Thursday, 23 January 2014

Oh Oh Mr Palladio

The Veneto region of Italy includes the World Heritage listed city of Vicenza - renowned for Palladian villas. Andrea Palladio (1508-1580) was the architect for the Republic of Venice and is widely acclaimed as the most influential architect of western architecture. The region is peppered with his buildings. Born in Padua (where Galileo Galili was once a lecturer at the 800 year old University and where Shakespeare based his Taming of the Shrew) Palladio moved to Vicenza when he was 16.  As you will see below he was profoundly influenced by his study of the surviving monuments of classical Rome.
Andrea Palladio in the main Vicenza square - admiring his designs
The Palladian style can be seen throughout the city. No wonder it's a World Heritage site. Many of us would perhaps be more familiar with his style of buildings in Britain as both Indigo Jones and Christophen Wren amongst others were influenced by his work. And what work.
The view from our hotel window - old Vicenza is a walking city
He was prodigious. In Vicenza alone there are 26 buildings attributed to him. And here are just a few to wet your appetite.
The main square - the Loggia del Capitaniato
Vicenza from the room of the Loggia

More Palladio from the Loggia

We loved the 'formality' of the designs
The Palladio Museum gives a wonderful overview as many of his designs are exact minature models of his buildings. There was a hush in the 'model room' - everyone was in awe of his work . 
A room of models - just imagine a dolls house in this design!
The old town is wonderfully 'Palladio' signposted making it easy just to wander and enjoy. 
Here a Palladio
There a Palladio
Everywhere a Palladio Palladio!
You should have the 'picture' now!
So if you haven't been to the Veneto region which includes the World Heritage sites of Venice (naturally!) Verona (Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet) and of course Palladio's Vicenza then you may want to consider it on your next trip to Italy. I highly recommend it!

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