Prior to the pandemic, the Veneto, the region surrounding Venice, was seeing a steady increase in visitors, and for good reason—a bounty of cultural riches and natural splendors, a variety of wine trails (including the prosecco route), plus great skiing in the Dolomites and sailing on Lake Garda.
Escape Venice’s tourist crush with a trip to Vicenza, home of great Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio; Blair Kamin; Chicago Tribune
If you want to break away from the crowds that mob Venice and you love architecture, go to nearby Vicenza, a showcase for Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio.
The Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza, Italy is considered to be the oldest theater in the world.
The Teatro Olimpico, which translates to Olympic Theater, in Vicenza, Italy is considered to be the oldest theater in the world, having hosted its first performance in 1585. It is also considered to be one of the most beautiful theaters in Europe The theater was designed by Andrea Palladio, an Italian architect and a master of Renaissance architecture, as well as a designer of numerous celebrated buildings all over Italy. Teatro Olimpico was the home of the Accademia Olimpico which was founded there in the year 1955.
Design of Teatro Olimpico
Teatro Olimpico was commissioned towards the end of the 1570s by the Vicenza Olympic Academy.
One way or another, most of us have encountered Andrea Palladio. His presence has been, and remains, quietly insistent in our daily lives – even though this great Italian architect was born 500 years ago, almost to the day, and his working life was spent in a relatively contained landscape between his birthplace, Padua, and the scene of some of his greatest triumphs, Venice.
Every building Palladio designed, from a simple farmhouse to his grand monastic churches such as San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice, was a gem. Designed inside and out according to a sophisticated play of perfect geometry, each one remains an ideal to live up to. Handsomely crafted, imaginatively sited and bringing the best of classical Roman architecture up to date, his buildings had a profound influence on architecture worldwide.
Situated between Milan and Venice, the cosmopolitan city of Vicenza can sometimes be overlooked in favor of its more popular neighbors. A center for art in the Veneto region of northeastern Italy, Vicenza is rife with elegant piazzas, villas, churches, museums, and art galleries. The Palladian Villas, established as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994, are arguably the city’s most famous inhabitants. Aside from its evident cultural importance, Vicenza is also Italy’s third largest industrial center making it one of the country’s wealthiest cities. It has established textile, steel, and computer engineering industries with the microprocessor’s co-founder Federico Faggin coming from Vicenza.
The city used to be called Vicetia or Vincentia, a name given by the Romans which means “victorious”.
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