Basilica Mt Berico, The Church of St Mary in Vicenza


monte berico church

The Church of St. Mary of Mount Berico is a Roman Catholic and minor basilica in Vicenza, northern Italy. The church is a Marian shrine, and stands at the top of a hill which overlooks the city.

According to the legend, the Blessed Virgin appeared on the hill twice to a peasant worker named Vincenza Pasini; the first time occurred on March 7, 1426, the second on August 1, 1428. At this time in the Veneto, the people and economy had been suffering from a terrible plague for years. The Madonna promised that if the people of Vicenza built a church on the top of the hill she would rid them of the plague. The people kept their promise and the church was built in 3 months. The original church later became a sanctuary. It was projected by the architect Carlo Borella (1688) and was decorated by the sculptor Orazio Marinali from Bassano. The city of Vicenza ordered an inquiry through the Notary Publics a to look into these two exceptional events. The inquiry followed through during November, 1430. The court recordings are still preserved today in the city library, ' Biblioteca Civica Bertoliana'.

The first religious services of the basilica were given to the Order of Bridgettines (the Franciscan Order of Santa Brigida) by the city on November 2, 1429. At the end of May, 1435, the nuns of Saint Brigid were ordered to leave the basilica by order of Pope Eugene IV on March 18, 1435, and were ordered to return to their original way of life of their order's foundation. The Vicenza city magistracy was given the rights to Monte Berico. They then proceeded to cede the church and convent to the Servite Order(Servants of Mary) on May 31, 1435. The next day, Francesco Malipiero, the bishop of Vicenza, gave the chapel the name that still exists today. In 1821 were casted the 15 bells in B, rung in the Veronese bellringing art.

The Architecture

The stairs constructed in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary in 1595 were ordered by Giacomo Bragadin, a leading figure of the Republic of Venice in Vicenza. The stairway terminates in a small open clearing halfway up the hill where there is a view of the city below. This walkway currently connects the city with the Sanctuary of the Madonna. These stairs were designed and built by Francesco Muttoni on March 7, 1746. The total length of the stairs is around 700 meters, consisting of 150 arches, grouped in tens. Each group is divided to symbolize the 15 mysteries and the 150 Hail Marys in the rosary. The church contains a number of artworks. The original basilica has been restored repeatedly during the centuries, sometimes with famous architects such as Palladio, Piovene and Miglioranza. All these changes are still visible today.

The Madonna

The statue of the Virgin Mary was sculpted by Nicolò da Venezia in 1430, two years after the second apparition to a local peasant named Vincenza Pasini.

Basilica Palladiana in Vicenza


Basilica Palladiana

The Basilica Palladiana is a Renaissance building in the central Piazza dei Signori in Vicenza, north-eastern Italy. The most notable feature of the edifice is the loggia, which shows one of the first examples of the what came to be known as the Palladian window, designed by a young Andrea Palladio, whose work in architecture was to have a significant effect on the field during the Renaissance and later periods.


The building was originally constructed in the 15th century and was known as the Palazzo della Ragione, having been designed by Domenico da Venezia to include two pre-existing publicpalazzi. The building, which was in the Gothic style, served as the seat of government and also housed a number of shops on the ground floor. The 82 m-tall Torre dellaBissara (or dei Bissari) precedes this structure, as it is known from as early as 1172; however, its height was increased on this occasion, and its pinnacle was finished in 1444. It has five bells in the chord of E. The 15th-century edifice had an upside-down cover, partly supported by large archivolts, inspired by the one built in 1306 for the eponymous building of Padua. The Gothic façade was in red andgialletto marble of Verona, and is still visible behind the Palladio addition. A double order of columns was built by Tommaso Formenton in 1481-1494 to surround the palace. However, two years after its completion, the south-western corner collapsed. In the following decades, the Vicentine government called in architects such as Antonio Rizzo, Giorgio Spavento, Antonio Scarpagnino, Jacopo Sansovino, Sebastiano Serlio, Michele Sanmicheli and Giulio Romano to propose a reconstruction plan. However, in 1546 the Council of One Hundred chose a young local architect, Palladio, to reconstruct the building starting from April 1549. Palladio added a new outer shell of marble classical forms, a loggia and a portico that now obscure the original Gothic architecture. He also dubbed the building a basilica, after the ancient Roman civil structures of that name. The Basilica was an expensive project (some 60,000 ducats once finished) and took a long time to complete. Palladio received for the work an income of 5 ducats a month for most of his life. In 1614—thirty years after his death—the building was completed, with the finishing of the main façade on Piazza delle Erbe.


Drawings by Palladio, from his original proposal of 1546 to the final construction, have been preserved. His solution, which also encompasses the necessary measure to adapt the addition to the pre-existing structure, is based on the so-called serliana: this is a repetitive structure in which the round arcades are flanked by two rectangular openings; the latter were of different size, in order to match the variable size of the internal bay. In the angular arcades, the architrave openings become very narrow. The serliana had been already used in the Veneto some years before by Jacopo Sansovino for his Biblioteca Marciana (1537), as well as in the reconstruction of the Polirone Abbey by Giulio Romano (1540). The loggias in the lower floor were in the Doric order; the associated entablature has a frieze which alternates metope (decorated by dishes and bucrania) and triglyphs. The upper-floor loggias, by contrast, are in the Ionic order, with a continuous frieze entablature. The parapet has statues by Giovanni Battista Albanese, Grazioli and Lorenzo Rubini. The clocktower has five bells in the chord of E major.

Battle of Bassano - Napolean 1796


battle of bassano

The Battle of Bassano was fought on 8 September 1796, during the French Revolutionary Wars, in the territory of the Republic of Venice, between a French army under Napoleon Bonaparte and Austrian forces led by Count Dagobert von Wurmser. The battle ended in a French victory. The Austrians abandoned their artillery and baggage, losing supplies, cannons, and battle standards to the French. This engagement occurred during the second Austrian relief attempt of the Siege of Mantua.

Austrian Plans

The first relief of Mantua failed at the battles of Lonata and Castiglione in early August. The defeat caused Wurmser to retreat north up the Adige River valley. Meanwhile, the French reinvested the Austrian garrison of Mantua.

Ordered by Emperor Francis II to relieve Mantua at once, Feildmarshall Wurmser and his new chief-of-staff Feldmarschal-Leutnant (FML) Franz von Lauer drew up a strategy. Leaving FML Paul Davidovich and 13,700 soldiers to defend Trento and the approaches to the County of Tyrol, Wurmser directed two divisions east then south down the Brenta valley. When he joined the large division of Johann Mészáros at Bassano, he would have 20,000 men. From Bassano, Wurmser would move on Mantua, while Davidovich probed the enemy defenses from the north, looking for a favorable opportunity to support his superior. Lauer predicted that the French, having suffered recent losses, would be unable to react in time. Unknown to the Austrians, the French government desired that General Bonaparte cross the Alps to join the army of General Jean Moreau in southern Germany.

Who was fighting Forces

French and Austrian army units.


In 1796, there were only three practicable routes between Trento and the Po River basin. The first route lay west of Lake Garda. The second route was the road down the Adige valley east of Lake Garda and north of Verona. The third route went east through Levico Terme and Borgo Valsugana, and then followed the Brenta River valley (Valsugana) southward to Bassano Del Grappa. An army that held both Trento and Bassano could move troops and supplies between the two places free from French interference.

Theater Operations

Bonaparte posted General of Division (MG) Claude Vaubois with 10,000 men on the west side of Lake Garda. MG André Masséna defended the Adige River valley with 13,000 troops and MG Pierre Augereau covered Verona with 10,000 more. MG Charles Kilmaine maintained the blockade of Mantua with MG Jean Sahuguet's division of 8,000 soldiers and held a 2,000 man reserve at Verona.

Bonaparte struck first, sending Masséna and Augereau north toward Trento. Meanwhile, Vaubois advanced past Lake Idro to Riva at the north end of Lake Garda. Vaubois and Masséna converged at Rovereto on the Adige. At the Battle of Rovereto on 4 September, the French routed Davidovich's outnumbered troops, inflicting 3,000 casualties at a cost of 750 killed and wounded.

Finding that Wurmser had moved toward Bassano, Bonaparte abandoned the plan to link with Moreau. Leaving Vaubois to observe the fleeing Austrians in the upper Adigevalley, the French army commander decided to take a bold but risky course of action. Cutting loose from his supply line, he ordered Augereau, followed by Masséna, to the east into the Brenta valley.On 7 September, Augereau's 8,200 soldiers overwhelmed the 4,000 Austrians of Wurmser's rear guard at Primolano (6 km north of Cismon del Grappa), capturing 1,500 men. The victorious French then followed the valley as it turned south toward Bassano.

Battle of Bassano

Surprised by the speed of the French advance, Wurmser was only able to gather up 11,000 men before the collision took place.

On 8 September, 20,000 French soldiers fell upon Wurmser from the north. First, they attacked the 3,800-man Austrian rearguard under FML Peter Quasdanovich and General-Major (GM) Adam Bajalics. Bonaparte sent Masséna down the west bank of the Brenta and Augereau down the east bank. Overwhelmed by repeated attacks and pursued by Colonel Joachim Murat's cavalry, the rearguard collapsed and Bajalics was captured. Wurmser deployed one brigade on the west bank, a second brigade on the east bank, and a third brigade in Bassano. Colonel Jean Lannes led a successful charge which broke the Austrian lines and burst into the town. Quasdanovich later assumed command over the defeated Austrians who retreated east, but 3,500 soldiers of FML Karl Sebottendorf's division fell back to the south with their army commander.

The French suffered 400 killed, wounded, and missing. Wurmser lost 600 killed and wounded. Between 2,000 and 4,000 Austrians, eight colors and 30 artillery pieces were captured. The vigorous French pursuit also seized a bridging train plus 200 limbers and ammunition wagons.

Bike Touring from Verona to Vicenza | Verona


This signposted Regional Bike Route, that starts in Verona and takes you to Vicenza, is getting more riders each year.  There are still program bookets you can pick up at the tourism office.  The route is fairly flat with a climb up into the Berici Hills before you decend down into Vicenza.  There is a flatter route you can ride but there is more traffic and not as scenic.


  • DISTANCE: 63 km
  • START POINT: Verona Train Station
  • ENDING POINT: Vicenza Train Station
  • Elevation Gain: 230 meters
  • Average % Grade: 2%
  • Maximun % Grade: 7%
  • Special Notes: This route follows the main train line.

The ride takes you through the countryside cultivated, with fruit orchids and vegetables.  You will pass through the towns of Zevio and Belfiore along this route and after about 30 kms you arrive to the walled city of Soave.  Soave has it origins in during the Longboard invasions and its medieval characteristics are still seen in many of its present structures. 

After enjoying one of the many Soave wines and lunch you ride to Monteforte d'Alponse at the foot of the Lessina Mountains.  As you ride you will pass through Gambrella and Montebello wine zones before crossing into the Vicenza province.  Once you arrive to Brendolo you have a short climb to make to reach the upper part of the Berici Hills.  From here forward you are in the land defined by Andrea Palladio's buildings and elegant villas.  This road leads you into the 'City of Palladio' Vicenza. (Overnight Vicenza)

Bike Touring Route Verona to Vicenza


Bike Touring Route Verona to Vicenza


Bike Touring Route Verona to Vicenza


Bike Touring Route Verona to Vicenza


Bike Touring Route Verona to Vicenza

Bike Touring Route Vicenza to Bassano del Grappa | Bike Touring the Veneto Region


Excellent signposted route that takes you from Vicenza to the walled city of Marostica and onto Bassano del Grappa.  The route is on secondary roads and well marked with directional signs. 


  • DISTANCE: 45 km
  • START POINT: Vicenza Train Station
  • END POINT: Bassano del Grappa Train Station
  • ELEVATION GAIN: 30 meters

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Bike Route Vicenza to Bassano


bike route Vicenza to Bassano


Bike Route Vicenza to Bassano

Bike Touring Route Vicenza to Padova | Bike Touring the Veneto Region


Nice easy ride along a path path and small roads that will lead you by Villas, small communities, over to Padova, the city of Saint's


  • DISTANCE: 45 km
  • START POINT: Vicenza Train Station
  • ENDING POINT: Padova Train Station

After a visit of Vicenza your path today takes you along the Riveria Berica bike path, after only a few kilometers you will pass the Villa Capra Valmarana, also know as 'La Rotonda', one of Andrea Palladio's masterpieces.  The main guide on this route is the Bacchiglion River, a waterway that was once the principal transport line between Vicenza and Padua.  During the Middle Ages, this area was the site of many disputes between the two populations, and there are still military towers and structures thoughout the region. 

Turning off the bike path you will start to follow secondary roads over to Padua, all the way passing through Montegalda, with its hilltop castle.  As you enter the province of Padua there are three rural villages that you will encounter.  The first is Santa Maria di Veggiano and has a number of noteworthy rustic structures set in a poet agrarian landscape; next is Cervarese Santa Croce, where there is an old mill and nearby footbridge allowing you to cross the rider and head toward the Castle of San Martino della Vanezza.  The Castel now houses the Bacchiglione River Museum.  After the castle yo will pass through Creola, another village with surprising historical monuments such as the Arch of Sansovino, Barchessa Pisani, and Church of Santa Maria del armine.  The route continues along the river until reaching the gates of Padua.  Acces to the city is first provided by following the Scaricatore Canal, and then following designated cycling routes to Prato della Valle, one of the most well-known monumental piazzas in Italy. (Overnight Padova)

Bike Touring Vicenza to Padova


Bike touring Vicenza to Padova


Bike Tour Vicenza to Padova


Bike touring Vicenza to Padva


Bike touring Vicenza to Padova

Campagnolo Bike Company in Vicenza Italy


campagolo bike

Campagnolo is an Italian manufacturer of high-end bicycle components with headquarters in the city of Vicenza, Italy. The components are organised as groupsets (gruppi), and are a near-complete collection of a bicycle's mechanical parts. Campagnolo's flagship components are the Super Record, Record, and Chorus group-sets that represent their recent shift to 11-speed drivetrains. Record and Super Record are the top group-sets, followed by Chorus, Athena, Centaur and Veloce. Campagnolo also produces aluminum and carbon wheels, as well as other components (like carbon seat posts, and bottle-cages).

Founded by Tullio Campagnolo, the company began in 1933 in a Vicenza workshop. The founder was a racing cyclist in Italy in the 1920s and he conceived several ideas while racing, such as the quick release mechanism for bicycle wheels, derailleurs, and the rod gear for gear changing. The idea for the quick release mechanism is said to have come to him during a snowy race over Passo d’Aune Croce d'Aune), where you will find a monument to him today. Campagnolo has been awarded more than 135 patents for innovations in cycling technology. At the end of the 1950s, Campagnolo started to manufacture magnesium parts such as wheels for sports cars like Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Maserati, and built chassis for NASA satellites in 1969. Campagnolo Milestones In 1963, Campagnolo produced a disc brake for the Innocenti Lambretta TV motor scooter - the first two-wheel production vehicle with such a brake. In the 1970s they also supplied wheels for Ferrari's Formula One cars. Campagnolo worked with the manufacturer Colnago and racer Eddy Merckx and produced lightweight parts for the bike he used to beat the world hour record in 1972.

Following Campagnolo's success during the 1970s and '80s, innovation lagged as rival Shimano developed indexed shifting and combined shifter/brake levers (Shimano Total Integration). An unsuccessful foray into mountain biking, the Record-OR (off-road) group-set contributed to the company's decline during those years. Despite its struggles, Campagnolo introduced its ErgoPower combined shifter/brake levers and renewed its focus on high-end road cycling components. The late 1990s and early 2000s saw Campagnolo's increased use of carbon fibre and titanium parts in group-sets and the development of wheelsets. In 2004, Campagnolo introduced a complete Compact drivetrain with smaller chainrings, to give lower gears than traditional drivetrains. Other innovations included a Hirth-joint engineered Ultra-Torque external-bearing crank-set and G3 spoke lacing for racing wheels. In 2008, Campagnolo introduced 11-speed drivetrains with Super Record, Record, and Chorus group-sets. Campagnolo has released an electronic version of its drivetrain. Campagnolo has focused on road cycling and track cycling. Campagnolo sponsors teams in the UCI ProTour such as Caisse d'Epargne, Cofidis, Quick Step-Innergetic (Tom Boonen, Paolo Bettini), and Lampre. Campagnolo is associated with the victories of Eddy Merckx, who used Campagnolo exclusively and was a friend of Tullio Campagnolo.

Campagnolo Timeline

  • 1901 Tullio Campagnolo is born on 26 August in the eastern suburbs of Vicenza, Italy
  • 1922 Tullio Campagnolo begins his racing career 1930 Campagnolo patents the quick-release hub
  • 1933 After fabricating parts in the backroom of his father's hardware store, Tullio starts Campagnolo SPA with production of the quick-release hub
  • 1940 Tullio hires his first full-time employee. The derailleur enters production, enabling gears to change without removing the wheel. The pieces are handmade
  • 1949 Campagnolo introduces a parallelogram rear derailleur, the Gran Sport 1956 Campagnolo introduces a parallelogram front derailleur
  • 1963 The Record rear derailleur (chromed bronze) is introduced
  • 1966 The Nuovo Record rear derailleur is introduced. Eddy Merckx uses it for his first four Tour de France victories
  • 1973 The Super Record Road and Track groups are introduced.
  • 1983 Tullio Campagnolo dies on 3 February. Anniversary group-set to mark 50 years of Campagnolo bicycle parts. 1985 Campagnolo creates Delta brakes, with a parallelogram linkage to actuate the calipers.
  • 1986 The re-designed Record road and track group-sets (also known as C-Record) are introduced, replacing Super Record as the top of range
  • 1987 The last year of Super Record until 2008
  • 1989 Campagnolo introduces a mountain bike group-set, which is heavier and less advanced than those by Shimano and Sun Tour.
  • 1991 8-speed shifting components are introduced
  • 1992 The ErgoPower levers are introduced, which combines brake lever and a shift lever to answer Shimano's STI levers
  • 1993 Delta brakes are discontinued
  • 1994 Campagnolo leaves the mountain bike components business
  • 1995 Group names on components are introduced
  • 1997 9-speed shifting components are introduced
  • 1998 Next generation Ergo Levers
  • 1999 Record Carbon Ergo levers, Daytona group, and for the Record, Chorus and Daytona groups new hubs (much lighter than the old ones, axles made of aluminum alloy are introduced
  • 2000 10-speed shifting is introduced
  • 2001 Carbon-fiber shifting levers for Record group
  • 2002 Former Daytona group is renamed "Centaur"
  • 2004 Carbon-fiber cranks for Record and Chorus groups
  • 2005 10-speed Centaur and Chorus shift and brake levers are introduced for flat bar road bikes
  • 2006 Hollow external bearing crank-set is announced
  • 2007 10-speed Mirage and Xenon component groups and new Ultra-Torque components are introduced. Record hubs are now black, 20 g lighter and don't have greaseports any more
  • 2008 11-speed Record, Super-Record, and Chorus groups are introduced
  • 2009 Re-introduction of 11-speed Athena component group below Chorus in product line
  • 2011 First electric 11-speed Super-Record group to be used at the Tour de France by Team Movistar
  • 2013 80th anniversary group-set made.
  • 2014 Super Record RS group-set introduced following input from professional team riders. Fulcrum Wheels, a company owned by Campagnolo, produces wheelsets compatible with Campagnolo and Shimano cassettes. The ErgoBrain cyclo-computer compatible with the Ergo shifters displays cadence, gear, and the normal functions of a cyclo-computer.
  • 2015 Athena EPS discontinued and Chorus EPS introduced. Chorus, Record and Super Record group-sets are overhauled with a 4 arm, 8 bolt chain set introduced. Bora 50 and 35 wheels become available in Clincher and adopt a wider rim profile.
  • 2015 Campagnolo announces that factory production is to be moved to Romania.

Ezzelino II da Romano


ezzelino da romano

Ezzelino II da Romano, also known as Ezzelino il Monaco ("Ezzelino the Monk"; died 1235) was an Italian nobleman of the Ezzelini family, who was lord of Onara (until 1199), Romano, Bassano andGodego.

The son of Ezzelino I, in 1182 he fought for lands belonging to the monks of a monastery in Sesto al Reghena. On 24 April 1198 Pope Innocent III asked Pellegrinus II, Patriarch of Aquileia, to resolve the matter and to raise the excommunication which Ezzelino had received from the patriarch of Grado. In 1191-1193 Ezzelino was podestà of Treviso, and later of Verona (1200) and Vicenza (1211). In 1199 his castle at Onara was destroyed by the Paduans after Ezzelino had signed a separate peace with Vicenza; he therefore moved the family residence to Romano,by which name his family would be known in the following decades.

In 1209-1210 he was among the followers of emperor Otto IV, who gave him possession of Bassano (1211). In 1212 Ezzelino II clashed near Verona with the troops of the Lombard League; the latter was defeated and its commander, Azzo VI d'Este, perished. In 1213 he fought with Padua against the Estensi and, the following year, against the Venetians. In 1221 Ezzelino retreated into a monastery at Oliero in Valstagna and then at Campese, hence his surname of Monaco ("monk"), leaving the administration of the fiefs to his sons Ezzelino and Alberico da Romano. His daughter Cunizza da Romano was married to Riccardo di San Bonifacio, lord of Verona. He died in the monastery of Campese in 1235.

History of Vicenza from 1700 to 1970


vicenza 1800

Vicenza was a candidate to host the Council of Trent. The 16th century was the time of Andrea Palladio, who left many outstanding examples of his art with palaces and villas in the city's territory, which before Palladio's passage, was arguably the most downtrodden and esthetically lacking city of the Veneto. After 1797, under Napoleonic rule, it was made a duché grand-fief (not a grand duchy, but a hereditary (extinguished in 1896), nominal duchy, a rare honor reserved for French officials) within Napoleon's personal Kingdom of Italy for general Caulaincourt, also imperial Grand-Écuyer.

After 1814, Vicenza passed to the Austrian Empire. In 1848, however, the populace rose against Austria, more violently then in any other Italian centre apart from Milan and Brescia (the city would receive the highest award for military valour for the courage displayed by revolutionaries in this period). As a part of the Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia, it was annexed to Italy after the 3rd war of Italian independence. Vicenza's area was a location of major combat in both World War I (on the Asiago plateau) and World War II (a focal centre of the Italian resistance), and it was the most damaged city in Veneto by Allied bombings, including many of its monuments; the civil victims were over 2,000. After the end of the latter, what followed was a period of depression following the devasatation caused by two world conflicts.

In the 1960s the whole central part of Veneto, witnessed a strong economic development caused by the emergence of small and medium family businessess, ranging in a vast array of products (that often emerged illegally) that paved the way for what would be known as the "miracolo del Nord-est" (Miracle of the North-east). In the following years, the economic development grew vertiginously. Huge industrial areas sprouted around the city, massive and disorganised urbanisation and employment of foreign immigrants increased.

History of Vicenza from 2 B.C. to 800


roman vicenza

Vicentia was settled by the Italic Euganei tribe and then by the Paleo- Veneti tribe in the 3rd and 2nd centuries BC. The Romans allied themselves with the Paleo-Veneti in their fight against the Celtic tribes that populated north-western Italy. The Roman presence in the area grew exponentially over time and the Paleo-Veneti (whose culture mirrored Etruscan and Greek values more so than Celtic ones) were gradually assimilated. In 157 BC, the city was a de facto Roman centre and was given the name of Vicetia or Vincentia, meaning "victorious". The population of Vicentia received Roman citizenship in 49 BC.

The city had some importance as a way-station on the important road from Mediolanum (Milan) to Aquileia, near Tergeste (Trieste), but it was overshadowed by its neighbor Patavium ( Padua). Little survives of the Roman city, but three of the bridges across the Bacchiglione and Retrone rivers are of Roman origin, and isolated arches of a Roman aqueduct exist outside the Porta Santa Croce. During the decline of the Western Roman Empire, Heruls, Vandals, Alaric and his Visigoths, as well as the Huns laid waste to the area, but the city recovered after the Ostrogoth conquest in 489 AD, before passing to Byzantine rule soon after. It was also an important Lombard city and then a Frankish centre. Numerous Benedictine monasteries were built in the Vicenza area, beginning in the 6th century.

History of Vicenza from 900 to 1500


middle ages

In 899, Vicenza was destroyed by Magyar raiders. In 1001, Otto III handed over the government of the city to the bishop, and its communal organization had an opportunity to develop, separating soon from the episcopal authority. It took an active part in the League with Verona and, most of all, in the Lombard League (1164–1167) against Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa compelling Padua and Treviso to join: its podestà, Ezzelino IIil Balbo, was captain of the league. When peace was restored, however, the old rivalry with Padua, Bassano, and other cities was renewed, besides which there were the internal factions of the Vivaresi ( Ghibellines) and the Maltraversi ( Guelphs). The tyrannical Ezzelino III from Bassano drove the Guelphs out of Vicenza, and caused his brother, Alberico, to be elected podestà (1230).

The independent commune joined the Second Lombard League against Emperor Frederick II, and was sacked by that monarch (1237), after which it was annexed to Ezzelino's dominions. On his death the old oligarchic republic political structure was restored a consiglio maggiore ("grand council") of four hundred members and a consiglio minore ("small council") of forty members and it formed a league with Padua, Treviso and Verona. Three years later the Vicentines entrusted the protection of the city to Padua, so as to safeguard republican liberty; but this protectorate quickly became dominion, and for that reason Vicenza in 1311 submitted to the Scaligeri lords of Verona, who fortified it against the Visconti of Milan. Vicenza came under rule of Venice in 1404, and its subsequent history is that of Venice. It was besieged by the Emperor Sigismund, and Maximilian I held possession of it in 1509 and 1516.

Monte Malo, Vicenza Province


monte malo

Monte Malo is the sister city to Malo, Vicenza and sits on the ridgeline above the valley.  With points reaching 780 meters the area above the valley seems to have been an natural refuge during times of invasion. Seeing the Grotta di Buse it is easy to see why this was a great choice to escape invaders.  The grotta is one of the largest natural caves in Italy have been explored 30 km horizontally with more to be done.  

Palazzo Chiericati in Vicenza


Palazzo Chiericati

The Palazzo Chiericati is a Renaissance palace in Vicenza, designed by Andrea Palladio.


Palladio was asked to build and design the palazzo by Count Girolamo Chiericati. The architect started building the architecture in 1550, and some further work was completed under the patronage of Chiericati's son who was also the heir to the Valeros. However, the palazzo was not fully finished until about 1680, possibly by Carlo Borella. Palladio also designed a country home, the Villa Chiericati, for the family. The palazzo was built in an area called piazza dell'Isola ("island square", currently Piazza Matteotti), which housed the wood and cattle market. At that time, it was an islet surrounded by the Retrone and Bacchiglione streams, and to protect the structure from the frequent floods, Palladio designed it on an elevated position: the entrance could be accessed by a triple Classic-style staircase.

Architectural details

The palazzo's principal façade is composed of three bays, the central bay projecting slightly. The two end bays have logge on the piano nobile level, while the central bay is closed. The façade has two superimposed orders of columns, Doric on the lower level with Ionic above. The roofline is decorated by statuary.

Piazza dei Signori in Vicenza, Italy


Bike and Hike Italy, Piazza dei Signori Vicenza

In the center of Vicenza you will find, Piazza dei Signori, a  rectangular square measuring 28-meters wide by 122-meters long, it’s surrounded by architectural masterpieces including  Andrea Palladio’s Basilica Palladian and the Loggia del Capitaniato, along with Palazzo del Monte di Pietà, Chiesa di San Vincenzo, Torre Bissara and the Lion of St. Mark and Christ the Redeemer columns.

The City of Vicenza is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Piazza dei Signori is the perfect place to begin getting acquainted withVicenza, the “City of Palladio.”

In 2012, the City of Vicenza re-opened the Basilica Palladian and now allows, at no charge, the public to explore the rooftop and the wrap-around loggia created by Andrea Palladio. This is a not-to-be-missed opportunity to take a few bird’s-eye view photos of the classic square of Vicenza.

This piazza was originally named the Foro Romano when the city was ruled from afar by the Roman Empire, then changed to Piazza Grande during the Middle Ages, and finally to Piazza dei Signori during the Renaissance when Vicenza fell under the control of the Signoria, the governing body of the Republic of Venice.

Piazza dei Signori hosts the weekly Tuesday and Thursday open-air markets, fills the night with concerts in a variety of musical genres throughout the year, showcases festivals for just about every occasion, and is the center for  many Vicentini out for a strollpassagati or a pre-dinner aperitivo (cocktail) with friends.


Bike Tour Vicenza, Basilica Palladio Vicenza

Basilica Palladiana or "Palazzo della Ragione" (1549-1617) is a massive structure on the city's main square (Piazza dei Signori), designed by the architect Palladio. Built early in Palladio's career, the building sports a look closer to the Venetian Gothic style than the neoclassical style he would later revolutionize. It still has the old and leaning clock tower from a previous building on that site.

Bike Tour Vicenza, Loggia Capitaniato

Loggia del Capitanio across the square from the in Basilica Palladian, helping to form the other size of Piazza dei Signori. This building was also designed by Palladio around 1571, but in red brick without any stucco.

Piazzale della Vittoria in Vicenza


piazzale vittoria 

Piazzale della Vittoria is the square in front of the basilica on Monti Berico, which was dedicated September 23, 1924. It lies at the front of the northern facade of the Church of St Mary and givers you a full view of the city of Vicenza. A vast circular cement railing circles around this large open balcony, which looks out over the city. On the top of the railings there are markers that point out the well-known cities and panoramic views.

On clear days you have stunning views of Monte Grappa and Asiago Altopiano rising behind the city. Some other locations that can be viewed are the foothills of the PreAlps and along with the Lessini hills. The Venetian Lagoon, Mount Pasubio, Piave River, and many towns like Asolo, Thiene, Schio, and with a pair of bino's many other sites can be identified.

Santa Corona Church in Vicenza


santa corona church

Santa Corona is a medieval church located in Vicenza, and contains the Valmarana chapel (circa 1576), whose design is attributed to the architect Andrea Palladio. Palladio himself is buried in this church. The church was founded by the Blessed (Beato) Bishop Bartolomeo di Breganze, during the 1200s to house a thorn from the supposed relic of the crown (corona) of thorns forced on Jesus during his passion. The thorn had been given to this bishop as a gift from Louis IX of France. The church belonged to the Dominican order until suppression during the Napoleonic era.

The church has an altarpiece depicting, the Baptism of Christ (1500-1502) by Giovanni Bellini. The Thiene chapel has frescos by Michelino da Besozzo, and an altarpiece depicting an Enthroned Madonna and child venerated by Saints Peter and Pius V by Giovanni Battista Pittoni . Other works in the church include an Adoration of the Magi’’ by Veronese, a Madonna of the Star‘ by Marcello Fogolino, a St Mary Magdalen with Saints Jerome, Paola and Monica, (1414-1415) by Bartolomeo Montagna, a canvas depicting St Anthony and friars distributing alms to poor (1518) by Leandro Bassano, and two canvases with depictions of St Sebastian and St Martin by Battista da Vicenza.

Valmarana Chapel

After the death of one of his patrons, Antonio Valmarana, likely in 1576, Palladio designed this funereal chapel. Santa Corona had already been the church were other members of the family had been interred. Ten years earlier, Palladio had designed the Palazzo Valmarana in town for the family. The chapel was constructed by 1597, and family members transferred here. While there is no documentary evidence linking this design to Palladio, it highly resembles his chapels found at the Il Redentore in Venice.

Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza, Italy


teatro olimpico vicenza

The Teatro Olimpico ("Olympic Theatre") is a theatre in Vicenza, northern Italy, constructed in 1580-1585. The theatre was the final design by the Italian Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio and was not completed until after his death. The onstage scenery, designed by Vincenzo Scamozzi, was to give the appearance of long streets receding to a distant horizon and installed in 1585 for the very first performance held in the theatre, and is the oldest surviving stage set still in existence. The Teatro Olimpico is, along with the Teatroall'antica in Sabbioneta and the Teatro Farnese in Parma, one of only three Renaissance theatres remaining in existence. Both these theatres were based, in large measure, on the Teatro Olimpico. Since 1994, the Teatro Olimpico, together with other Palladian buildings in and around Vicenza, has been part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site City of Vicenza and the Palladian Villas of the Veneto.

Design and Construction of the Theatre

The Teatro Olimpico is the last work by Palladio, and ranks amongst his highest masterworks. The Padovan architect had returned to his adopted city in 1579, bringing with him a lifetime of detailed study into all aspects of Roman architecture, and a more detailed understanding of the architecture of classical theatre than any other living person. Palladio had illustrated Daniele Barbaro's Italian translation of Vitruvius' De architectura; the prints for this edition include floorplans for Roman theatres and an elevation for the scaenae frons of Vicenza's ruined Roman theatre.

As well, Palladio's papers include plans for the imagined reconstruction of the ruined Roman theatres. Palladio, a founder of the Olympic Academy (created in 1555), had already designed temporary theatre structures at various locations the city. The most notable of these had been erected some seventeen years previously in the great hall of the Basilica Palladiana. The original documents which record the existence of this temporary theatre are in the records of the Accademia Olimpico at the Biblioteca Beroliana in Vicenza. In 1579 the Academy obtained the rights to build a permanent theatre in an old fortress, the Castello del Territorio, which had been turned into a prison and powder magazine before falling into disuse. Palladio was asked to produce a design, and despite the awkward shape of the old fortress, he decided to use the space to recreate an academic reconstruction of the Roman theatres that he had so closely studied. In order to fit a stage and seating area into the wide, shallow space, it was necessary for Palladio to flatten the semicircular seating area of the Roman theatre into an ellipse.

Palladio dies, Scamozzi takes over

Palladio died in August 1580, only six months after construction had started on the theatre. Despite this setback, construction continued, with Palladio's sketches and drawings serving as a guide, and Palladio's son, Silla, taking charge of the project. Soon, the other prominent Vicentine architect, Vincenzo Scamozzi was called upon to complete the project. Scamozzi had already stepped in to complete Palladio's other great unfinished project, the villa just east of Vicenza that is today known as La Rotonda. It is a mark of Scamozzi's genius that both these projects are today regarded as being among Palladio's most successfully executed works. Scamozzi's contributions include the Odèo and Antiodèo rooms, as well as the entrance archway which leads from the street, through an old medieval wall into the courtyard of the old fortress. In order to make the archway fit with its surroundings, and to prepare visitors to the theatre for the transformation from medieval to classical surroundings, Scamozzi built the archway to be the same size and shape as the porta reggia or triumphal arch at the center of the scaenae frons or rear wall of the stage. However, the entrance archway was rusticated to make it fit with the rough and well-worn wall into which it was being inserted. However, Scamozzi's most famous and most original contribution to the theatre was his elaborate stage set, with its remarkable trompe l'œil street views. He not only designed the sets, but also put considerable effort into designing the lighting that permitted the make-believe houses of the stage scenery to be lit from within, completing the illusion that these were real streets.

Design and construction of the scenery

Aside from a single sketch of the scaenae frons, Palladio left no plans as to what kind of scenery should be used onstage. His illustration of an idealized Roman scaenae frons for Barbaro's edition of Vitruvius had shown perspective street views similar to those which would later be built in the Teatro Olimpico. But the sketch of the proposed scaenae frons for the Teatro Olimpico shows no such street scenes; the space behind the central archway and the doors to each side is blank. The simplest explanation for the absence of any street scenes in this drawing is that the Academy had not yet obtained the land on which the scenery would later be built. This land was acquired in 1582, after Scamozzi had taken charge of the project. This made it possible to extend the building (including a special apse-shaped projection to accommodate the longest and most elaborate of the seven street views). The Academy's petition to the city government for the additional land anticipated that if acquired, the space would be used to create perspective scenery; it explains that the extra land would be used to build a theatre "along the lines laid out by our colleague Palladio, who has designed it to permit perspective views.

Therefore, Palladio can be given credit for having inspired the remarkable perspectives which are visible to the audience through the central archway of the scaenae frons (also known as the "porta reggia") and also through the smaller side openings. But it is also appropriate to regard Scamozzi as the technical genius behind their remarkably successful execution. Scamozzi's stage set was the first practical introduction of perspective views into Renaissance theatre. The scenery consists of seven hallways decorated to create the illusion of looking down the streets of a city from classical antiquity. Ancient Thebes, was to be the setting for the first play staged in the theatre. A set of seven extraordinarily realistic trompe-l'œil false perspectives provide the illusion of long street views, while actually the sets recede only a few meters. The way in which seats in all parts of the theatre were provided with at least one perspective view can be seen by observing the theatre floorplan and following the sight lines of audience members in different parts of the theatre.

Villa La Rotonda (villa Capra) in Vicenza


la rotonda

Villa La Rotonda is a Renaissance villa just outside Vicenza in northern Italy, and designed by Andrea Palladio. The proper name is Villa Almerico Capra, but it is also known as La Rotonda, Villa Rotonda, Villa Capra and Villa Almerico. The name "Capra" derives from the Capra brothers, who completed the building after it was ceded to them in 1592. Along with other works by Palladio, the building is conserved as part of the World Heritage Site " City of Vicenza and the Palladian Villas of the Veneto".


In 1565 a priest, Paolo Almerico, on his retirement from the Vatican (as referendario apostolico of Pope Pius IV and afterwards Pius V), decided to return to his home town of Vicenza in the Venetian countryside and build a country house. This house, later known as 'La Rotonda', was to be one of Palladio's best-known legacies to the architectural world. Villa Capra may have inspired a thousand subsequent buildings, but the villa was itself inspired by the Pantheon in Rome.


The site selected was a hilltop just outside the city of Vicenza. Unlike some other Palladian villas, the building was not designed from the start to accommodate a working farm. This sophisticated building was designed for a site which was, in modern terminology, "suburban". Palladio classed the building as a "palazzo" rather than a villa. The design is for a completely symmetrical building having a square plan with four facades, each of which has a projecting portico. The whole is contained within an imaginary circle which touches each corner of the building and centres of the porticos. (illustration, left). The name La Rotonda refers to the central circular hall with its dome. To describe the villa, as a whole, as a 'rotonda' is technically incorrect, as the building is not circular but rather the intersection of a square with a cross. Each portico has steps leading up, and opens via a small cabinet or corridor to the circular domed central hall. This and all other rooms were proportioned with mathematical precision according to Palladio's own rules of architecture which he published in the Quattro Libri dell'Architettura.A. Palladio, I Quattro Libri dell'Architettura, Venezia ( Venice) 1570,libro (book) II, The design reflected the humanist values of Renaissance architecture. In order for each room to have some sun, the design was rotated 45 degrees from each cardinal point of the compass. Each of the four porticos has pediments graced by statues of classical deities. The pediments were each supported by six Ionic columns. Each portico was flanked by a single window. All principal rooms were on the second floor or piano nobile. Building began in 1567. Neither Palladio nor the owner, Paolo Almerico, were to see the completion of the villa. Palladio died in 1580 and a second architect, Vincenzo Scamozzi, was employed by the new owners to oversee the completion. One of the major changes he made to the original plan was to modify the two-storey centre hall. Palladio had intended it to be covered by a high semi-circular dome but Scamozzi designed a lower dome with an oculus (intended to be open to the sky) inspired by the Pantheon in Rome. The dome was ultimately completed with a cupola.


The interior design of the Villa was to be as wonderful, if not more so, than the exterior. Alessandro and Giovanni Battista Maganza and Anselmo Canera were commissioned to paint frescoes in the principal salons. Among the four principal salons on the piano nobile are the West Salon (also called the Holy Room, because of the religious nature of its frescoes and ceiling), and the East Salon, which contains an allegorical life story of the first owner Paolo Almerico, his many admirable qualities portrayed in fresco. The highlight of the interior is the central, circular hall, surrounded by a balcony and covered by the domed ceiling; it soars the full height of the main house up to the cupola, with walls decorated in trompe l'oeil. Abundant frescoes create an atmosphere that is more reminiscent of a cathedral than the principal salon of a country house.


From the porticos, wonderful views of the surrounding countryside can be seen; this is no coincidence as the Villa was designed to be in perfect harmony with the landscape. This was in complete contrast to such buildings as Villa Farnese of just 16 years earlier. Thus, while the house appears to be completely symmetrical, it actually has certain deviations, designed to allow each facade to complement the surrounding landscape and topography. Hence there are variations in the facades, in the width of steps, retaining walls, etc. In this way, the symmetry of the architecture allows for the asymmetry of the landscape, and creates a seemingly symmetrical whole. The landscape is a panoramic vision of trees and meadows and woods, with the distant Vicenza on the horizon. The northwest portico is set onto the hill as the termination of a straight carriage drive from the principal gates. This carriageway is an avenue between the service blocks, built by the Capra brothers who acquired the villa in 1591; they commissioned Vincenzo Scamozzi to complete the villa and construct the range of staff and agricultural buildings. As one approaches the villa from this angle, one is deliberately made to feel one is ascending from some less worthy place to a temple on high. This same view in reverse, from the villa, highlights a classical chapel on the edge of Vicenza, thus villa and town are united.