What to do in Vicenza in the day, what to see, where to eat and what to do to spend a nice day without spending a fortune in Veneto.
I was only one day in Vicenza, this post does not pretend to be an in-depth guide but rather scattered visiting ideas and suggestions.
The city has a small and collected center around Corso Andrea Palladio, once you have identified it you will find everything. Palladium, yes, the name that recurs most: it is as if towards the end of the 500th century this city had offered itself to him on a silver tray. All the most important works can be traced back to the hand of the architect and given the results achieved, the center of Vicenza is recognized by Unesco as a World Heritage Site, sorry if it's not enough.
Don't miss the Olympic Theater, the first indoor theater in Europe, with wooden cavea and stucco decorations, a theatrical box inserted in a building, complete with sixteenth-century scenographies still intact, that is an incredible perspective view on the 7 streets of Thebes, an extraordinary trompe- l'oeil.
The theater is a museum and the entrance ticket costs 11 euros, unless you are from Vicenza; but it is worth paying the sum, even if it would certainly be fascinating to go and see a show in what since 1585 is still a functioning theater.
At this end of Corso Palladio there is also another interesting building, the large one Chiericati Palace, with an imposing and original façade, it houses a Civic museum. Following Corso Palladio, turn right to reach the Crown Temple, a vast church with a couple of masterpieces: Baptism of Christ by Bellini, an Adoration of the Magi by Veronese and the crypt by Palladio. But the most amazing thing for me, even here in Florence we have several, was the altar entirely decorated in semi-precious stone, with scenes of incredible detail and expressiveness. Admission is an offer for the church of 1 euro each.
We continue along the Corso and after a while, on the left, you will see a square open up: it is Piazza dei Signori, central, harmonious, surrounded by beautiful buildings, Loggia del Capitaniato and the Basilica (all made in Palladio).
I find this last Palladian building really elegant: don't be fooled by the name, it is a civil building not a church, surmounted by a curious copper roof. You can go up to the terraces and even to the top of the roof, where a panoramic bar is open from 1 July to 1 November. Also in this case, a 3 euro ticket each well spent: a 360 ° view of the city and a lot of emotion. On the opposite side of the building is the Piazza delle Erbe, which is characteristic for some very “Venetian” buildings in terms of architecture. In these two squares you can breathe the air of the Serenissima, both for the elegant palaces, with mullioned windows or flowered wrought iron balconies, and for the winged lion hoisted on a column overlooking the square.
We continue and reach the Duomo: the facade is beautiful, the interior I could see a little 'in passing (there was Mass).
Corso Palladio ends in piazza del Castello, of which only traces remain. On the sides of the Corso there are numerous signs indicating all the possible "Palladian deviations", in fact there are many noble palaces built by the architect. I've seen a couple of them, but if you want you can create a real itinerary.
Any advice for more detours ... eaten.
Excellent aperitif or quick lunch in l 'Shadow of the Campanile, a wine bar or bar, where you can drink by the glass and eat appetizing croutons and sandwiches. Tried for you: crostino al baccalà (delicious and soft) crostino all'acciuga (not strong, tasty) panino alla soppressa. Very affordable prices, croutons 1,50 each, sandwiches 2,50 and a drink for 3 euros. Lots of atmosphere, local characters and the spaces of a historic establishment - near the bell tower in via Fontana.
I wanted to do an encore in a place highly recommended, which is located right on Corso Palladio: the beautiful Il Ceppo gastronomy, which is already a party to behold, has a place underneath which is called Sotobotega and specializes in cod. Unfortunately, the times did not match their opening, but I recommend you try it anyway, because it seemed inviting to me. Cod is a local must, the preparation of which is protected as a treasure, and rightly so.