I suppose when it comes to Vicenza, Italy, I am a little biased. Our house is in the province of Vicenza, and my family has lived here for centuries.
Vicenza is a beautiful and vibrant town; the people are very friendly, and of course it was the home of the great architect Palladio, so there are plenty of magnificent buildings to see. It's also a quick day trip from Venice if you don't have time to stay.
Vicenza's hotels are definitely nothing special. The best thing that can be said about most of them is that they are a lot cheaper than Venice.
Around three or four of the hotels are worthwhile. The best of these in terms of rates, quality and location is the Glam Boutique Hotel; located right in the heart of the old town it is an experience all of its own. Click the link, read the other reviews, look at the photos and you'll see what I mean.
Vicenza lies along the main rail route and motorway (A4) between Milan, Verona and Venice. If you fly into Venice catch the bus to Mestre and then the train to Vicenza.
This is a town that is easy explore on your own. It's fairly small
and all parts of the old town centre are within easy walking distance. Discover what wonderful scenes await you with our Vicenza gallery page.
When it comes to the main "tourist attractions" the list of things to do and places to see is surprisingly long for such a relatively small town. Here then are the “must see” sights in Vicenza...
Undoubtedly, Vicenza’s main tourist attraction is the Palladian architecture.
Andrea Palladio is renowned globally for the famous Palladian style – even the White House was Palladio inspired.
Vicenza is where the bulk of the buildings he designed are to be found.
Visiting the Palladian Villas is easiest if you have a car, but most can be reached by public transport. The number 8 bus that you can catch near the station goes past a lot of them and stops in front of the most famous of all the villas—La Rotonda.
The Vicenza tourist office in the old town (Piazza dei Signori, 8) has a lot of information, maps, and advice on visiting the villas, as well as information on all the other Palladian buildings within the old town of Vicenza.
The ladies in the office are very helpful and friendly; Anna in particular is fantastic and will be able to give you all the advice you need on opening times, etc.
Visit the fabulous piazzas of the city too; Vicenza has some of the loveliest in all of Italy, with Piazza dei Signori being able to rival St. Mark's Square in Venice.
Apart from the villas on the edge of town the city itself can easily be explored on foot; it is the best way too as many parts of the old city are off-limits to cars. If you get tired then there are plenty of parks or pavement cafes to relax and soak up the atmosphere.
Top of the visiting list in the city itself, and designed by Palladio, is the Teatro Olimpico. This was Palladio’s last work and was finished by Vincenzo Scamozzi.
The stage is based on the city of Thebes and creates the sensation of space and distance - it is actually incredible how it does this making a fairly small space seem enormous - early special-effects I guess!.
Teatro Olimpico is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 9am to 7pm.
To save a fair bit of money I'd suggest you buy the Card Musei which is valid for the Teatro Olimpico, Palazzo Chiericati and the Museo Naturalistico – Archeologico. It costs only €8 and is valid for three days.
Another Palladian great and many consider this to be his best work but, apart from the façade, most of it is not actually his work - still absolutely beautiful though. Sit in Piazza dei Signori, sip your coffee or aperitivo and admire this beautiful building which lines nearly one entire side of the piazza.
Commemorates the double sighting of the Madonna right here. It was built in the 15th century with the interior in the shape of a Greek cross. It is indeed a lovely place; the walk up here is very peaceful but fairly long – there is also a bus if you don’t fancy the walk.
Make the effort to visit as the view alone is worth the trip. The artwork by Carpioni and the Sacristy’s inlaid wooden closets are other highlights.
Vicenza is the world capital of gold jewellery. To find out more about Vicenza's gold jewellery tradition click here.
For the rest just enjoy walking around and savouring the atmosphere of the old town, stroll around the parks which are lovely (photo at the top of the page shows one of them), enjoy the colour and vibrancy of the markets and take an espresso at a bar with the locals.
Vicenza is a town that is full of life - become a part of it for just a few days and you will be enchanted.