Friday, October 24, 2008

Italy Travel: Palladio 500th Anniversary Celebrations in Vicenza

Does your Italy travel bring you to Venice? If so, consider a visit to Vicenza, in the region of Veneto, 45 miles west of Venice, to see
La Grande Mostre
, the big show, a permanent exhibition of Andrea Palladio's finest buildings.

Andrea Palladio (November 30, 1508 – August 19, 1580), was an Italian architect, widely considered the most influential person in the history of Western architecture. Born in Padua, the 500th anniversary is being celebrated in Vicenza with the launch of the permanent exhibition, Palladio - La Grande Mostra, because so many of his buildings are there.

Palladio architectural style drew on the buildings of ancient Rome as models. The major theme of both his rural and urban building was temple architecture, with a strong pointed pediment supported by columns and approached by wide steps.

Palladio's influence was far-reaching, although his buildings are all in a relatively small part of Italy. One factor in the spread of his influence was the publication in 1570 of his architectural treatise I Quattro Libri dell'Architettura (The Four Books of Architecture), which set out rules others could follow. Before this landmark publication, architectural drawings by Palladio had appeared in print as illustrations to Daniele Barbaro's "Commentary" on Vitruvius.

Interest in his style was renewed in later generations and became fashionable all over Europe, for example in parts of the Loire Valley of France. In Britain, Inigo Jones and Christopher Wren embraced the Palladian style. Another admirer was the architect Richard Boyle, 4th Earl of Cork, also known as Lord Burlington, who, with William Kent, designed Chiswick House. Exponents of Palladianism include the 18th century Venetian architect Giacomo Leoni who published an authoritative four-volume work on Palladio and his architectural concepts.

Palladio's architectural influence spread to St. Petersburg and to Charlottesville in Virginia, where Thomas Jefferson commissioned a Palladian villa he called Monticello.

In 1994 UNESCO inscribed "Vicenza, City of Palladio" on its list of World Heritage Sites. In 1996 the site was expanded to include the Palladian villas outside the core area, and accordingly renamed "City of Palladio and the Palladian Villas of the Veneto".

Palladio's works in Vicenza is home to twenty-three buildings designed by Palladio.

The famous Palladio buildings in Vicenza are:

The three-dimensional stage at the The Teatro Olimpico, designed for the Accademia degli Olimpici. Construction had started on this project when Palladio died in 1580. ;

The Villa Capra (also known as "La Rotonda"), located just outside the downtown area;

The Basilica Palladiana, centrally located in Vicenza's Piazza dei Signori, of which Palladio himself said that it might stand comparison with any similar work of antiquity;

Palazzo Chiericati; (home of Vicenza's museum)

Palazzo Barbaran Da Porto; (Site of the permanent exhibition - full of original drawings)

Palazzo Da Porto Breganze;

Palazzo Porto in Piazza Castello;

Palazzo Thiene;

Click here for more video of Vicenza and video of Palladio's buildings.

For video about Italy visit Web Vision Italy, the only Internet television network about Italy travel.

Google, DailyMotion,, Veoh, Crackle and Viddler

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