Firmitas, utilitas and venustas
There are cities that speak of men, they are imbued with them to such an extent that every corner becomes their best expression. Vicenza is one of these and the man whose image it is is Andrea di Pietro della Gondola, known to all as Palladio.
The city bears the elegant mark of his craftsmanship. You can already see it in the use of white stone, which is typical of these parts, because it is obtained from the Vicenza mountains immediately behind. Palladio knew every property and used it extensively in creating elements of his majestic and at the same time harmonious palaces.
Loggia of the Palladian basilica
How not to mention the very symbol of the city, namely the Palladian Basilica, which shows all its elegance in the perfect proportions and in the light that passes through its loggias.
It is not a church as the name might lead one to think, but it is a building designed to have a public function which it still retains in some form today, given that it is used as a venue for art exhibitions.
It bears this name because it recovers the true etymology of the term Basilica, which in ancient times was used to indicate public buildings where meetings, businesses and justice were administered.
Don't miss a walk in the loggia from which you can enjoy a beautiful view of the city streets and the Loggia del Capitaniato, another Palladian palace, seat of the city council.
Don't even miss seeing the Basilica at night, when it takes on a particular charm, especially in the pre-Christmas period when the splendid lights of the decorations do it justice.
The real gem, however, for us, remains the Teatro Olimpico. Recovering the idea of theater from Roman antiquity, Palladio designs a covered theater that will remain the first and only Renaissance theater building designed according to the Vitruvian rules: Firmitas, utilitas and venustas
These three concepts, which translate into solidity, utility and beauty, represent, according to Vitruvius, the identity of an architectural building. Certainly the Olimpico is not lacking in solidity and utility, but above all else it excellently represents the venustas, for the beauty of its scenes, both in the decorations, and in the ability to reproduce an urban context that takes up what is outside, to give a continuity that becomes harmony.
Truly something not to be missed, a heritage to be carefully preserved.
Obviously, if you plan a tour in these parts, you cannot miss the local culinary specialities, especially the Vicenza-style cod and bigoli with duck.
To stay overnight we chose the SHG Hotel De La Ville, convenient for parking and the historic center can be reached on foot with a short walk.
Have a good trip!
Loggia of the Captaincy
Statue of Palladio
Olympic Theater - Scene
Teatro Olimpico - interior