its amazing arcade that links the city to its soul if you chose to believe the Christian hype. The covered walkway at times has a fresco, at other times a nave with lit candle inside. I'd never seen anything like it before in my life. At the bottom you go over to the city proper, through an ancient portal if you're lucky enough. It is there that Palladio abounds and it doesn't matter where you walk in this wonderful town, the architecture will enchant you. Please enjoy.
(If you want more details than I have, I recommend Croisbeauty's pages)
In 2009, I came again, this time seeing what I had missed previously. I've added those tips; you can clearly see which ones by the change in weather!

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Palladio, Tiepolo, easy to get around
  • Cons:smog
  • In a nutshell:Probably the best architecture per square kilometre you'll find anywhere
  • Last visit to Vicenza: Nov 2009
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (34)

Comments (10)

  • Pawtuxet's Profile Photo
    Oct 26, 2006 at 3:52 AM

    Your writing and photos are exquisite. Can we ever get through ALL of the churches and rust red buildings of Italy? This is one of the more beautiful cities. Thanks for the memories.

  • Diana75's Profile Photo
    Sep 9, 2006 at 8:51 AM

    Wonderful page, Ian! It was great to see the Dome inside. By the time of my visit to Vicenza it was closed. Thanks also for visiting my Vicenza page. I still have to find the time to finish it.

  • rubbersoul75's Profile Photo
    Aug 7, 2006 at 3:41 AM

    OK, I completed my vicenza tips at your prodding! Thanks. I see others also enjoyed the pigafetta tip. Your next visit must be with sun and warmer temps- a different city indeed. ciao- jon

  • sim1's Profile Photo
    Mar 6, 2005 at 12:07 PM

    Great Vicenza page Ian! I really love your tip about Antonio Pigafetta! That is what loving history is all about... and you put it perfectly into words! :-)

  • Sjalen's Profile Photo
    Jan 12, 2005 at 6:03 AM

    Great page! Really liked the Pigafetta information :)

  • johnsakura's Profile Photo
    Oct 17, 2004 at 3:12 AM

    A Final Word that needs no words... indeed a place to visit and be astonished by its quantity of historical buildings and old ambience. Thank You Ian!

  • deecat's Profile Photo
    Oct 16, 2004 at 10:22 AM

    I must admit that you are the master of interesting detail, architectual data, and fascinating introductions. It's always delightful reading, a smile is evident, great information, and superior photographs.

  • MeZuGa's Profile Photo
    Sep 22, 2004 at 5:19 PM

    hey, very goog page and photos, excelente.Thank you.

  • craic's Profile Photo
    Jun 7, 2004 at 7:43 PM

    What a stunningly beautiful place. Even more beautiful under snow.

  • Maurizioago's Profile Photo
    Apr 15, 2004 at 1:00 AM

    At least some new tips about Vicenza. I went there some weeks ago, but it was a fast day trip. Ciao!


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