Thursday, 22 November 2012


Founded in the 2nd century B.C. in northern Italy, Vicenza prospered under Venetian rule from the early 15th to the end of the 18th century. The work of Andrea Palladio (1508–80), based on a detailed study of classical Roman architecture, gives the city its unique appearance. Palladio's urban buildings, as well as his villas, scattered throughout the Veneto region, had a decisive influence on the development of architecture. His work inspired a distinct architectural style known as Palladian, which spread to England and other European countries, and also to North America -
If you love architecture, chances are Vicenza is already on your bucket list. I was only vaguely familiar with the city thanks to the previously mentioned Kevin McCloud's Grand Tour TV series, but I'm really glad we ended up here thanks to the city's UNESCO status. If you live in the western world (or anywhere which has had western/colonial influences), chances are there'll be Palladian-style structures in your town or city, probably in the form of a civic building.
The beautifully calming atrium of the Palladio museum
Our first stop was the Palladio museum, which featured tons of architectural models, i.e. mini houses, my favourite! The exhibition was extremely well curated and featured everything in both Italian and English, which was a bonus.
Then, we wandered outside and got to see the giant versions of the mini buildings, which was very fun also.
Finally, we visited the Olympic Theatre, which is famous for using tricks of perspective to make the stage look larger than it actually is. Unlike Kevin McCloud we weren't granted special treatment to go behind the scenes, but it was still pretty cool to look at from the front.
We also found some rather creepy graffiti on a building nearby...
On the way back to the car we came across some otters in a park! This was very exciting to us as we have no such creatures back home in New Zealand. (We're also the sort of people who find chipmunks novel and hilarious.)
Oh, and the park had a lovely palladian rotunda in it as well.
Finally, the obligatory UNESCO signs.
Not just one but two large UNESCO signs! Score!
[Flickr set here]

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